What is Physics: Definition and 989 Discussions

Physics (from Ancient Greek: φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), romanized: physikḗ (epistḗmē), lit. 'knowledge of nature', from φύσις phýsis 'nature') 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.

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  1. QuantumOscillatorIII

    Hi, I'm Emil. I love physics.

    I'm not exactly sure what to post here, but I also like robotics?
  2. Gendibal

    Looking to start a new career in physics, need some advice

    Hello, I will start with some background, I'm 35, I have 2 bachelor's degrees: one in chemical engineering and the other in genetics/biotechnology. In my country there is no major/minor system, so I studied both careers at the same time in different colleges. You would say I have two majors. It...
  3. tellmesomething

    What am I doing wrong while solving problems?

    This site probably gets similar questions all the time, apologies if its too repetitive. I know the ultimate answer is to keep practicing, anything else is just a way of procrastination (including this post) but I feel like im doing something wrong somewhere. I'll explain this with an example...
  4. F

    The Giant Punching Problem

    So this may be a very simple problem to answer or a very stupid problem to even ask, but it’s something that I thought about and can’t quite figure it out. So my made up scenario is this. Say we have a normal sized man, and when he throws a punch it takes him one second to complete the act of...
  5. andrenepomuceno

    JavaScript Particle.js: Exploring Particle Physics with Web Technologies

    Hello everyone! I am excited to share my latest project, Particle.js, a simplified N-body particle physics simulation designed as an educational and experimental tool. This project is not intended to be a precise scientific instrument but rather a way for enthusiasts and learners to visualize...
  6. Nabir14

    B Is there any physics topic explaining how objects break into parts?

    I am curious to know if there is any existing topic explaining how objects break into several pieces when force is applied.
  7. Alyuji

    Science adventurer

    I have been looking for days for a physics community through social sites but they only have good memes. Hoping to learn and share meaningful things with this community.
  8. I

    Programs "Back door" into physics for a math major

    I have a BA in math. Took no physics courses. In the few years since I graduated I've self studied a lot of physics in my spare time and have a desire to pursue a formal education in it. I understand it would be almost impossible for me to get into a masters in physics unless I went back and...
  9. G

    Hello World!

    Hello everyone, I am very new to physics, I'll leave that at that for now. However I came here because I am in the process of coming up with a build for my own generator and honestly I loved electrical engineering just didn't have the ability to pursue it. Now I have been brainstorming and am...
  10. R

    Hi everybody

    Hi. I am new here as a participant, but I have been reading and studying from some answers in this forums (and many others of course) for different degree courses related to physics etc. Right now I am in a PhD in control systems and I am learning about systems modeling and control, and that is...
  11. E

    A Higher Ionization Energies Germanium

    Does anyone know where I can find all the ionization energies of Germanium? hbcp.chemnetbase.com shows only the first 5 and winter.group.shef.ac.uk only the first 21. I need them because I would like to reproduce a plot of the ionization of Germanium in a plasma. Since this plot exists I assume...
  12. Jovin Sanga

    Hello Physicists! I'm a new member

    I found Physics Forums via Google search. I'm a Tanzanian citizen pursuing a bachelor's degree in Physics (minor in Economics) at The Open University of Tanzania. I'm a first year undergrad. I'm glad to be a part of a huge community of like-minded people. I'm especially passionate about...
  13. RIJU101

    I Different results for the Range of a projectile

    May be It's a concept problem.
  14. andrewwade

    Physics Need career guidance after masters in physics

    Hey, some questions are bugging me about career choices available. First my background> Masters in physics from non programming type degree(remove c and matlab). So as you can see from above i have to do masters again for job prospects in america ,germany,uk,canada etc. Now questions are:what...
  15. Haia

    Hi everyone!

    Hi! I am happy to join this great community. I'm Haia, 24 y/o and own Masters degree in Physics. I would love to have friendly and proffesional conversations! :)
  16. joehellmers

    Computational Physicist

    Hello my fellow physics enthusiasts!
  17. seba_

    Complementary resources to Feynman Lectures

    Hi everyone! I've begun teaching myself physics with the Feynman Lectures books. However, I find the exercises so difficult. After reading a chapter, I struggle with how to approach the exercises effectively. I understand that this isn't an easy process, but I feel I need a deeper understanding...
  18. Maulik Chaudhary

    An Engineering student and a Life long learner!

