Can anyone defines physics?

  • #1
alex fregol
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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
yourdadonapogostick
270
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the study of the behaviour of matter/energy and spacetime?
 
  • #3
I would say it's more along the lines of the study of how physical systems change.
 
  • #4
neurocomp2003
1,366
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studying anythign the scale of chemistry or smaller.
 
  • #5
marlon
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The study of conservation of energy in the universe

marlon
 
  • #6
Gokul43201
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Physics : It's what the physicists do ! :biggrin:

Why is this in QM ? I'm moving it to GP.
 
  • #7
seratend
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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
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Physics: The study of matter, energy, and space time
 
  • #9
cliowa
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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
da_willem
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Physics: the study of the lifeless nature
 
  • #11
darkar
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Physics is the method we using to explain what we observed.
 
  • #12
Perspicacious
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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
inha
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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
Berislav
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I personally prefere the following definition: physics is mathematics constrained by objective observable reality.
 
  • #15
Knavish
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Study and analysis of nature.
 
  • #16
da_willem
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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
Brad Barker
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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
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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
darkar
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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
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Is the pouring of HCl into NaOH not an interaction ?
 
  • #21
Jelfish
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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
Locrian
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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
yourdadonapogostick
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"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
---Ernest Rutherford.
 
  • #24
Gza
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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
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Or more correctly, it is that science which is not stamp collecting ! :approve:
 
  • #26
darkar
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Physics is the reasoning of the effect we obeserved, we feel. Physics is also like a language, which enable us to communicate more smoothly and more details between each other. And we use Physics to explain those phenomena into words, mathematics and law.
 
  • #27
marlon
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Guys, why make it so difficult. I mean, the basic principle of all physics is conservation of total energy. It just has different manifestations but in the end can't we just say physics is the study of total energy conservation in the universe ?

marlon
 
  • #28
preet0283
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study of how nature works ...basically the reasons behind the proceedings of the phenomenon around us ...and that 2 mathematically ...don't forget the famous quote "god must b a mathematician"
 
  • #29
zanazzi78
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Physics is the study of how and why things interact the way they do and in order to understand why something interact you need to understand the object that is doing the interacting! so a further vote for matter, energy, (the way these two interact; even thought they are kinda the same thing!) and the stage it`s all played out on ... spacetime!
 
  • #30
Antiphon
1,683
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Simple. Physics is Man's ongoing organized and peer-reviewed
attempt to understand and explain the natural word.
 
  • #31
Crosson
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Physics is the study of things and the way they move; in the sense that all there are are things, and all they do is move.
 
  • #32
Ratzinger
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how about this?

physics deals with the very small and with bulk of matter, that means time-reversible/ non-historical processes and purely statiscally processes
 
  • #33
pmb_phy
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Why do you guys like to make life difficult? :tongue:

Physics is the study of nature - Period.

Pete
 
  • #34
Gokul43201
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pmb_phy said:
Why do you guys like to make life difficult? :tongue:

Physics is the study of nature - Period.

Pete
Then what are chemistry and biology ?

I say physics is the science that deals with things that are easy to calculate from first principles.
 
  • #35
Pi_314B
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Physics is the study of physical bodies and their motion. Unfortunately there are no physical bodies to study. Funny how that works. Someday in the not to distant future, physics will be scrapped in favor of the study of conceptual entities and their motion.


You heard it here first.
 

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