# Talk:Physics/Archive 8

 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

## Welcome

I have just reverted a good faith edit by an anon. editor. First, anon, I encourage you to take a user name so that we might talk on the same 'wavelength'. But however you wish to contribute, it would be good to cite some sources for reasoning. The mechanics for this is the <ref>Note: your note here (with page numbers please).</ref>, which then appears in the <references/> section. You are welcome to add your content with a good citation from a respected source. Once you have a source to cite, I personally have found it useful to use the {{harvnb|Physicist|Year|PageNumber}} template, where the citation is of the form {{Citation|first=Good|last=Physicist|year=1905|title=On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light|journal=Annalen der Physik|volume=17|pages=132–148}}. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 01:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

## Torsian field

Hi there,

I did not have time to read guidelines, I hope I don't offend any one. Can anyone tell a little more about this. I am interested in Remote viewing and one of the fields it mentions is "torsian". Not sure how to get reply so:

Cheers —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.194.75.209 (talk) 11:46, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes it's called pseudoscience. They make up phrases for non-existant phenomena and use buzz words such as quantum to make it sound as if it were real science. My personal suggestion is that you completely ignore this and concentrate on reality. Torsian is likely a misspelling of torsion maybe that'll help... 62.31.149.64 (talk) 15:40, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

See Torsion field. -- 12:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

## Criticism section proposed

The article should include criticism. Modern physics seems to stagnate, there have been nothing really new and groundbreaking since year 1947 of the transistor. Especially if we compare with biology/medicine, the current hot topic, phsyics does not seem to bring a good return of investment. Whatever we have today, like CPU are merely works of engineering reusing pre-1948 basic knowledge with great refinement, but it has no connection to basic physics science achieved since then.

Modern phisycs equipment like giant accelerator rings costs billions to make, yet results are nowhere near as revolutionary as achieved for relativity and quantum mechanics using little more than chalk and blackboard. Although there are still world-famous celebrities in physics, like Stephen Hawking, their contribution is not as significant as Einstein's or Schrodinger's were, at least not for the ordinary laymen.

What is wrong with modern physics? Lack of prominent individuals, lack of good leadership or have we simply reached the limit of our human brains and only a megacomputer AI could create a successful "theory of all"? What is the future of physics?

All these issues could be addressed under a separate criticism section. 82.131.210.162 (talk) 18:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, revolutionary things are happening every day. I suggest you pick up a copy of Nature, Science, or the Physical Review rather than getting your physics from the newspaper.--Loodog (talk) 18:25, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Or even our own History of physics article.--Loodog (talk) 03:48, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Or Physics announced July 17, 2008 by the American Physical Society. There is also a free RSS feed of selected Physical Review Letters to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 09:15, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm also guessing you haven't heard of CERN, who is developing the new Large Hadron Collider, which will give us insight as to how the Big Bang occurred? Come on, this one was even in the newspaper! —Preceding unsigned comment added by ThunderBuns (talkcontribs) 19:43, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

## String Theory

Where is it in the article?!!!!!!!!!! Yosef1987 (talk) 23:27, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

We need some physical predictions. Right now we have a theory which is the moral equivalent of the mythical central mountain of North America, whose rivers ran North, South, East and West, for reasons of symmetry. It took exploration to conclude that this mountain did not exist. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 17:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
But it is still a big part of theoretical physics and should be mentioned; could be wrong I dunno Yosef1987 (talk) 11:16, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
There are umpteen different proposed theories of quantum gravity, and illustrating them all in the article wouldn't be terribly useful, nor I can see any reason to choose any particular such theory. But a section about the most important unsolved problems in physics (and maybe a brief mention of the solutions of them considered more likely by mainstream scientists) should be added. -- 14:07, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

## What should we do with the development article?

It hasn't been edited since June. Should we replace the current Physics article with that one? -- 13:24, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

...but apparently that article had no substantial edits since September 2007. I'm removing the mention of that article on the top of this page. -- 19:03, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that article was better than this one in many aspects. I'll try to integrate stuff from there to here. -- 19:10, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
OK No I liked the old version before you did the BRD; it states in the BRD that people may STRONGLY DISAGREE with you and I know at least I do.
If you want to merge that article into the original please just add the additional content you created; don't delete the entire article.
and please do not remove the lovely little meissner effect picture, first there was the copyright issue, now this--GlasGhost (talk) 18:40, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, I expected that someone would revert that change, and I was somewhat surprised that nobody did. (BTW, I created no additional content myself, the new page was taken from Talk:Physics/wip/development_article. The last revision of the article before my change is http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Physics&oldid=235648606. -- 18:58, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I propose replacing the Hydrogen orbitals rendering with the Meissner effect image. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 00:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for putting the meissner image back up. I have also come to a conlcusion that you could name the old article; "Branches of physics"
and the new article preceded by an arbitrary un-collapsed list of physics garble; "actual talk about what physics is, followed by insert history of physics here"
I hope we can some how condense, keep, merge the old stuff with the new stuff, I'm gonna do something interesting and put the old article at the location of the article in development and see where we can go from there.--GlasGhost (talk) 01:47, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

## Unintended anthropromorphism / hint of 'intelligent design'?

I was drawn to copyedit the section 'Scope and Goals' as the concept of the Universe making a choice didn't seem appropriate phraseology in the following: "As an example, we can consider asking the following question on the nature of the Universe itself: how many dimensions do we need? Given that we know the Universe to consist of four dimensions (three space dimensions, and one time dimension), we can also ask why the universe picked those particular numbers: why not have four space dimensions? The fact that a choice was made out of a possibility of many means that questions like these fall under the scope of physics."

