Knowledge of Nature
So many people today and even professional scientists seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. ~ Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein whose work on the photoelectric effect and the theory of relativity led to a revolution in 20th-century physics.
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.
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 the 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 time, determinism, and metaphysical outlooks such as empiricism, naturalism, and realism.
Physics is the science of how things work.
Physics: A science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions. The physical processes and phenomena of a particular system.
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy, perhaps the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, physics, chemistry, biology, and certain branches of mathematics were a part of natural philosophy, but during the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, and the boundaries of physics are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics often explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy.
Advances in physics often enable advances in new technologies. For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism, solid-state physics, and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have dramatically transformed modern-day society, such as television, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons; advances in thermodynamics led to the development of industrialization, and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus.
Physics deals with the combination of matter and energy. It also deals with a wide variety of systems, about which theories have been developed that are used by physicists. In general, theories are experimentally tested numerous times before they are accepted as correct as a description of Nature (within a certain domain of validity). 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 “central theories” are important tools for research in more specialized topics, and any physicist, regardless of his or her specialization, is expected to be literate in them.
Quantum mechanics, atomic physics, and molecular physics.
Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics treating atomic and subatomic systems and their interaction based on the observation that all forms of energy are released in discrete units or bundles called “quanta”. Remarkably, quantum theory typically permits only probable or statistical calculation of the observed features of subatomic particles, understood in terms of wave functions. The Schrödinger equation plays the role in quantum mechanics that Newton’s laws and conservation of energy serve in classical mechanics i.e., it predicts the future behavior of a dynamic system and is a wave equation that is used to solve for wavefunctions.
A possible candidate for the theory of everything, this theory combines the theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics to make a single theory. This theory can predict about properties of both small and big objects. This theory is currently under developmental stage.
In general relativity, a black hole is defined as a region of spacetime in which the gravitational field is so strong that no particle or radiation can escape. In the currently accepted models of stellar evolution, black holes are thought to arise when massive stars undergo gravitational collapse, and many galaxies are thought to contain supermassive black holes at their centers. Black holes are also important for theoretical reasons, as they present profound challenges for theorists attempting to understand the quantum aspects of gravity. String theory has proved to be an important tool for investigating the theoretical properties of black holes because it provides a framework in which theorists can study their thermodynamics.
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