is one of the oldest natural sciences
. Early civilizations dating back before 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians
, ancient Egyptians
, and the Indus Valley Civilisation
, had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars. The stars and planets, believed to represent gods, were often worshipped. While the explanations for the observed positions of the stars were often unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for later astronomy, as the stars were found to traverse great circles
across the sky,
which however did not explain the positions of the planets
Physics in the medieval European and Islamic world
The basic way a pinhole camera works
The Western Roman Empire
fell in the fifth century, and this resulted in a decline in intellectual pursuits in the western part of Europe. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire
(also known as the Byzantine Empire
) resisted the attacks from the barbarians, and continued to advance various fields of learning, including physics.
In the sixth century, Isidore of Miletus created an important compilation of Archimedes' works that are copied in the Archimedes Palimpsest
In sixth-century Europe John Philoponus
, a Byzantine scholar, questioned Aristotle
's teaching of physics and noted its flaws. He introduced the theory of impetus
. Aristotle's physics was not scrutinized until Philoponus appeared; unlike Aristotle, who based his physics on verbal argument, Philoponus relied on observation. On Aristotle's physics Philoponus wrote:
But this is completely erroneous, and our view may be corroborated by actual observation more effectively than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights of which one is many times as heavy as the other, you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend on the ratio of the weights, but that the difference in time is a very small one. And so, if the difference in the weights is not considerable, that is, of one is, let us say, double the other, there will be no difference, or else an imperceptible difference, in time, though the difference in weight is by no means negligible, with one body weighing twice as much as the other
Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics served as an inspiration for Galileo Galilei
ten centuries later,
during the Scientific Revolution
. Galileo cited Philoponus substantially in his works when arguing that Aristotelian physics was flawed.
In the 1300s Jean Buridan
, a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris, developed the concept of impetus. It was a step toward the modern ideas of inertia and momentum.
The most notable innovations were in the field of optics and vision, which came from the works of many scientists like Ibn Sahl
, Ibn al-Haytham
. The most notable work was The Book of Optics
(also known as Kitāb al-Manāẓir), written by Ibn al-Haytham, in which he conclusively disproved the ancient Greek idea about vision, but also came up with a new theory. In the book, he presented a study of the phenomenon of the camera obscura
(his thousand-year-old version of the pinhole camera
) and delved further into the way the eye itself works. Using dissections and the knowledge of previous scholars, he was able to begin to explain how light enters the eye. He asserted that the light ray is focused, but the actual explanation of how light projected to the back of the eye had to wait until 1604. His Treatise on Light
explained the camera obscura, hundreds of years before the modern development of photography.
(c. 965–c. 1040), Book of Optics
Book I, [6.85], [6.86]. Book II, [3.80] describes his camera obscura
The seven-volume Book of Optics
) hugely influenced thinking across disciplines from the theory of visual perception
to the nature of perspective
in medieval art, in both the East and the West, for more than 600 years. Many later European scholars and fellow polymaths, from Robert Grosseteste
and Leonardo da Vinci
to René Descartes
, Johannes Kepler
and Isaac Newton
, were in his debt. Indeed, the influence of Ibn al-Haytham's Optics ranks alongside that of Newton's work of the same title, published 700 years later.
The translation of The Book of Optics had a huge impact on Europe. From it, later European scholars were able to build devices that replicated those Ibn al-Haytham had built, and understand the way light works. From this, such important things as eyeglasses, magnifying glasses, telescopes, and cameras were developed.
The discovery of new laws in thermodynamics
, and electromagnetics
resulted from greater research efforts during the Industrial Revolution
as energy needs increased.