The new text I posted at 21:28, 23 September 2008 while accidentally not logged in (sorry folks - 82.99.29.112 was me sitting in a hotel in Stockholm) got reverted almost immediately by Vsmith. No problem with that in principle (though some reasons that would contribute to a debate on improving this important article would be helpful, rather than an uncommented revert). However, now the phraseology that inspired me to start copy editing has returned. I'll just leave this hanging for now and invite comments on whether the 'Scope and Goals' section does need a re-edit along the lines I suggested. Hugh Mason (talkcontribs 23:04, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The editor who wrote those lines is a professional physicist; what he was trying to convey in non-technical language was the solution of a functional equation; given ${\displaystyle 10^{120}}$  possibilities, collapse into a solution which is 3-dimensional in space and 1-dimensional in time, thus guaranteeing the form of the law of universal gravitation, etc., etc. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 00:52, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
The pathetic fallacy is common in explanations of physics without any ID implication. It makes the language more interesting and everybody knows what's meant. Compare:
1. "we can also ask why the universe picked those particular numbers" to "we can also ask why the universe wound up with those particular numbers".
2. "The fact that a choice was made out of a possibility of many means that questions like these fall under the scope of physics" to "The fact that one set of parameters resulted out of a possibility of many means that questions like these fall under the scope of physics."
Something's missing from the non-pathetic fallacied examples.--Loodog (talk) 02:40, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Ancheta Wis and Loodog. That's fascinating. In a previous career I was a full time professional science communicator making TV documentaries for the BBC and Discovery etc for ten years. While I am well aware of anthropromorphism in popular science communication (I'm an old hand at it myself), I hadn't realised that John 'OMG my wife's got pubic hair' Ruskin had coined a phrase for it ;-) My reading (and I may be wrong) of the article on the pathetic fallacy here in Wikipedia is that that its widespread use is now outdated. For what it's worth (and it is only my post-professional opinion) I find the pathetic fallacy a slightly patronising conceit but, if the concensus amongst WP authors and readers out there is that I'm wrong, let's go with it. Comments please. Hugh Mason (talkcontribs 06:46, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Hugh Mason, thank you for your edits to the article. They are welcome. If you have a way for the article to become more accessible, perhaps you can add to the article, or to the talk page if other issues impede the readership of the article. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 16:07, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I too have some problems with this section as written. Firstly the anthropomorphism is inappropriate in this context as it can lead to misunderstandings, I am not wholly against it but in a section about scope and goals it can easily be taken too literally.
Similar misunderstandings may also be provoked by the use of terms such as 'understand'. Physics is about giving an accurate (agrees with experiment) quantitative description of the world. It does not address fundamental issues of 'why' (from a philosophical or even religious perspective) things are how they are. Used of the word 'understand can imply to some that physics does attempt to address issues that belong in the realm of philosophy or religion. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:42, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes; physics is about precision and accuracy, which are not exactly the same concepts. But definition is fundamental. It is possible to understand or define something precisely without necessarily knowing a numerical value, merely knowing its type (the unit of measure) for a scalar value. At times, the simple order of magnitude of a scalar number is great progress for our understanding. So for example, the phenomenological parameters — mass, charge, spin, isospin, etc. — in total seem to characterize our understanding of the universe, but the observation that they are mass nouns tells us that something is being swept under the rug when we characterize the laws of nature. As we become aware that there is something else we do not understand, in the march Inward Bound (Abraham Pais' history of physics in the twentieth century), new classes of object are being postulated, sought, and sometimes discovered. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 16:07, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Martin Hogbin, thank you; please feel free to contribute as you see fit. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 16:07, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

## clarification tag

On the clarification tag for Oldest science: astronomy, Oldest writings: mathematics -

The section notes that the astronomical data for the positions of the stars and the motion of Earth is the oldest known data, dating back 5000 years, easily the oldest scientific data. The clarifyme tag, I believe, applies to mathematical notations such as the Ishango bone, dating back 20000 years, while other bones have marks possibly twice as old. If the second sentence (about mathematics) were dropped, then the tag could be dropped. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 10:45, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Per WP:MOS I am dropping the 2nd sentence mentioned above and consolidating into 4 paragraphs. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 13:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

The link on external link, on the little rectangle in which is written:"Wikibooks' Wikiversity has more about this subject:School of Physics" seems to be broken or the page was canceled. --Aushulz (talk) 00:17, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

## Etymology

• I think because of the broadness of the topic, you should include the etymology...and how the world view from ancient greek is evolving into modern ones..thank you.che (talk) 08:45, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
• There was an Etymology section, but it consisted of a single sentence explaining the Greek translation and it dosn't seem like theres much else to say here.(the relation to the Greeks is already discussed in the History section). In the interest of following the Manual of Style and keeping the article concise, I removed the section. The etymology is explained in the lead, and interested readers can click on Physis for more info. Danski14(talk) 20:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
• Another thing is if you refer to the book..Physics is not just study about matter and the motion..it is the interaction between matter and energy that counts..che (talk) 08:48, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

There has been a lot of back-and-forth edit warring on whether links to the Perimiter Institute should be included on this page, followed by a series of templated warning messages on the talk page of the user who added them. But I don't see any discussion by anyone on whether the links are appropriate or not -- it's not at all obvious that they should be removed, because they do seem to contain some interesting resources on physics. I do suspect the ultimate decision will be that the links aren't critical enough to include -- after all, there are a lot of outreach pages in the world, and we don't want our links too long -- but I think the user adding the links deserves more of an explanation. -- SCZenz (talk) 15:29, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Adding the link to the external links sections seems to be this account's single-purpose, so there definitely is a conflict of interest here. See this evidence: "Position: Marketing/Special Projects Manager" - DVdm (talk) 17:26, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Still, I'd encourage everyone to put a little more effort into explanation. Science outreach, including promoting scientific institutions and the resources they provide, is a good thing, and I'm involved in it myself. It don't think the user in question is trying to abuse Wikipedia, she's just not familiar with our rules and culture. Reading through the templated warnings, I think what the user has not yet received is a personal explanation that explains why we don't like what she's trying to do; she deserves one. -- SCZenz (talk) 18:16, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps in the proper context, links to relevant parts residing on this site can be acceptable through inline references, but as this is a commercial site (with marketing managers and all that), i.m.o. a bare link to the home page should be kept out of the external links section of any article. Or am I missing something here? DVdm (talk) 19:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
You're absolutely missing something, yes. Take a look at Perimeter Institute; they're an academic institute, not a "commercial site." And again, I want to emphasize that even if they links aren't appropriate, I still urge everyone to explain better. -- SCZenz (talk) 20:28, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Using a marketing manager to add links suggests otherwise, but YMMV. DVdm (talk) 21:59, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I would agree that this does not appear to be a commercial site. However, the editor in question has added the link to 16 articles-- there certainly appears to be an intent to promote the institution, which suggests that the links have not been added with the primary intent to improve the articles they have been added to. Note that the very first warning to the user indicates that links should not be "used for advertising or promotion". In my experience, users with this kind of edit history almost never turn out to be interested in anything other than promoting their institution, especially when they simply readd their links without attempting discussion with the removing editor.
So sure, you could try a lengthier explanation of the problem, and sure, some of these links might pass muster in some articles, but I, for one, don't have the time or inclination (or even expertise) to examine each one. I'd say the best option to present the spammer editor would be to discuss it on the article's talk page, as was suggested on the second talk page message (and apparently ignored). I certainly don't think the editor should be allowed to readd the links directly, as per wp:coi.
Finally, while "promoting scientific institutions and the resources they provide, [may be] a good thing", using Wikipedia for promotion is definitely not a good thing. -- Mwanner | Talk 22:38, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Opps . . . SCZenz was absolutely correct about my lack of knowledge regarding the uses of editing and adding links and although I am "Marketing Manager" for Perimeter Institute i am really more a communications person. I was not meaning to use Wikipedia for any other motive except that I was enthusiastic about being able to finally contribute something to Wikipedia after reading through some of the modern physics sites. I also hadn't seen many of the templated warnings until today so missed them as I was re-entering the links. I apologize for this and am better educated now about the culture, etc. Yes, Perimeter is a not-for-profit organization with the mandate to educate the public about Modern Physics. Perhaps the better approach would be for me to use my expertise in the field to enhance some of the modern physics topics on wikipedia and will do that in future. Great work everyone in examining this that's why this is the best site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stsang (talkcontribs) 19:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, good luck and please accept my apologies for the biting. Cheers, DVdm (talk) 19:56, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

