Physics (from Ancient Greek: φυσική (ἐπιστήμη) phusikḗ (epistḗmē) "knowledge of nature", from φύσις phúsis "nature") is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. One of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, the main goal of physics is to understand how the universe behaves.[a]
Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of astronomy. Over the last two millennia, physics was a part of natural philosophy along with chemistry, biology, and certain branches of mathematics, but during the scientific ...view middle of the document...
* 3.2Modern physics
* 3.3Difference between classical and modern physics
* 4Relation to other fields
* 4.2Application and influence
* 5.1Scientific method
* 5.2Theory and experiment
* 5.3Scope and aims
* 5.4Research fields
* 5.4.1Particle physics
* 5.4.2Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
* 5.4.3Condensed matter physics
* 6Current research
* 7See also
* 11External links
Main article: History of physics
Main article: History of astronomy
Ancient Egyptian astronomy is evident in monuments like the ceiling of Senemut's tomb from the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt.
Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. The earliest civilizations dating back to beyond 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, and the Indus Valley Civilization, all had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars. The stars and planets were often a target of worship, believed to represent their gods. While the explanations for these phenomena were often unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for later astronomy.
According to Asger Aaboe, the origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, and all Western efforts in the exact sciences are descended from late Babylonian astronomy. Egyptian astronomers left monuments showing knowledge of the constellations and the motions of the celestial bodies, while Greek poet Homer wrote of various celestial objects in his Iliad and Odyssey; later Greek astronomers provided names, which are still used today, for most constellations visible from the northern hemisphere.
Main article: Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy has its origins in Greece during the Archaic period, (650 BCE – 480 BCE), when Pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales rejected non-naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena and proclaimed that every event had a natural cause. They proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, and many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment; for example, atomism was found to be correct approximately 2000 years after it was first proposed by Leucippus and his pupilDemocritus.
Physics in the medieval Islamic world
Main article: Physics in the medieval Islamic world
The basic way a pinhole camera works
Islamic scholarship had inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further, especially placing emphasis on observation anda priori reasoning, developing early forms of the scientific method.
The most notable innovations were in the field of Optics and vision, which came from the works of many...