The laws comprising classical physics remain very widely used for objects on everyday scales travelling at non-relativistic speeds, since they provide a very close approximation in such situations, and theories such as quantum mechanics
and the theory of relativity
simplify to their classical equivalents at such scales. However, inaccuracies in classical mechanics for very small objects and very high velocities led to the development of modern physics in the 20th century.
began in the early 20th century with the work of Max Planck
in quantum theory and Albert Einstein
's theory of relativity. Both of these theories came about due to inaccuracies in classical mechanics in certain situations. Classical mechanics
predicted a varying speed of light
, which could not be resolved with the constant speed predicted by Maxwell's equations
of electromagnetism; this discrepancy was corrected by Einstein's theory of special relativity
, which replaced classical mechanics for fast-moving bodies and allowed for a constant speed of light. Black-body radiation
provided another problem for classical physics, which was corrected when Planck proposed that the excitation of material oscillators is possible only in discrete steps proportional to their frequency; this, along with the photoelectric effect
and a complete theory predicting discrete energy levels
of electron orbitals
, led to the theory of quantum mechanics taking over from classical physics at very small scales.
Quantum mechanics would come to be pioneered by Werner Heisenberg
, Erwin Schrödinger
and Paul Dirac
From this early work, and work in related fields, the Standard Model of particle physics
Following the discovery of a particle with properties consistent with the Higgs boson
all fundamental particles
predicted by the standard model, and no others, appear to exist; however, physics beyond the Standard Model
, with theories such as supersymmetry
, is an active area of research.
Areas of mathematics
in general are important to this field, such as the study of probabilities
In many ways, physics stems from ancient Greek philosophy
. From Thales' first attempt to characterize matter, to Democritus' deduction that matter ought to reduce to an invariant state, the Ptolemaic astronomy
of a crystalline firmament
, and Aristotle's book Physics
(an early book on physics, which attempted to analyze and define motion from a philosophical point of view), various Greek philosophers advanced their own theories of nature. Physics was known as natural philosophy until the late 18th century.[e]
By the 19th century, physics was realized as a discipline distinct from philosophy and the other sciences. Physics, as with the rest of science, relies on philosophy of science
and its "scientific method" to advance our knowledge of the physical world.
The scientific method employs a priori reasoning
as well as a posteriori
reasoning and the use of Bayesian inference
to measure the validity of a given theory.
The development of physics has answered many questions of early philosophers, but has also raised new questions. Study of the philosophical issues surrounding physics, the philosophy of physics, involves issues such as the nature of space
, and metaphysical outlooks such as empiricism
Though physics deals with a wide variety of systems, certain theories are used by all physicists. Each of these theories was experimentally tested numerous times and found to be an adequate approximation of nature. For instance, the theory of classical
mechanics accurately describes the motion of objects, provided they are much larger than atoms
and moving at much less than the speed of light. These theories continue to be areas of active research today. Chaos theory
, a remarkable aspect of classical mechanics, was discovered in the 20th century, three centuries after the original formulation of classical mechanics by Newton (1642–1727).
These central theories are important tools for research into more specialised topics, and any physicist, regardless of their specialisation, is expected to be literate in them. These include classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
, and special relativity.
Classical physics includes the traditional branches and topics that were recognised and well-developed before the beginning of the 20th century—classical mechanics, acoustics
, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism. Classical mechanics is concerned with bodies acted on by forces
and bodies in motion
and may be divided into statics
(study of the forces on a body or bodies not subject to an acceleration), kinematics
(study of motion without regard to its causes), and dynamics
(study of motion and the forces that affect it); mechanics may also be divided into solid mechanics
and fluid mechanics
(known together as continuum mechanics
), the latter include such branches as hydrostatics
, and pneumatics
. Acoustics is the study of how sound is produced, controlled, transmitted and received.
Important modern branches of acoustics include ultrasonics
, the study of sound waves of very high frequency beyond the range of human hearing; bioacoustics
, the physics of animal calls and hearing,
, the manipulation of audible sound waves using electronics.
Optics, the study of light
, is concerned not only with visible light
but also with infrared
and ultraviolet radiation
, which exhibit all of the phenomena of visible light except visibility, e.g., reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, dispersion, and polarization of light. Heat
is a form of energy
, the internal energy possessed by the particles of which a substance is composed; thermodynamics deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. Electricity
have been studied as a single branch of physics since the intimate connection between them was discovered in the early 19th century; an electric current
gives rise to a magnetic field
, and a changing magnetic field induces an electric current. Electrostatics
deals with electric charges
at rest, electrodynamics
with moving charges, and magnetostatics
with magnetic poles at rest.