## HyperPhysics at Georgia State University

I would like to see "HyperPhysics" the Georgia State University web site added to the external links. (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/hframe.html) A search of Wikipedia does reveal that an article to HyperPhysics is included in the encyclopedia. I would like a link added to the general physics page as I find it has much to offer in providing understanding and insight to the topic of physics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dogsinlove (talkcontribs)

Agree - Although wikipedia is not a collection of external links, I guess this site qualifies as acceptable. AFAIAC, go ahead. - DVdm (talk) 16:24, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I am happy enough with that, HP was one of the earlier and generally well regarded physics websites on the web, it would seem to deserve a link from the article given how detailed it is, with its mind-map style structure fitting in well as a physics resource readers might like. Be Bold and add it! SFC9394 (talk) 16:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Replaced a broken link with the recommendation. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 17:47, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

## Image of dynamical equations

The article contains an image showing Newton's dynamical equations (usually called Newton's Laws of Motion). According to the image the first law is p=mv. I have never seen this definition of the first law anywhere. In fact every other source gives a completely unrelated definition for the first law. The image is clearly wrong. I tried to remove the image (with an explantion) but the change was reverted. Does anyone else agree that the image should be removed? 80.221.37.96 (talk) 21:40, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

It comes from Sander Bais (2005), The Equations: icons of knowledge p. 23 ISBN 0-674-01967-9 Harvard Univ. Press
Bais is professor of physics at Univ. of Amsterdam. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 23:59, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok. Still, I could give 10 sources that gives another definition of the first law. I guess I should check how it is given in Principia. 80.221.37.96 (talk) 06:14, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
It's not Newton's first law of motion. Newton was standing on the shoulders of Galileo for the first law; Galileo was fighting Aristotle at this time in the development of physics, and the definition of momentum that Newton gave (labelled 1 in the image) is actually buried in Galileo's writings. User:Krea states it nicely: Newton's first law shows that we can find a rest frame. See D'Alembert's principle for more on this. To show that Galileo understood the issue of rest frames, see Galileo (1632), Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, the Second Day, where Salviati discusses the motion of a ship's cargo from Venice to Aleppo: "If, from the cargo in the ship, a sack were shifted from a chest one single inch, this alone would be more of a movement for it than the two-thousand-mile journey made by all of them together." --Ancheta Wis (talk) 13:17, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
But isn't it terribly misleading to put it next to NII and NIII in that case? It certainly gives the impression that it's supposed to show NI. And why does it link to the laws of motion if the image isn't supposed to represent them? 80.221.37.96 (talk) 15:58, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the comments about the image of the dynamical equations. I think its very misleading in equating them to Newton's 3 Laws, especially since it links to Newton's 3 law of motion. Also, this may be just me, but does anyone else think that the notation of the 3 laws could be improved as well? I am quite fond of the dot notation myself in derivations, but I think it is more suggestive to include it in the d(mv)/dt form, especially consider it is an equation of motion. Also, on the classical mechanics pages for wikipedia I think that the arrow notation is more common for vectors rather than bold typeface, so that might be a nice change too. Dgiraffes (talk) 07:09, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

## My edits

Some of the editors around here may have noticed that the "theories" and "research fields" sections are back. I merged these in from the development article (which is now actually a copy of the physics article from a few months ago, if I understand correctly). In the process I had to trim them down to remove redundant or unnecessary information. I was appalled at the state the physics article had degraded to, with sloppy prose and lots of trivia and bias. There were also some serious errors, such as the assertion that Dirac was responsible for QED, and that all of statistical mechanics derives from the modeling of atoms as hard spheres. I did cut out a few things, which I will justify here. The material cut out was seen as redundant or just poorly written, and was in the interest of making the page more readable and not overly long.

• The last sentences of the lead were removed, one talked about theory vs experiment and seemed redundent with the paragraph below, and was horribly written (see [1]), as well as a random blurb on the virtues of electron miscrocopy.
• The few sentences on "how many dimensions are there"? from the introduction. These seemed to give a biased view... it is very interesting, but gives an inaccurate view up front, because very few physicists are actually concerned with such abstractions. Also, the concept is already mentioned in the section on theorists, where it says "Beyond the known universe, the field of theoretical physics also deals with hypothetical issues,[11] such as parallel universes, a multiverse, and higher dimensions. Physicists speculate on these possibilities, and from them, hypothesize theories."
• Etymology section : as I mentioned above, this consisted of a single sentence, and it didn't appear there was much else to say. Per the manual of style, it was too short to have its own section. The Etymology is explained in the lead, and readers can click physis for more info.
• Applied physics list -- the list was removed as un-sightly, redundant, and as I understand, lists are generally frowned upon. If readers click on Applied Physics, there is a nice handy list there. A lot of the things on that list were questionable, also. I do think this section needs work still.
• The picture of the Hexagonal Cloud on Saturn was removed, in lieu of new pictures.