    I want to be a member of this forum for the prime reason to learn about other aspects of physics that currently I am unaware of.
  19. sairoof

    Physics I'm struggling with my identity as a teacher (and no longer a physicist)

    Hi, I am a physics graduate but now I am teaching middle school science, I have been struggling because it seems that everyone is looking at me as a teacher rather than a physicist and the fact that I lost a lot of my ability to do physics only makes things worse. was anyone in a similar...
  20. slowclone

    For the future

    I hope this is the right forum right now I’m a 2nd year physics student in the United States and I’m really interested in nuclear/plasma physics. The thing is that I know the U.S. has great national labs to do internships at and good graduate schools here but I’m also interested in studying...
  21. ohwilleke

    B Why do people care about vacuum solutions in GR?

    I understand that there are vacuum solutions of the equations of general relativity (GR) (i.e. equations with no mass-energy content contributing to the stress-energy tensor), that are studied by physicists interested in GR. I don't understand why these are studied or what purpose they serve...
  22. Heisenberg7

    Is this the right community?

    For the past few months, I've been on a look out for the best physics community on the Internet and I've just come across this one. My primary goal is to gain as much knowledge as possible in the area of classical mechanics and electromagnetism in a year. I'm fairly new to magnetism, but I can't...
  23. Darmstadtium

    Admissions Direct Entry to PhD Program -- Advice Please

    I am a second-year combined honour in physics and math with prerequisites for 4th-year math courses. I am hoping for a direct entry (if possible) into a top US PhD physics program in quantum with a current unofficial cGPA of 3.9/4 (88%). Since I am in Canada, we only have percentage grades that...
  24. henricus

    Hey, new member is here!

    Hey guys, I am Henricus. You can call me Henry. This year (accurately 2024) I'm a middle schooler and i have an interest to physics, especially quantum physics & particle physics. If I had a chance, i would like to get a scholarship in theoretical physics. I've learnt Lagrangian and Hamiltonian...
  25. bkarvandi

    Hello Everyone. My name is Babak Karvandi.

    I was born 1963 and received my bachelor degree in Physics which I found it very attractive subject.
  26. g-r-a-e-m-e

    I think I might be bad at physics. I desperately want to get better.

    Hello! My name is Graeme and I'm pursuing a BS in Astrophysics. I have undergraduate degrees in business, economics, and analytics, and a Masters in business analytics. When I was nearing the completion of my MS, I rediscovered my love for science and enrolled in this BS program shortly after...
  27. Ignorantsmith12

    I'm Ignorantsmith, and I've come to be less ignorant.

    Hello, everyone. Thank you for allowing me to post on your forum. I am not good enough at math to become a physicist, but I love physics and found this forum through my Google searches. Hopefully, I can learn enough here just to call myself Smith
  28. mariahlorean

    uhhhh physics major (?)

    I’m a physics major (going to be a junior in the august) that would like to go into astrophysics!! I picked physics for a major bc i like knowing how things in our world work + i’m especially interested in space. I lowkey am just seeing where the wind blows me so I really don’t even have a fully...
  29. BubbaJoeLouis

    The Unified Theory of Energy

    If someone believes they have developed a somewhat unified theory that brings together various physics concepts into a Unified Theory of Energy, but they are concerned about being dismissed or criticized by members who strongly adhere to conventional academic views, where in the Physics Forum...
  30. R

    Maple Physics Package Question: Trouble contracting indices

    I have been using Maple for a decade, but only recently started using the Physics Package. I unfortunately ran into trouble to contract indices ( Maple calls it SumOverRepeatedIndices ). Below I give an example that will execute if you paste it into a Maple worksheet. A metric is defined. A...
  31. M

    Newbie to this site!

