The title link will bring you to Joseph Weissman's article that explores some key ideas relating to Michel Serres, mathematics and physics.
Declination in a Laminar Flow
Serres begins the first section of The Birth of Physics by showing how the clinamen (atomic swerve) has been represented as a weakness of atomic theory, as a prescientific absurdity. Why has it been able to appear this way? First, because declination is a physical absurdity (since experimentation cannot reveal its existence); second, it is a mechanical absurdity (since it is contrary to the principle of inertia and would result in perpetual motion); and finally, it is a logical absurdity (since it is introduced without justification, as being the cause of itself before being the cause of all things.) Serres writes: “The thing is so absurd and so far from our experience that the physicalist minimizes it, as if to hide it.”