The tables on theories and research areas are now hidden. I remember these were removed in the past as too unencyclopedic. I think having them hidden is a good trade off. I also corrected a lot of grammar errors and added a few new tidbits of information. The main thing still needing copyediting is the history section. Danski14(talk) 18:56, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Good improvements. (Or is it un-unimprovements?) The history section still sucks, and is still too long, which were good reasons for removing it a couple years ago. Why the hell is there a section in an encyclopedia titled "Physics is quantitative"? 68.39.126.203 (talk) 17:15, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

## 1st sentence of article

Physics (Greek: physis – φύσις meaning "nature") is the natural science which examines basic concepts such as mass, charge, matter[1] and its motion and all that derives from these, such as energy, force, and spacetime.[2]

I Don't understand how space or time is a derivative of matter and motion as; matter is described as "anything that has mass and takes up space" and motion is controlled by time if time progresses things move according to time not themselves. Furthermore the word mass and charge are redundant as mass is part of the definition of matter, and charge is determined by the matter itself (number of protons and electrons).

I propose the new revision be as follows:

Physics (Greek: physis – φύσις meaning "nature") is the natural science which is the study of matter[1] and its motion through spacetime and all that derives from these, such as energy and force.[3] --Glas (talk) 22:48, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Mass and charge are properties of matter, not definitions of it BTW. The "anything that has mass and takes up space" definition has to be revised in the face of quantum mechanics. However, that being said, I agree that the first sentence could be improved. I would tweak your sentence to this:

Physics (Greek: physis – φύσις meaning "nature") is the natural science which studies matter, its properties, its motion through spacetime, and all related concepts, such as energy and force.[4]

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that is definitely an improvement. Matter (or mass-energy) does influence space-time of course, but it cannot be said spacetime derives from them. (the issues involved are rather subtle, but I believe the point stands: there are various solutions of GTR with an empty spacetime manifold, and one frequently talks of "empty space"). I don't understand how we could have had such an awkward statement in the lead. Danski14(talk) 04:37, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
It appears we have a consensus--Glas(talk) Try my User skin 14:48, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

## Before it was screwed up

I'd just like to point the current editors of this article to a version that was in place before the disastrously awful decision to replace it with a "development" article. Here's what it looked like before that debacle:

Here's the nonsense that replaced a previously reasonable article:

As you can see, the current article still suffers from many of the flaws of the "development" article. Someone should fix this. 68.39.124.195 (talk) 03:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I actually saw this around the time this happened the guy who did this called this a Bold Revert Discuss or direct, look at my edits and you'll see me saving a lot of content other editors have made. A lot of that preious content eventually got moved to the Branches of physics article, I'm glad to see someone else noticed. Eventually a lot that new content was deleted as it was a basically a copy or rewording of the history of physics article.--Glas(talk)Nice User skin 03:49, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

## Stuff that is missing in a lot of physics articles

As I've been reading a lot of the articles about physics, I have noticed that a lot of basic information is missing, or is hard to find without reading through the entire article. For example, in articles about physical quantities, I think some of the most important things are that it should be easy to find: 1. which sign (letter) is usually used for that physical quantity, 2. the unit of that physical quantity, 3. how to calculate its value as a function of other physical quantities (if possible) and 4. as many ways as possible that the physical quantity is commonly used in. Often when you open an article about a physical quantity, you are only looking to find one of the two or three first of these things. However, it is not always that easy to find, if even present in the article. Often it is hidden somewhere in the text. --Kri (talk) 12:17, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

You can read more about this and the measures that will taken to improve physics articles here. --Kri (talk) 21:34, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Now archived so we can close this thread. --Kri (talk) 19:21, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

## Automate archiving?

Does anyone object to me setting up automatic archiving for this page using MiszaBot? Unless otherwise agreed, I would set it to archive threads that have been inactive for 30 days and keep ten threads.--Oneiros (talk) 14:26, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Done--Oneiros (talk) 20:50, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

## Detail

Hi. In the section "Relation to mathematics and the other sciences", there is the sentence: "Physics is often said to be the "fundamental science" (chemistry is sometimes included), because each of the other disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, material science, engineering, medicine etc.) deals with particular types of material systems that obey the laws of physics.[8]". It seems to me that not all disciplines deal with particular types of material systems... For example, philosophy and ethics are disciplines that do not deal with particular types of material systems. I would hence like to change the vague term "discipline" into a more specific term like "scientific discipline". Thanks. Nicholas Léonard 00:19, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

## Minor Edit

Philosophy after all is not a science. Sciences tend to DERIVE from philosophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LaRouxEMP (talkcontribs) 10:52, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

"Physics is both significant and influential, in part because advances in its understanding have often translated into new technologies, but also because new ideas in physics often resonate with the other sciences, mathematics and philosophy." Philosophy is not a science. Why was it reinstated? LaRouxEMP (talk) 11:52, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

And also, this excerpt here, "For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism or nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products which have dramatically transformed modern-day society (e.g., television, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons); advances in thermodynamics led to the development of motorized transport; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus." does not coincide with the leading statement "Physics is both significant and influential, in part because advances in its understanding have often translated into new technologies, but also because new ideas in physics often resonate with the other sciences."The examples must be changed. I will leave the bottom half of that paragraph stagnant until examples of appropriate relations are thought of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LaRouxEMP (talkcontribs) 12:02, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

"Philosophy is not a science. Why was it reinstated?" => Indeed, philosophy is not a science. That is the reason why it was reinstated. There is a list of three things with which new ideas in physics often resonate: (1) "other sciences", (2) mathematics, and (3) philosophy. You had replaced philosophy with chemistry, but chemistry belongs in the first category, and new ideas do indeed often resonate in philosophy. DVdm (talk) 12:12, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

DVdm: I would like for you to read the controversial sentence slow and carefully and tell me if it CLEARLY gets across the message you've intended. Either you're wrong or I'm wrong. We both can't be right. If it is any fault of mines, I will surely admit to it. LaRouxEMP (talk) 10:57, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

My apologies DVdm. I see now the message you were trying to convey. It took a comma separating math and philosophy for me to acknowledge your original meaning. Thanks contributing editor. LaRouxEMP (talk) 11:05, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

