Kinetics (physics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In physics and engineering, kinetics is the branch of classical mechanics that is concerned with the relationship between the motion and its causes, specifically, forces and torques.[1][2][3] Since the mid-20th century, the term "dynamics" (or "analytical dynamics") has largely superseded "kinetics" in physics textbooks,[4] though the term is still used in engineering.

In plasma physics, kinetics refers to the study of continua in velocity space. This is usually in the context of non-thermal (non-Maxwellian) velocity distributions, or processes that perturb thermal distributions. These "kinetic plasmas" cannot be adequately described with fluid equations.

The term kinetics is also used to refer to chemical kinetics, particularly in chemical physics and physical chemistry.[5][6][7][8][9] In such uses, a qualifier is often used or implied, for example: "physical kinetics", "crystal growth kinetics", and so on.


  1. ^ kinetics. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  2. ^ Louis Adolphe Martin (1907). Text-book of Mechanics. Wiley. p. Section X, pp. 69ff.
  3. ^ Kinetics must not be confused with kinematics, the study of motion without consideration of the physical circumstances causing it (see, e.g., Edmund Taylor Whittaker (1988). A Treatise on the Analytical Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies (Reprint of the Fourth Edition of 1936 with a foreword by William McCrea ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. Chapter 1. ISBN 0-521-35883-3.), which is a separate branch of classical mechanics.
  4. ^ See this discussion.
  5. ^ Lifshitz, E. M.; Pitaevskii, L. P.; Sykes, J. B.; Franklin, R.N. (1981). Physical Kinetics. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-2635-6.
  6. ^ Alexeev, Boris V.; Alexeev (2004). Generalized Boltzmann Physical Kinetics. Elsevier. ISBN 0-444-51582-8.
  7. ^ Gorelik, G. E.; N. V. Pavlyukevish; V. V. Levdansky; V. G. Leitsina; G. I. Rudin (1995). Physical Kinetics and Transfer Processes in Phase Transitions. Begell House. ISBN 1-56700-044-4.
  8. ^ Krainov, Vladimir P.; Kevin Hendzel (1992). Qualitative Methods in Physical Kinetics and Hydrodynamics. Springer. ISBN 0-88318-953-4.
  9. ^ American Chemical Society, Division of Physical Chemistry (1976). Evolution of Kinetics: A Centennial Symposium of the Division of Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society. American Chemical Society.