Classical physics is generally concerned with matter and energy on the normal scale of observation, while much of modern physics is concerned with the behavior of matter and energy under extreme conditions or on a very large or very small scale. For example, atomic
and nuclear physics
study matter on the smallest scale at which chemical elements
can be identified. The physics of elementary particles
is on an even smaller scale since it is concerned with the most basic units of matter; this branch of physics is also known as high-energy physics because of the extremely high energies necessary to produce many types of particles in particle accelerators
. On this scale, ordinary, commonsensical notions of space, time, matter, and energy are no longer valid.
The two chief theories of modern physics present a different picture of the concepts of space, time, and matter from that presented by classical physics. Classical mechanics approximates nature as continuous, while quantum theory is concerned with the discrete nature of many phenomena at the atomic and subatomic level and with the complementary aspects of particles and waves in the description of such phenomena. The theory of relativity is concerned with the description of phenomena that take place in a frame of reference
that is in motion with respect to an observer; the special theory of relativity is concerned with motion in the absence of gravitational fields and the general theory of relativity
with motion and its connection with gravitation
. Both quantum theory and the theory of relativity find applications in all areas of modern physics.
Difference between classical and modern physics
The basic domains of physics
While physics aims to discover universal laws, its theories lie in explicit domains of applicability.
Loosely speaking, the laws of classical physics accurately describe systems whose important length scales are greater than the atomic scale and whose motions are much slower than the speed of light. Outside of this domain, observations do not match predictions provided by classical mechanics. Einstein contributed the framework of special relativity, which replaced notions of absolute time and space
and allowed an accurate description of systems whose components have speeds approaching the speed of light. Planck, Schrödinger, and others introduced quantum mechanics, a probabilistic notion of particles and interactions that allowed an accurate description of atomic and subatomic scales. Later, quantum field theory
unified quantum mechanics and special relativity. General relativity allowed for a dynamical, curved spacetime, with which highly massive systems and the large-scale structure of the universe can be well-described. General relativity has not yet been unified with the other fundamental descriptions; several candidate theories of quantum gravity
are being developed.
Relation to other fields
Mathematics and ontology are used in physics. Physics is used in chemistry and cosmology.
Mathematics provides a compact and exact language used to describe the order in nature. This was noted and advocated by Pythagoras
Physics uses mathematics
to organise and formulate experimental results. From those results, precise
solutions are obtained, quantitative results from which new predictions can be made and experimentally confirmed or negated. The results from physics experiments are numerical data, with their units of measure
and estimates of the errors in the measurements. Technologies based on mathematics, like computation
have made computational physics
an active area of research.
The distinction between mathematics and physics is clear-cut, but not always obvious, especially in mathematical physics.
is a prerequisite for physics, but not for mathematics. It means physics is ultimately concerned with descriptions of the real world, while mathematics is concerned with abstract patterns, even beyond the real world. Thus physics statements are synthetic, while mathematical statements are analytic. Mathematics contains hypotheses, while physics contains theories. Mathematics statements have to be only logically true, while predictions of physics statements must match observed and experimental data.
The distinction is clear-cut, but not always obvious. For example, mathematical physics is the application of mathematics in physics. Its methods are mathematical, but its subject is physical.
The problems in this field start with a "mathematical model of a physical situation
" (system) and a "mathematical description of a physical law" that will be applied to that system. Every mathematical statement used for solving has a hard-to-find physical meaning. The final mathematical solution has an easier-to-find meaning, because it is what the solver is looking for.[clarification needed]
Pure physics is a branch of fundamental science
(also called basic
science. Physics is also called "the fundamental science" because all branches of natural science like chemistry, astronomy, geology, and biology are constrained by laws of physics.