No problem. I was indeed referring to this edit of yours. I undid it because it made no sense, since chemistry is already part of the "other sciences", whereas of course mathematics and philosophy generally are not considered to be sciences. So I had reinstated it to the way it was, namely: new ideas in physics often resonate with 3 things: (1) with the other sciences, (2) with mathematics and (3) with philosophy. In this regard, SpikeToronto's amendment did an even better job. Cheers - DVdm (talk) 11:20, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

## table resuming the whole fields of physics woudl be welcome

some important fields are not even cited in the article ex : physics of plasma, molecular dynamics, molecular mechanics...

maybe describing fields via a few fitting and well defined criterias such as - classic/quantic - newtonian/relativistic - static/dynamic - applied-engeneering/theorical - computational/non-computational. - the main "tree branch"

a tree by branch and sub-branches at least for the main. ex :

• mechanics
• classic mechanics
• quantum mechanics
• thermodynamics
• optics
• electromagnetism
• electronics
• waves
• chaos theory
• crstallography

mougin.nicolas 16 april 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mougin.nicolas (talkcontribs) 09:35, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

## The scientific method

Edit request from Flyredeagle, 27 April 2010 `{{editsemiprotected}}` Physicists use the scientific method to test the validity of a physical theory, using a methodical approach to compare the implications of the theory in question with the associated conclusions drawn from experiments and observations conducted to test it. Experiments and observations are to be collected and matched with the predictions and hypotheses made by a theory, thus aiding in the determination or the validity/invalidity of the theory.

Theories which are very well supported by data and have never failed any competent empirical test are often called scientific laws, or natural laws. Of course, all theories, including those called scientific laws, can always be replaced by more accurate, generalized statements if a disagreement of theory with observed data is ever found.[5]

The history of physics is entangled with the history and the definition of the scientific method. The duality of inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning is made explicit and is also specific to physics. A typical examples of this are Kepler laws versus Netwon laws. Kepler laws are a set of laws abstracted or better inductively derived from experimental data. Such a coherent set of experimental laws gives room to the definition of a limited sets of axioms or principles as inertia. From such principles a more generic theory can be deduced which are Netwon laws. The new theory is also peculiar and useful as long as it has the capability of predicting new experimental results.

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. You are asking to add an unsourced paragraph.

Flyredeagle (talk) 14:24, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Note: See also this and this. DVdm (talk) 14:37, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

## Future topics of research

Users may include topics for future research or thought in this section. At some point each of these topics may grow into their own pages... Also, it would be useful to have a rating functionality here that could be associated with each topic in order to rate the value or importance of the future research or thought in this subject. Furthermore, please add this "Future topics of research" to other wiki-pages/subjects where it may be useful. 71.231.120.197 (talk) 19:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you tell us exactly what needs to be changed? We can't just add a blank section, so please insert the content you want here to be added. 21:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

The caption to the picture of the lava flow makes the common mistake of calling incandescence "black-body radiation". As the article on black body correctly states, a black body is one which does not reflect (or transmit) light of any wavelength, therefore all light coming from the body is generated by it. Black bodies are theoretical, not real. Anything in that picture is merely an approximation. If anyone has a good idea for fixing the caption, go for it. Otherwise I'll think of something.
198.207.0.5 (talk) 22:38, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

## Invitation to editors to vote/discuss definition of science in Talk:Science

There has been an extensive discussion on the Talk:Science of what the lead definition of the science article should be. I suspect this might be an issue that may be of interest to the editors of this page. If so, please come to the voting section of the talk science page to vote and express your views. Thank you. mezzaninelounge (talk) 18:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

## (Update) Imprecision (?) in the first sentence

The initialization of this section, err the tangent that this thought has led the community to communicate about is invalid. It Should be ignored on the shear fact;that it is malicious on the following grounds:

1. Wikipedia:Ignore all rules
2. An original premise on this train of thought was "I am not a native English speaker" and last but not least sic"Perhaps here I am completly ignorant";
Last time I checked this was an ENGLISH ENCYCLOPAEDIA meant to be read at a COLLEGE LEVEL!!! I would suggest reading in your native language.
1. Previous decisions on: the 1st sentence.

On a side note; I would strongly suggest BEFORE responding to any thought; we properly appraise it's relevance.--Glas(talk)Nice User skin 15:53, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

### Imprecision (?) in the first sentence

I concede the first paragraph is rather charming and atractive. However, after listing energy, matter, time and space, we have that "called space-time", which seems to me not very clear. Maybe you would like to consider I am not a native English speaker. Anyway, it does not seem obvious that "called" refers to "space" and "time". Perhaps here I am completly ignorant, and it does refer to the four structures.

I would suggest changing it to something like "the last two of which are seen as part of the space-time". Or more concisely, "the last two composing the space-time".

Ideas?—Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.122.192.198 (talk)

I think a nice first sentence could be something like "Physics studies the behavior of non-living objects like matter..." RolteVolte (talk) 16:28, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be referring to a previous version of the article, which is already reverted. Anyway, spacetime, being a well established term in physics, is never referred to as "the spacetime". See the article Spacetime. Note that I have replaced space-time with spacetime for consistency within the article. DVdm (talk) 16:57, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It just came into my mind when reading the article, but if its already ruled out -> never mind.
Spacetime is a well established term in physics but not in the non-physics world. I think the term "space and time" is much better understandable for non physical educated readers. Also spacetime is a specific term connected with a specific (eventhough important!!) part of physics. For example quantum mechanics deals only with space and time and not spacetime. (Eventhough quantum field theories do..) RolteVolte (talk) 18:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I see your point. I personally would not change it, as the readers can click through to spacetime and, sort of, get that education :-) -- Let's see what others think. DVdm (talk) 19:14, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

A problem with a sentence like "Physics studies the behavior of non-living objects like matter..." is that its not correct. There are many areas of soft condensed matter physics and biophysics that study the physics of living objects. Additionally, I'm not sure such a sentence would make clear the distinction between Physics and Chemistry. Whats supposed to come after the word "matter"? I tend to think its important that someone can distinguish between the two fields from the first sentence alone.Chhe (talk) 21:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Copied from User talk:Chhe (struck comments collapsed):

Perhaps you can explain what was in error with the edits I made. By stating that the previous version was "sufficient", perhaps what you mean is that it was 'adequate'? -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 08:03, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Sufficient and adequate are both synonymous so whichever one you prefer. The main problem with the edit though is that its overly vague to state that physics "studies reality and its composition". Next near every field of study Chemistry, Biology, Archeology, etc. studies reality. Its like saying that Entomology is the field that studies what the world is like. I suppose such a statement is technically not false, but it doesn't actually tell you anything about Entomology. Entomology does study what the world is like, but more specifically it studies one specific aspect of the world namely that aspect dealing with insects.

