Outline of physics
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to physics:
Physics – natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.
Nature of physics
Physics can be described as all of the following:
- An academic discipline – one with academic departments, curricula and degrees; national and international societies; and specialized journals.
- A scientific field (a branch of science) – widely-recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer-reviewed research is published. There are several geophysics-related scientific journals.
- A natural science – one that seeks to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world using empirical and scientific method.
Physics started with a philosophical commitment to simplicity. It should not be considered a difficult subject (although it is deep); one can learn classical physics on a playground, which describes the motion of balls, swings, slides and merry-go-rounds.
- Note: the Theory column below contains links to articles with infoboxes at the top of their respective pages which list the major concepts.
- Classical physics
- Fluid dynamics
- Quantum physics
- Theoretical physics
|General concepts||Gravity, light, physical system, physical observation, physical quantity, physical state, physical unit, physical theory, physical experiment|
|Theoretical concepts||Mass–energy equivalence, particle, physical field, physical interaction, physical law, fundamental force, physical constant, wave|
|Basic quantities||Space, length, time, mass, electric charge, energy, matter, potential energy, force, momentum, velocity, acceleration, entropy, temperature|
|Subfields||Acoustics, aerodynamics, classical mechanics, condensed matter physics, cosmology, dynamics, electromagnetism, hydrodynamics, kinematics, mathematical physics, mechanics, optics, plasma physics, quantum mechanics, relativity, statics, thermodynamics|
- Archimedes – discovered the laws of flotation and developed Archimedes' principle.
- Ibn al-Haytham – Father of optics and discovered reflection and refraction.
- Galileo Galilei – "Father of modern physics.".
- Isaac Newton – Laid the groundwork for classical mechanics, made significant contributions to the field of optics and co-invented calculus. Often considered the greatest physicist of all time.
- James Clerk Maxwell - Formulated a set of equations that united previously unrelated observations, experiments, and equations of electricity, magnetism, and optics into a consistent theory.
- Albert Einstein – Generally considered greatest scientist of the 20th century. Developed both the Special and General Theories of Relativity and proved the existence of atoms beyond doubt.
- Niels Bohr – made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics. Widely considered one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century.
- Robert Oppenheimer – "Father of the atomic bomb."
- Richard Feynman – Expanded the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and developed the tool known as Feynman diagrams.
- Stephen Hawking – made fundamental contributions to black hole physics and cosmology. Also authored popular books on these subjects.
- List of common physics notations
- List of equations in classical mechanics
- List of important publications in physics
- List of laws in science
- List of letters used in mathematics and science
- List of noise topics
- List of optical topics
- List of physicists
- List of scientific journals in physics
- List of scientific units named after people
- Index of wave articles
- Variables commonly used in physics
- Category:Concepts in physics
- Category:Physics-related lists
- Elementary physics formulae
- Glossary of classical physics
- List of physics concepts in primary and secondary education curricula
- Richard Feynman begins his Lectures with the atomic hypothesis, as his most compact statement of all scientific knowledge: "If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations ..., what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is ... that all things are made up of atoms – little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. ..." R.P. Feynman, R.B. Leighton, M. Sands (1963). The Feynman Lectures on Physics 1. p. I-2. ISBN 0-201-02116-1.
- J.C. Maxwell (1878). Matter and Motion. D. Van Nostrand. p. 9. ISBN 0-486-66895-9. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of events."
- H.D. Young, R.A. Freedman (2004). University Physics with Modern Physics (11th ed.). Addison Wesley. p. 2. "Physics is an experimental science. Physicists observe the phenomena of nature and try to find patterns and principles that relate these phenomena. These patterns are called physical theories or, when they are very well established and of broad use, physical laws or principles."
- S. Holzner (2006). Physics for Dummies. Wiley. p. 7. ISBN 0-470-61841-8. "Physics is the study of your world and the world and universe around you."
- Note: The term 'universe' is defined as everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them. However, the term 'universe' may also be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting concepts such as the cosmos or the philosophical world.
- Eminent scientists, Published by scholastic India pvt. Ltd.
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- AIP.org is the website of the American Institute of Physics
- IOP.org is the website of the Institute of Physics
- APS.org is the website of the American Physical Society
- SPS National is the website of the American Society of Physics Students
- CAP.ca is the website of the Canadian Association of Physicists
- EPS.org is the website of the European Physical Society
- Meta Institute for Computational Physics - Popular Talks
- Physics | Channel | MIT Video
- Theoretical Physics as a Challenge (website with outline of physics) by Gerard ‘t Hooft