Similarly, chemistry is often called the central science
because of its role in linking the physical sciences. For example, chemistry studies properties, structures, and reactions
of matter (chemistry's focus on the molecular and atomic scale distinguishes it from physics
). Structures are formed because particles exert electrical forces on each other, properties include physical characteristics of given substances, and reactions are bound by laws of physics, like conservation of energy
, mass, and charge. Physics is applied in industries like engineering and medicine.
Application and influence
Classical physics implemented in an acoustic engineering
model of sound reflecting from an acoustic diffuser
The application of physical laws in lifting liquids
is a general term for physics research, which is intended for a particular use. An applied physics curriculum usually contains a few classes in an applied discipline, like geology or electrical engineering. It usually differs from engineering
in that an applied physicist may not be designing something in particular, but rather is using physics or conducting physics research with the aim of developing new technologies or solving a problem.
Physics is used heavily in engineering. For example, statics, a subfield of mechanics
, is used in the building of bridges
and other static structures. The understanding and use of acoustics results in sound control and better concert halls; similarly, the use of optics creates better optical devices. An understanding of physics makes for more realistic flight simulators
, video games
, and movies, and is often critical in forensic
With the standard consensus
that the laws
of physics are universal and do not change with time, physics can be used to study things that would ordinarily be mired in uncertainty
. For example, in the study of the origin of the earth
, one can reasonably model earth's mass, temperature, and rate of rotation, as a function of time allowing one to extrapolate forward or backward in time and so predict future or prior events. It also allows for simulations in engineering that drastically speed up the development of a new technology.
Physicists use the scientific method to test the validity of a physical theory
. By using a methodical approach to compare the implications of a theory with the conclusions drawn from its related experiments
and observations, physicists are better able to test the validity of a theory in a logical, unbiased, and repeatable way. To that end, experiments are performed and observations are made in order to determine the validity or invalidity of the theory.
A scientific law is a concise verbal or mathematical statement of a relation that expresses a fundamental principle of some theory, such as Newton's law of universal gravitation.
Theory and experiment
Theorists seek to develop mathematical models
that both agree with existing experiments and successfully predict future experimental results, while experimentalists
devise and perform experiments to test theoretical predictions and explore new phenomena. Although theory
and experiment are developed separately, they strongly affect and depend upon each other. Progress in physics frequently comes about when experimental results defy explanation by existing theories, prompting intense focus on applicable modelling, and when new theories generate experimentally testable predictions
, which inspire the development of new experiments (and often related equipment).
Theoretical physics has historically taken inspiration from philosophy; electromagnetism was unified this way.[f]
Beyond the known universe, the field of theoretical physics also deals with hypothetical issues,[g]
such as parallel universes
, a multiverse
, and higher dimensions
. Theorists invoke these ideas in hopes of solving particular problems with existing theories; they then explore the consequences of these ideas and work toward making testable predictions.
Experimental physics expands, and is expanded by, engineering and technology
. Experimental physicists who are involved in basic research
, design and perform experiments with equipment such as particle accelerators and lasers
, whereas those involved in applied research
often work in industry, developing technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) and transistors
has noted that experimentalists may seek areas that have not been explored well by theorists.
Scope and aims
Physics involves modeling the natural world with theory, usually quantitative. Here, the path of a particle is modeled with the mathematics of calculus
to explain its behavior: the purview of the branch of physics known as mechanics
Physics covers a wide range of phenomena
, from elementary particles
(such as quarks, neutrinos, and electrons) to the largest superclusters
of galaxies. Included in these phenomena are the most basic objects composing all other things. Therefore, physics is sometimes called the "fundamental science".
Physics aims to describe the various phenomena that occur in nature in terms of simpler phenomena. Thus, physics aims to both connect the things observable to humans to root causes
, and then connect these causes together.
