Can anyone defines physics?

  • #1
Today, my lecturer asked us to define physics. No one give a very obvious and correct answer to the lecturer. Can anyone here give me the best defination of the meaning of physics?? Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
the study of the behaviour of matter/energy and spacetime?
 
  • #3
MalleusScientiarum
I would say it's more along the lines of the study of how physical systems change.
 
  • #4
1,356
2
studying anythign the scale of chemistry or smaller.
 
  • #5
3,763
8
The study of conservation of energy in the universe

marlon
 
  • #6
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
Physics : It's what the physicists do ! :biggrin:

Why is this in QM ? I'm moving it to GP.
 
  • #7
318
1
Another very personal/anthropomorphic view : ):

Physics is the use of logic for both the description and the prediction of the objects of our environment.

Seratend
 
  • #8
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
15
Physics: The study of matter, energy, and space time
 
  • #9
191
0
I think, physics is concerned with the (temporary) state of things. That includes searching for the basic laws of nature and their interacrion. Chemistry is concerned with how things change (on a bigger scale, of course).
 
  • #10
599
1
Physics: the study of the lifeless nature
 
  • #11
181
0
Physics is the method we using to explain what we observed.
 
  • #12
alex fregol said:
Can anyone here give me the best definition of the meaning of physics?? Thanks
Physics is the mathematical study of all conceivable universes. A universe is a mathematical model that describes spacetime, matter, energy and their interactions. Think of each model universe as filling one page in the atlas of all possible universes.

“Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, ... But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics.” - Galileo Galilei.
 
  • #13
574
0
da_willem said:
Physics: the study of the lifeless nature
what's biophysics doing as a subdiscipline of physics then? or soft condensed matter physics whichs studies plenty of organic materials?
 
  • #14
238
0
I personally prefere the following definition: physics is mathematics constrained by objective observable reality.
 
  • #15
113
1
Study and analysis of nature.
 
  • #16
599
1
inha said:
what's biophysics doing as a subdiscipline of physics then? or soft condensed matter physics whichs studies plenty of organic materials?
Since when is an organic material alive?
 
  • #17
429
0
Knavish said:
Study and analysis of nature.
that's a bit too broad of a definition. that's...more of a definition of science in general. :tongue:

another vote for the study of matter, energy, and spacetime. :biggrin:
 
  • #18
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,847
4,663
Brad Barker said:
that's a bit too broad of a definition. that's...more of a definition of science in general. :tongue:

another vote for the study of matter, energy, and spacetime. :biggrin:
Actually, the broad definition of what science is has more in common with the definition of what physics is, than it does with chemistry and biology. For example, if we go by the question of "What is Science" as addressed by the APS statement below:

http://www.aps.org/statements/99_6.cfm

One would see that this would not make any difference if one replaces "Science" with "physics".

Zz.
 
  • #19
181
0
Well, this is what i got from Answers.com.

answers.com said:
1. (used with a sing. verb) The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics.
2. (used with a pl. verb) Physical properties, interactions, processes, or laws: the physics of supersonic flight.
3. (used with a sing. verb) Archaic. The study of the natural or material world and phenomena; natural philosophy.
Seems like the point is that Physics is the study of the interactions.
 
  • #20
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
Is the pouring of HCl into NaOH not an interaction ?
 
  • #21
142
4
As it was called back in Newton's day, physics is the philosophy of nature. I like the idea of it being a philosophy rather than just a study because it implies that there is some inherent structure and rationality.
 
  • #22
1,834
205
seratend said:
Another very personal/anthropomorphic view : ):

Physics is the use of logic for both the description and the prediction of the objects of our environment.

Seratend
I liked this one. Except I would replace "logic" with "mathematics." I believe the strong (edit: I think "extensive" is a better word than strong) use of math is an important separating factor between physics and many other sciences.
 
Last edited:
  • #23
"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
---Ernest Rutherford.
 
  • #24
Gza
437
0
yourdadonapogostick said:
"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
---Ernest Rutherford.
so i guess in the vein of what Mr. Rutherford was getting at, I would define physics to NOT be stamp collecting :smile: .
 
  • #25
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
Or more correctly, it is that science which is not stamp collecting !! :approve:
 

Related Threads on Can anyone defines physics?

Replies
18
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
25
Views
5K
Top