    Hi - AP Physics teacher here, from Florida. Happy to join in!
  32. Hauzen

    Force and torque question for two connected pipes

    Hi. I need your help! I have a college physics question Suppose there are pipes A and B. [Figure 1] I had to connect pipe B to pipe A, but pipe B was short, so I bent A by about 30 degrees and installed it. [Figure 2] It's a picture of the pipe A being installed by increasing the length in...
  33. dasf806

    New Member Introduction

    Good day to all. I'm a new member who is fascinated by and interested in physics, quantum mechanics, astronomy, and cosmology, though I never took classes during my schooling. Admittedly, I have basic math skills and worked hard to attain mediocrity in math classes (a living example of the law...
  34. W

    Diophantine equations and physics

    Hello, can anyone tell me about applications of Diophantine linear equations to physics?The only example that comes to mind is that of a series of weights. I have a measuring rod that is 40cm long and hinged in the middle. If I put a 40g weight at one end, how can I place 5g, 7g, 11g, 13g, 17g...
  35. D

    Hello All

    I have had a life long interest and fascination with physics and love to learn more about the different aspects of it. This forum is greatly appreciated for the wealth of knowledge and experience that is freely shared amongst the members. I apologize in advance for my child like wonder and...
  36. Ammaniya

    Hello, introducting myself!

    Hello everyone! My name is Amman, and I'm thrilled to join this vibrant community. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and share a bit about my background, interests, and what I hope to gain from being here. Background I hail from a small village in Pakistan, a place that holds a...
  37. J


    Hello Everyone. Thanks for accepting me as a member :smile: . The bar for joining was set exceptionally high, yet here I am! I am a phys grad, and read physics books when I have the time.
  38. S

    UK School Physics Exam from 1967

    For anyone interested in ‘what it used to be like’… Sifting through some old paperwork, I found one of my 1967 A-level physics exam’ papers. For those unfamiliar with UK ‘A-levels’ in 1967, they were national examinations generally taken in school at about age 18. Students typically studied 3...
  39. Abrar0

    Physics works and Im still alive!

    Hi everyone:oldsmile: I'm a third year physics student in Birzeit University, recently knew about PF, hoping this website can help me deepen more in the world of physics, also to dig in the computer science thing. I work at the observatory in my University as a member in it ( I present lectures...
  40. A

    Simple Static 3-Particle Model

    Diagram Integrate pressure for each particle: Add normal force and weight Sum all the forces in the x and y direction to get:
  41. Bilan

    Laser to burn insect

    What would be the ideal wavelength and power of a laser to kill an insect on human skin without burning the skin ?
  42. A

    Studying Understanding Physics -- in which way?

    I’ve heard at least a million times that you need to understand physics, but never actually understood in which way? When I study, I understand what the textbook says and how to apply it. But questioning why is it the way it is, usually confuses me and many times leaves me uncertain, I doubt it...
  43. L

    Measuring Acceleration on a Bike using Phyphox

    TL;DR Summary: how can I calculate the acceleration of a bike whilst using phyphox? Calling all physics lovers who are willing to lend a hand, Hello, I’m busy doing a physics project on the friction force on different surfaces, like asphalt, grass, etc. I need to measure the data using an app...
  44. Frabjous

    Retraction crisis?

    I was reading this article https://www.technologyreview.com/2024/05/15/1092535/a-wave-of-retractions-is-shaking-physics/ Are the numbers actually up? I am not saying that processes cannot be improved.
  45. S

    Hello, I am new member

    Hello everyone. Today I registered. I hope to share good times and learn interesting things. I live in Argentina, far from the main centers of scientific activity. It is a great experience to frequent Physycs Forums. Kind regards.
  46. R

    New Member - Thank you for the membership

    Hello to all, New to the forum, I'm not trained in the science of physics. I typically get focused on a singular topic (not unlike the fictional Columbo character), conduct experiments then attempt to compose organized questions and really appreciate the more knowledgeable who are willing to...
  47. B

    Textbook 'The Physics of Waves': Reason to force us to consider complex solution for harmonic motion?

    TL;DR Summary: The reason to force us consider complex solution for harmonic motion. Reference textbook “The Physics of Waves” in MIT website: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/8-03sc-physics-iii-vibrations-and-waves-fall-2016/resources/mit8_03scf16_textbook/ Chapter 1 - Section 1.3 (see attached...