For example, the ancient Chinese
observed that certain rocks (lodestone
) were attracted to one another by an invisible force. This effect was later called magnetism, which was first rigorously studied in the 17th century. But even before the Chinese discovered magnetism, the ancient Greeks
knew of other objects such as amber
, that when rubbed with fur would cause a similar invisible attraction between the two. This was also first studied rigorously in the 17th century and came to be called electricity. Thus, physics had come to understand two observations of nature in terms of some root cause (electricity and magnetism). However, further work in the 19th century revealed that these two forces were just two different aspects of one force—electromagnetism. This process of "unifying" forces continues today, and electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force
are now considered to be two aspects of the electroweak interaction
. Physics hopes to find an ultimate reason (theory of everything) for why nature is as it is (see section Current research
below for more information).
Since the 20th century, the individual fields of physics have become increasingly specialised, and today most physicists work in a single field for their entire careers. "Universalists" such as Einstein (1879–1955) and Lev Landau
(1908–1968), who worked in multiple fields of physics, are now very rare.[h]
The major fields of physics, along with their subfields and the theories and concepts they employ, are shown in the following table.
Nuclear and particle physics
Particle physics is the study of the elementary constituents of matter
and energy and the interactions
In addition, particle physicists design and develop the high-energy accelerators,
and computer programs
necessary for this research. The field is also called "high-energy physics" because many elementary particles do not occur naturally but are created only during high-energy collisions
of other particles.
Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
, and optical physics (AMO) is the study of matter–matter and light–matter interactions on the scale of single atoms and molecules. The three areas are grouped together because of their interrelationships, the similarity of methods used, and the commonality of their relevant energy scales. All three areas include both classical, semi-classical and quantum
treatments; they can treat their subject from a microscopic view (in contrast to a macroscopic view).
Atomic physics studies the electron shells
of atoms. Current research focuses on activities in quantum control, cooling and trapping of atoms and ions,
low-temperature collision dynamics and the effects of electron correlation on structure and dynamics. Atomic physics is influenced by the nucleus
(see hyperfine splitting
), but intra-nuclear phenomena such as fission
are considered part of nuclear physics.
focuses on multi-atomic structures and their internal and external interactions with matter and light. Optical physics
is distinct from optics in that it tends to focus not on the control of classical light fields by macroscopic objects but on the fundamental properties of optical fields
and their interactions with matter in the microscopic realm.
Condensed matter physics
Condensed matter physics is the field of physics that deals with the macroscopic physical properties of matter.
In particular, it is concerned with the "condensed" phases
that appear whenever the number of particles in a system is extremely large and the interactions between them are strong.
Condensed matter physics is the largest field of contemporary physics. Historically, condensed matter physics grew out of solid-state physics, which is now considered one of its main subfields.
The term condensed matter physics
was apparently coined by Philip Anderson
when he renamed his research group—previously solid-state theory
In 1978, the Division of Solid State Physics of the American Physical Society
was renamed as the Division of Condensed Matter Physics.
Condensed matter physics has a large overlap with chemistry, materials science
Astrophysics and astronomy are the application of the theories and methods of physics to the study of stellar structure
, stellar evolution
, the origin of the Solar System, and related problems of cosmology
. Because astrophysics is a broad subject, astrophysicists typically apply many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics.
The discovery by Karl Jansky
in 1931 that radio signals were emitted by celestial bodies initiated the science of radio astronomy
. Most recently, the frontiers of astronomy have been expanded by space exploration. Perturbations and interference from the earth's atmosphere make space-based observations necessary for infrared
, and X-ray astronomy
Physical cosmology is the study of the formation and evolution of the universe on its largest scales. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity plays a central role in all modern cosmological theories. In the early 20th century, Hubble
's discovery that the universe is expanding, as shown by the Hubble diagram
, prompted rival explanations known as the steady state
universe and the Big Bang
Numerous possibilities and discoveries are anticipated to emerge from new data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
over the upcoming decade and vastly revise or clarify existing models of the universe.
In particular, the potential for a tremendous discovery surrounding dark matter is possible over the next several years.