The other problem with the final edit [2] is that it makes it sound like physics studies just matter, which is not correct. Chemistry I suppose can be very roughly characterized as only studying matter, but definitely not physics. Physics has subfields such as electromagnetism and quantum field theory that don't always deal with matter. Instead topics involving the study of fields and time itself become quite detailed. For example, the study of maxwell's equations in vacuum is one of the big achievements in Physics in the 1800's and it deals entirely with only electric and magnetic fields. It subsequently lead to the discovery that time itself can change in different reference frames in the early 1900's. So the point is that physics studies matter, fields, time, energy, motion, and probably a few more things I'm missing off the top of my head.

The other problem with the edit was the addition "and how to best use nature to human advantage.". This is not true at all. This is not what Physics studies. Although its true that many physicists study topics that have very practical technological applications thats not really the ultimate goal of the study. Your thinking of Engineering. The ultimate goal is to understand the nature of the systems in question. P.S. In the leads footnote, by "things" Feynman meant physical objects. I think you were reading too much into the quote.Chhe (talk) 12:35, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
1. Chhe wrote: "Sufficient and adequate are both synonymous so whichever one you prefer." - Am I to understand that you are happier with "adequacy" than you are with writing that improves incrementally over time?
2. Chhe wrote: "The main problem with the edit though is that its overly vague to state that physics "studies reality and its composition". Next near every field of study Chemistry, Biology, Archeology, etc. studies reality. Its like saying that Entomology is the field that studies what the world is like. I suppose such a statement is technically not false.." - I think this is a red herring, and a case where you are vastly overgeneralizing the term "reality". Neither chemistry, biology, archeology or entomology study "reality" - they study (respectively) interactions of molecules, living things, history of human societies, and insects. None of these studies "reality" in the way physics does.
3. Chhe wrote: "more specifically it studies one specific aspect of the world" - Your personal definition of "reality" seems to be overly interchangeable with "the world"
4. Chhe wrote: "The other problem with the final edit is that it makes it sound like physics studies just matter, which is not correct." - I appreciate you realizing your error and striking this out. This was the problem with the previous lede that made me work on changing it. It takes a Feynman quote (IIRC from his Messenger lectures) out of content to support the statement that "physics studies matter," which is grossly inadequate. I wonder now, if you would have reverted my edits had you known that this criticism of yours was incorrect to begin with.
5. Chhe wrote: "The other problem with the edit was the addition "and how to best use nature to [[technology|human advantage]].". This is not true at all. This is not what Physics studies." - I disagree. I understand the distinction between what a physicist does and what an engineer does, but if you think about it, in topic after topic, particularly with the science of energy, progress is made via experimental physics, which itself is motivated by insights from theoretical physics. I cannot imagine, for example, how humans are going to achieve ~45% efficency in photovoltaics without the insights of physicists who are driven by more than just abstract inquiry.
6. Since this is an article discussion, I would like to copy it to Talk:Physics. Regards, -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 22:38, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
6. Ok. You may want to remove the strike out though when transcribing it to the talk page so as not to confuse things further. When I looked at the edit you made for a second time in the morning I got muddled up with the diffs and somehow thought that you removed some of the words after the word matter. I subsequently noticed the mistake and struck it out.Chhe (talk) 23:06, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, would it be unfair now to ask you to review your critique, considering on a whole your issues minus the struck comments? -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 23:55, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok. I don't have much more to add though.
1. No.
2 & 3. I was just using using the definition of reality from dictionary.com[3], which seems extremely vague to me. I still don't understand why you think this term is specific to Physics.
5. I don't know how else to state that this is incorrect. It just is. There are some applied physicists in physics departments who work on some technology application, but they certainly aren't doing physics when they do. They are doing engineering.Chhe (talk) 00:31, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

───────────────────────── 1. OK
2 and 3. Lets look at it from a different way. The word "reality" gets tossed around a bit by metaphysicians who at times argue that reality doesn't objectively exist and everything is subjective/perceptual. This permeates through other physics topics, for example at the time article, we dealt with the idea that time is "unreal." Physics generally doesn't accept any of that, and in a serious way asserts a dominion over the subject of reality, and negates philobabble which twists and abuses the word "reality" in various unhelpful ways. Saying that physics → reality hits, I think, the nail on the head.
5. I understand your point - that physics is a journey into the abstract, and to some degree its successes are due to a transcendence of materialistic or practical goals. I agree. But I don't think mentioning technology is improper or undue here. The worlds real problems are material, the solutions for which are technological, and these will be solved by in no small degree by physics. -Stevertigo (t | log | c) 01:54, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

## Effect of gravity on an object at an angle

An angle's velocity is zero and the angle of the surface it is sitting on is 0°. The object remains untouched but the angle shifts to 325°. I think I've made a formula for that but I'm not sure if it is accurate. N/m=D/G*Sin(θ)M*T. The unit is in Newtons per meter because gravity is a force. I just need to know if that is accurate or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.204.129.119 (talk) 20:26, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

This page is for discussing improvements to the Physics article. Try the reference desk instead. (And try to use clearer language: what the hell is "an angle's velocity"?) --A. di M. (talk) 00:46, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

My apologies for the misconception. I intended to intercommunicate "An 'objects' velocity". I utilized oblanceolated English for ameliorated intrepretation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.214.247.218 (talk) 00:05, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

## droplets

The Current research section of the article mentions that the shape of water droplets remains an unsolved problem. IMO that's at least quite controversial claim, if not completely erroneous. As such it needs a proper reference, or should be removed since for most readers it will appear as WP:OR. 1exec1 (talk) 21:10, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

## Edit request from Iiiproximusiii, 22 February 2011

`{{edit semi-protected}}` "Physics (from Ancient Greek: φύσις physis "nature") is a natural science that involves the study of matter[1] and its motion through spacetime, as well as all related concepts, including energy and force.[2] More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.[3][4][5]"

I suggest that this statement be amended to read the following.

