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The natural science which investigates the nature and behavior of physical concepts or phenomena, including mass, matter, motion, and charge as well as corollary observations derived from these examinations, such as energy, force, space, and time.
Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687) stated the laws of motion, the universal law of gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler’s laws for the motion of planets.
Newton’s Three Laws of the Motion of Matter formed the basis of classical mechanics.
a body remains in a state of rest or continues its motion in a straight line unless impelled to change by forces impressed on it
acceleration: the change in a motion of a body is proportional to the forces acting upon it
for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
Newton’s personal copy of the first edition of Principia Mathematica with handwritten corrections for the second edition.
post-Newtonian developments in physics
classical physical descriptions of phenomena are lacking
classical physics, for example, could not accurately explain the question of black body radiation
scientists sought a more accurate, ‘modern’ description of physics
Newtonian mechanics (based on universal absolutes) versus quantum mechanics (based on universal probabilities)
Development, growth, and evolution of physical science: from order (Scientific Revolution, The Enlightenment, and Age of Reason) to chaos (Age of Anxiety; World War I, II; breakdown and disintegration of the Enlightenment Order)
Considered by some to be the father of quantum mechanics deriving from his initial work on the problem of black body radiation, the formulation of Planck’s constant, and the articulation of Planck’s law of radiation; not all physicists cite Planck as the “founder” of quantum mechanics; some credit Albert Einstein as the founder of modern physics
Max Planck worked on the problem of describing black body radiation
Quantum mechanics involve principles derived from attempts to describe physical nature, or physical systems, at an atomic, or microscopic, scale; from these explorations, physicists observe both particle-like and wave-like behaviors of matter and radiation
Modern physicists attempted to predict the behavior of quantum material (atoms, molecules, photons, electrons, and other subatomic particles) in terms of probabilities whereas classical physicists predict certainties.
Albert Einstein: Theory of Relativity E = MC 2
Werner Heisenberg: Principle of Uncertainty, or Indeterminacy
Erwin Schrödinger Schrödinger equation is an equation that describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. It is as central to quantum mechanics as Newton’s laws are to classical physics .
Schrödinger's Cat : Dead or Alive? idea of entanglement: does the condition or state of the cat inside of the box depend on the observer? or, is the cat independent of the observer?
Niels Bohr Principle of complementarity : items can be analyzed separately as having contradictory properties (particle-like or wave-like)
Unified Field Theory
The unified field theory is an attempt to reconcile the infinite with the intimate mathematically .
A type of field theory that allows all of the fundamental forces between elementary particles to be written in terms of a single field. There is no accepted unified field theory yet, and this remains an open line of research.
A Theory of Everything is closely related to unified field theory, but differs by not requiring the basis of nature to be fields, and also attempts to explain all physical constants of nature.
chaos = unpredictability
The Butterfly Effect small variations of the initial conditions of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system
Does the act of observation alter or change the phenomena being observed?
refers to changes that the act of observation make on the phenomenon observed; often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure in some manner; the effect can be observed in the domain of physics
the simplest answer is the best answer; named after the 14th c. Franciscan friar, William of Ockham (Latin: lex parsimoniae ); also, law of parsimony, law of economy, law of succinctness; parsimony was an important principle in Einstein’s formulation of special relativity; Occam’s razor is a metaphysical (or, heuristic) preference, not a logical or scientific principle
Karl Popper’s concept of falsifiability
falsifiability : (also, refutability); Karl Popper’s assertion that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory is scientific only if it is falsifiable
entropy : measurement of the disorder of a system Rudolf Clausius originated the concept of entropy.
phase transition : transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase to another; at phase-transition point, physical properties may undergo abrupt change; for example, volume of the two phases may be vastly different; imagine transition of liquid water into vapor at boiling point; in common usage, the term is used to denote transitions between states (solid, liquid, gas) of matter; comparable to tipping point
thermodynamics : conversion of heat energy into other forms (esp. chemical, electronic, and mechanical); historically, thermodynamics developed out of need to increase the efficiency of early steam engines 1890s-vintage triple-expansion marine engine that powered the SS Christopher Columbus
The Manhattan Project (formal, Manhattan Engineer District, or MED )
project to develop the first nuclear weapon by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom during World War II; from 1942 to 1946 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the administration of General Leslie R. Groves; scientific research was led by J. Robert Oppenheimer and included many other prominent scientists such as Niels Bohr; a research team led by Enrico Fermi achieved the first man-made nuclear chain reaction in 1942, and in 1945 the world's first nuclear explosion was detonated at Trinity site; MED maintained control over U.S. weapons production until the formation of the Atomic Energy Commission in January, 1947
The mushroom cloud (r) over Nagasaki, Japan after the detonation of “Fat Man,” a gravity bomb (l), on August 9, 1945.
practical impact of modern physics and quantum mechanics : atom bombs; nuclear energy and power plants; advances in molecular and chemical biology; observation and description of DNA/RNA; space exploration; X-ray lasers, compact disc players, and bar code readers; transistors, computers and many, many other developments. Francis Crick, who along with James D. Watson co-discovered the molecular structure of DNA, was influenced by the work of physicist Erwin Schrödinger.
Nuclear energy : “The nation's oldest nuclear power plant…Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station…generates enough electricity to power 600,000 homes a year. It provides 9 percent of New Jersey's electricity. Oyster Creek's boiling-water reactor is considered obsolete by today's standards. It went online December 1, 1967.” [ Source: Wayne Parry, “Oldest US nuclear plant gets a new 20-year license.” (April 8, 2009), Associated Press.] Source : Diagram, map, and photo from The Press of Atlantic City (April 9, 2009)
apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations; named after atomic physicist Enrico Fermi who worked on the Manhattan Project
Two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional analogy of space-time curvature described in General Relativity.