Fermi will search for evidence that dark matter is composed of weakly interacting massive particles
, complementing similar experiments with the Large Hadron Collider
and other underground detectors.
is already yielding new astrophysical
discoveries: "No one knows what is creating the ENA (energetic neutral atoms)
ribbon" along the termination shock
of the solar wind
, "but everyone agrees that it means the textbook picture of the heliosphere
—in which the Solar System's enveloping pocket filled with the solar wind's charged particles is plowing through the onrushing 'galactic wind' of the interstellar medium in the shape of a comet—is wrong."
Research in physics is continually progressing on a large number of fronts.
In particle physics, the first pieces of experimental evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model have begun to appear. Foremost among these are indications that neutrinos
have non-zero mass
. These experimental results appear to have solved the long-standing solar neutrino problem
, and the physics of massive neutrinos remains an area of active theoretical and experimental research. The Large Hadron Collider has already found the Higgs boson, but future research aims to prove or disprove the supersymmetry, which extends the Standard Model of particle physics. Research on the nature of the major mysteries of dark matter and dark energy is also currently ongoing.
Theoretical attempts to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity into a single theory of quantum gravity, a program ongoing for over half a century, have not yet been decisively resolved. The current leading candidates are M-theory
, superstring theory
and loop quantum gravity
Although much progress has been made in high-energy, quantum
, and astronomical physics, many everyday phenomena involving complexity
are still poorly understood. Complex problems that seem like they could be solved by a clever application of dynamics and mechanics remain unsolved; examples include the formation of sandpiles, nodes in trickling water, the shape of water droplets, mechanisms of surface tensioncatastrophes
, and self-sorting in shaken heterogeneous collections.[i]
These complex phenomena have received growing attention since the 1970s for several reasons, including the availability of modern mathematical methods and computers, which enabled complex systems to be modeled in new ways. Complex physics has become part of increasingly interdisciplinary
research, as exemplified by the study of turbulence in aerodynamics and the observation of pattern formation
in biological systems. In the 1932 Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics
, Horace Lamb
I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics, and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather optimistic.
- ^ At the start of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Richard Feynman offers the atomic hypothesis as the single most prolific scientific concept.
- ^ The term "universe" is defined as everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them. However, the term "universe" may also be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting concepts such as the cosmos or the philosophical world.
- ^ Francis Bacon's 1620 Novum Organum was critical in the development of scientific method.
- ^ Calculus was independently developed at around the same time by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; while Leibniz was the first to publish his work and develop much of the notation used for calculus today, Newton was the first to develop calculus and apply it to physical problems. See also Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy
- ^ Noll notes that some universities still use this title.
- ^ See, for example, the influence of Kant and Ritter on Ørsted.
- ^ Concepts which are denoted hypothetical can change with time. For example, the atom of nineteenth-century physics was denigrated by some, including Ernst Mach's critique of Ludwig Boltzmann's formulation of statistical mechanics. By the end of World War II, the atom was no longer deemed hypothetical.
- ^ Yet, universalism is encouraged in the culture of physics. For example, the World Wide Web, which was innovated at CERN by Tim Berners-Lee, was created in service to the computer infrastructure of CERN, and was/is intended for use by physicists worldwide. The same might be said for arXiv.org
- ^ See the work of Ilya Prigogine, on 'systems far from equilibrium', and others.
- ^ "physics". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- ^ "physic". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- ^ φύσις, φυσική, ἐπιστήμη. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
- ^ Feynman, Leighton & Sands 1963, p. I-2 "If, in some cataclysm, all  scientific knowledge were to be destroyed [save] one sentence [...] what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is [...] that all things are made up of atoms – little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another ..."
- ^ Maxwell 1878, p. 9 "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of events."
- ^ a b c Young & Freedman 2014, p. 1 "Physics is one of the most fundamental of the sciences. Scientists of all disciplines use the ideas of physics, including chemists who study the structure of molecules, paleontologists who try to reconstruct how dinosaurs walked, and climatologists who study how human activities affect the atmosphere and oceans. Physics is also the foundation of all engineering and technology. No engineer could design a flat-screen TV, an interplanetary spacecraft, or even a better mousetrap without first understanding the basic laws of physics. (...) You will come to see physics as a towering achievement of the human intellect in its quest to understand our world and ourselves."
