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Can Someone give me a good despriction of Classical Physics?

  1. Apr 7, 2012 #1
    Also, what are some good resources for learning ABOUT physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2012 #2
    I would say that specifically what "classical" means depends on the context, with what is classical being contrasted. In a more general way we could probably say something like, classical physics is not quantum and not relativistic. To say that in language for people unaware of the meanings of quantum and relativity we could say, classical physics deals with things that aren't too small and that don't move too fast. Events take place on the universal Newtonian stage (as opposed to relative inertial frames of reference) and the results are deterministic. As my description gets more specific there is more of a chance it's wrong, because like I said context matters. I am tempted to say that classical physics is the physics of your everyday life, but the degree to which we have integrated modern technologies into our daily lives probably makes this inaccurate. I hope this helps.

    As for learning about physics, it depends on what you are trying to learn, what your current knowledge is. If you're trying to pique interest in a young mind about physics, without getting in formulas and mathematics, there are some great books by Feynman for that (QED, 6 Easy Pieces, etc.) The Feynman Lectures are a series of volumes you will find on pretty much every educated physicists bookshelf, but these are not for the laymen per se. If you want to get into the "work" of physics I personally find getting a legit textbook on science topics and working through them invaluable when introducing my mind to a new field. If you're looking for online lectures I'll recommend MIT OpenCourseWare and the Kahn Academy.

    Kahn Academy Physics Playlist:

    MIT OCW Physics:
  4. Apr 7, 2012 #3
    I suggest Giancoli book its pretty great to get started I am currently learning from it. It has basic physics not including calculus and 80 question in the end of each section plus khan academy is great aswell. I am currently learning from khan and Giancoli 6 edition book.
  5. Apr 8, 2012 #4


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    I'd define classical physics as any physics which is not quantum, i.e., an approximation whose validity is constrained by the quantum nature of all Natural Laws.

    General Relativity is the most complete theory describing all phenomena within this validity domain of classical physics. Special relativity is the approximation where all gravitational effects can be neglected, and Newtonian physics describes systems where gravity is only very weak and all velocities are much smaller than the universal speed of relativistic physics (which is with very high accuracy identical with the phase velocity of electromagnetic waves in the vacuum).
  6. Apr 8, 2012 #5
    Thank you all, those reply satisfy me :)
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