"Physics (from Ancient Greek: φύσις physis "Nature") is the natural science which investigates the interactions between matter and energy as they propagate in spacetime. More broadly, it is a complete and fundamental analysis of Nature, and its principle aim is to understand the dynamics of the universe"

Iiiproximusiii (talk) 12:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Not done: Since the statement as written has numerous sources, it doesn't make sense to me to replace it with an unsourced statement. Was there some specific reason for this suggestion? Qwyrxian (talk) 13:58, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

## Definition of Physics

Since I was never successful in expressing what I actually mean, And since I am prohibited form correcting my mistakes according to Wikipedia talkpage rules; The below text dose not reflect anything about my viewport and purpose in the discussion. Thus, further criticizm will not recieve reply or cause further correction. --Saeed     15:52, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Took two years of search:

Physical Science is the set of all these:

• Physics: the science of quantities.
• Chemistry is the science of the structure of matter
• Particle Chemistry
• Atom Chemistry
• ...
• Cosmology is the study of our universe. Including:
• Astronomy
• Meteorology
• Geography
• Cosmology

Benefits of this definition:

• Physics and Chemistry is defined using it's subject. just like cosmology; cosmos + ology; the science of cosmos.
• The definition of Physics is intensional
• The definition of Physical science is extensional
• Clear Distinction between Physical Science and Physics
• Clear Distinction between Physics and Chemistry

--Saeed     05:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

### Concepts used in most definitions

The definition of physics is a ontological matter, not a scientific one. Complaining that a definition includes words such as matter and energy on the basis that those things are subjects of ontology makes no sense. Dauto (talk) 16:48, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Matter

The existence of matter, God, ... is studied in Physics.
The quantities of matter, light, and ,... are studied in Physics.
The structure of matter, and only matter, is studied in Chemistry.

So, The concept of matter should be used in defining Chemistry, But not Physics and Ontology.

Energy

In Ontology, the existence and essence of energy has become a highly important concept.
So Physics is defineately not the study of what energy is (in essence). [6]
In Physics, Energy is an important quantity. just like time, length, mass, Temperature, charge, ... but it's just a quantity.
So defining Physics as "the science of quantities" is more intensional, while "the science of Energy, time, length, and ..." is more extensional

--Saeed     16:55, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

### Analyzing scientist definitions

The Science of measurement.[7]

I remember it. but I didn't find it in the source right now.
Metrology is the science of measurement. while physics is theoretical, Metrology is a practical field that uses Physics and Chemistry.

Physics is whatever physicists do. Dauto (talk) 17:36, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Physics is a field of knowledge; a product. What physicists do is the production.
Physicist, more often means someone who works on Physical science. not just Physics.
Let's accept Physicist means someone who studies "Physics". we're using "Physics" to define "Physicist". so we can't use "Physicist" to define Physics.
It's not a necessary condition. Other people also work on physics.
It's not a sufficient condition. Physicists eat breakfast too :) If you mean the career of physicists, That's sciencs. A biologist does exactly the same thing. the only difference is "the subject of" what they do.
I agree with most of what you said. The vagueness about my definition is what I like about it to begin with. Dauto (talk) 16:22, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Physics: The scientific study of matter, energy, space, and time, and of the relations between them.[8]

A nice definition from a scientific dictionary, but
Physics is a science. not a scientific study. A product. not a production. Info, not action.
Space and matter are subjects of Ontology
Mass, energy and length of matter and space are quantities. so is time.
Every science studies the relation between different types of it's subject
If relation means equation, equations involving quantities are a powerful math tool, used in every science. not just physics.

--Saeed     20:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

### Analyzing dictionary definitions

Physics: The branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms - [9]

Ontology, not science itself, is concerned with nature of things studied in science.
properties means quantities.
Energy is a quantity.
Matter, and atom's structure is the subject of Chemistry, not Physics. Of course, Physical science includes Chemistry.
"Mechanics, heat, ..., magnetism" is an extensional definition. such definitions are used in the absence of an intensional definition.

Physics is the scientific study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other. [10][11]

Interaction is the way rules of nature(Physics) affect structure of Matter (Chemistry). it's the subject of chemistry.
Energy is just a quantity. matter is a thing. quantities don't interact. it's matter that interacts. interaction involes transfer of energy into/out of matter. thus energy is not what interacts . it's what defines interaction.

Physics: 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. [12]

This definition has the same problems as the above dictionary definition.

--Saeed     19:43, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean by study of quantities? Dauto (talk) 17:36, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

"Study" was changed to "Science"
Science has two meanings: 1.a field of knowledge, 2. the enterprise that produces it.
Quantities is the subject of Physics. the best way to Intentionally define a field of knowledge is to specify the subject of study. Physicists study quantities.

Chemistry is a branch of physics, so the subject of chemistry IS part of the subject of physics. Dauto (talk) 17:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Almost correct. Chemistry is a branch of physical Science, but not Physics. Physical science is a study. An action distinguished by it's method, not a field of information, distinguished by it's subject.
No, not almost correct. Exactly correct, chemistry is indeed a branch of physics. Dauto (talk) 20:38, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Is chemistry a branch of physics? Mario Bunge. The conclusion is NO.

--Saeed     16:57, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

### Why define Physics?

"I can't see why anybody would need [a clear definition for physics]" Dauto (talk) 20:00, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

A definition of Physics will revolutionize our understanding of Physics, the same way that definition of spacetime revolutionized our understanding of quantities, time, velocity, and energy.
It also has all the benefits of an atlas
1. Philosophers can think based on it. I've done it.
2. Phylosophers of science can solve difficult problems like defining Science, Humanities, Phylosophy,
3. Scientists can "actually see" the explored and unexplored parts of the world of science. making it easier for them to organize research fields.
4. Writers can write an excellent, compact, easy to read, no-repetitive book on Physics
5. And not just on physics, but for the first time, on "the whole science". can you imagine the whole science in one book? It can be taught to 13-years-old school children, so that it's much easier for them to chose their branch.
6. Last, It indicates the location of Physics in the map, relative to other fields.
Classifying a science is a Formal science like math; in which
1. extensional definition of science can be "obtained" or "proven" or "derived" using intensional definition.
2. Branches of a science can be derived using extensional definition.
3. Classification of a science can be derived using those branches.
4. Classification of an article can be derived using classification of science.
So It has all the benefits of a formal science. Every concept, term, phrase, and sentence in it is
1. in it's own place.
2. maximally summarized
3. discussable on a common basis.
4. provable, derivable, obtainable
5. sure, and crystal clear
Therefore, small steps taken by careful reasoning gives obvious sure results first. but it comes to give unbelievable results at last. Descartes would love it. But why would we love it?
1. To remove confusion. I've studied physics for eight years, and it's painful to see how people can't actually see anything between math and chemistry. how they cant tell the different between laws of nature, and it's body.
2. To open room for physics. People don't pay attention to the different between physics and physical science. thus they have filled articles of physics with math, chemistry, astronomy, ... thus there is no pure physics in them. this is a serious barrier for familiarizing people with Physics
3. For the importance of quantities. everything in this world can be defined in terms of quantities. people who know pure physics can see the unity in the world. others only see the differences.
4. There is more than just Physics between Math and Chemistry.
5. To make Physics a "good article". I've wished to do so for two years. but even a simple copy-editing has been so difficult for me without a definition.
6. To direct edits towards what actually Physics, and move misplaced info to where they belong, opening room for Physics.