- ^ Young & Freedman 2014, p. 2 "Physics is an experimental science. Physicists observe the phenomena of nature and try to find patterns that relate these phenomena."
- ^ Holzner 2006, p. 7 "Physics is the study of your world and the world and universe around you."
- ^ a b Krupp 2003
- ^ Cajori 1917, pp. 48–49
- ^ Aaboe 1991
- ^ Clagett 1995
- ^ Thurston 1994
- ^ Singer 2008, p. 35
- ^ Lloyd 1970, pp. 108–109
- ^ Gill, N.S. "Atomism – Pre-Socratic Philosophy of Atomism". About Education. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- ^ "John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's Physics". Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- ^ Galileo (1638). Two New Sciences. in order to better understand just how conclusive Aristotle’s demonstration is, we may, in my opinion, deny both of his assumptions. And as to the first, I greatly doubt that Aristotle ever tested by experiment whether it be true that two stones, one weighing ten times as much as the other, if allowed to fall, at the same instant, from a height of, say, 100 cubits, would so differ in speed that when the heavier had reached the ground, the other would not have fallen more than 10 cubits.
Simp. - His language would seem to indicate that he had tried the experiment, because he says: We see the heavier; now the word see shows that he had made the experiment.
Sagr. - But I, Simplicio, who have made the test can assure you that a cannon ball weighing one or two hundred pounds, or even more, will not reach the ground by as much as a span ahead of a musket ball weighing only half a pound, provided both are dropped from a height of 200 cubits.
- ^ "John Philoponus". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2018.
- ^ "John Buridan". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2018.
- ^ Howard & Rogers 1995, pp. 6–7
- ^ Smith 2001, Book I [6.85], [6.86], p. 379; Book II, [3.80], p. 453.
- ^ Ben-Chaim 2004
- ^ Guicciardini 1999
- ^ Allen 1997
- ^ "The Industrial Revolution". Schoolscience.org, Institute of Physics. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- ^ O'Connor & Robertson 1996a
- ^ a b O'Connor & Robertson 1996b
- ^ "The Standard Model". DONUT. Fermilab. 29 June 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- ^ Cho 2012
- ^ Womersley, J. (February 2005). "Beyond the Standard Model" (PDF). Symmetry. Vol. 2 no. 1. pp. 22–25. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015.
- ^ Noll, Walter (23 June 2006). "On the Past and Future of Natural Philosophy" (PDF). Journal of Elasticity. 84 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1007/s10659-006-9068-y. S2CID 121957320. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 April 2016.
- ^ Rosenberg 2006, Chapter 1
- ^ Godfrey-Smith 2003, Chapter 14: "Bayesianism and Modern Theories of Evidence"
- ^ Godfrey-Smith 2003, Chapter 15: "Empiricism, Naturalism, and Scientific Realism?"
- ^ Laplace 1951
- ^ Schrödinger 1983
- ^ Schrödinger 1995
- ^ Hawking & Penrose 1996, p. 4 "I think that Roger is a Platonist at heart but he must answer for himself."
- ^ Penrose 2004
- ^ Penrose et al. 1997
- ^ "acoustics". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- ^ "Bioacoustics – the International Journal of Animal Sound and its Recording". Taylor & Francis. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- ^ "Acoustics and You (A Career in Acoustics?)". Acoustical Society of America. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- ^ Tipler & Llewellyn 2003, pp. 269, 477, 561
- ^ Tipler & Llewellyn 2003, pp. 1–4, 115, 185–187
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- ^ Mastin 2010 "Although usually remembered today as a philosopher, Plato was also one of ancient Greece's most important patrons of mathematics. Inspired by Pythagoras, he founded his Academy in Athens in 387 BC, where he stressed mathematics as a way of understanding more about reality. In particular, he was convinced that geometry was the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe. The sign above the Academy entrance read: 'Let no-one ignorant of geometry enter here.'"
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