--Saeed     01:40, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

### References

1. ^ a b R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands (1963), The Feynman Lectures on Physics, ISBN 0-201-02116-1 Hard-cover. p.1-1 Feynman begins 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. ..." vol. I p. I–2
2. ^ James Clerk Maxwell (1878), Matter and Motion. New York: D. Van Nostrand. p.1: "Nature of Physical Science – Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature." | accessdate=2008-11-04
3. ^ James Clerk Maxwell (1878), Matter and Motion. New York: D. Van Nostrand. p.1: "Nature of Physical Science – Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature." | accessdate=2008-11-04
4. ^ James Clerk Maxwell (1878), Matter and Motion. New York: D. Van Nostrand. p.1: "Nature of Physical Science – Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature." | accessdate=2008-11-04
5. ^ Some principles, such as Newton's laws of motion, are still generally called "laws" even though they are now known to be limiting cases of newer theories. Thus, for example, in Thomas Brody (1993, Luis de la Peña and Peter Hodgson, eds.) The Philosophy Behind Physics ISBN 0-387-55914-0, pp 18–24 (Chapter 2), explains the 'epistemic cycle' in which a student of physics discovers that physics is not a finished product but is instead the process of creating [that product].
6. ^ "It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount."
7. ^ David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Walker Jearl. Fundamentals of Physics. ISBN 9780471216438.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
8. ^ The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 2005. ISBN 0618455043. Check date values in: `|year=` (help)
9. ^
11. ^ http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=18
12. ^ The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. ISBN 0395825172. Check date values in: `|year=` (help)

### Response to everything above

You asked for criticisms of your definition. You've provided the criticisms yourself. Your definition is, precisely that: your definition. You've shown us that, in fact, it does not match the definitions found in reliable sources. If you want to write a research/philosophy paper arguing that the definition of physics commonly used in textbooks, dictionaries, etc. is wrong, feel free to do so, and then seek a place to publish it (whether that's self-publishing on the internet, in a philosophy of science journal, in a book, whatever). However, Wikipedia is not a place to publish original thought/research. We can and will only write what reliable sources have said, not what we ourselves think is "good" or "true". Qwyrxian (talk) 01:54, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

## Edit request from MTaves, 14 April 2011

Under the picture of Newton I just wanted to correct "Isaac Newton" it to "Sir Isaac Newton" as he was knighted.

MTaves (talk) 01:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Partly done: Wow, I learn something everyday. I was about to reject this, as I thought that Wikipedia rejects all such titles, but, according to WP:Honorific, British crown knights are specifically allowed to be called Sir the first (and only the first) time they are mentioned in an article. As such, I have gone ahead and added "Sir" in the paragraph to the left of the picture, since that's basically the first time it appears. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:17, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

## Edit request from Baviaan69, 17 May 2011

"Physics aims to describe the various phenomenon that occur in nature in terms of simpler phenomena." should be "Physics aims to describe the various phenomena that occur in nature in terms of simpler phenomena." Baviaan69 (talk) 20:51, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

DoneThanks for spotting that. --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

## Field Table

Noticed this got removed, if this was done because it cluttered the page that is understandable, but why was the header left in?

24.17.172.52 (talk) 08:53, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I think you're talking about the collapsed table, which will appear when clicking "show" on its right side. Materialscientist (talk) 09:05, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

## Calculus and Jargon in Physics Entries (A Global Problem on All Physics Articles)

Many of the physics entries, Mutual Inductance, for example, are difficult for the layperson to read because of all the calculus. I'm taking non-calculus based physics right now. If they can write a textbook on physics without calculus, we can write wikipedia articles on physics without calculus. Any brilliant volunteers out there who want to go through and post simpler formula/language on all the entries? Some of us are just trying to get our homework finished, others are just superficially interested in physics. This is an encyclopedia, after all, and not an advanced textbook. Bvolsky (talk) 04:03, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Non-calculus based physics is hardly physics at all really. It's impossible to explain physics without calculus. --Kaspuhler (talk 04:25, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You're Right. Both simple (text) and advanced (math) explanations are vital. It's possible but difficult. I've worked a lot on it. --Saeed     15:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

## Images

Every university physics book contains at least three fields. I've found an image for each:

Mechanics have a brilliant picture about it's different fields.

--Saeed     18:36, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Saeed, the WP:Image use policy says that we should only use animated images very sparingly. They cause problems when the image is transferred to text, and are generally much larger (in KB) than non-animated images (remember that some of our readers connect through mobile devices or very old computers). Using an animated image is really only appropriate (in my opinion) when it explains something that a static image cannot; but since these are basically decorative (I don't understand mechanics any better with that gif than without it), I don't think we should have them. The Archimedes screw makes sense as an animated picture, since it demonstrates how the "device" actually works. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:38, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the notice. About mechanics you are really right. But It's really hard to find a good image for thermal physics. I suggest using the convection image, or a thermodynamics image from below. Instead, we can remove the cradle of newton from the beginning of the article to reduce the size. --Saeed     05:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

The images are arranged in my preference order. Please vote.

I vote for the first. --Saeed     05:47, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

## Typo

I haven't edited Wikipedia too much, so I have no idea how I'm expected to act here, but could someone please correct the name/link "Issac Newton" to "Isaac Newton" in the caption of the first figure?

Fixed. Thanks for noticing. --Old Moonraker (talk) 14:26, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

## Re: editing "History" section

Ok this is a mess, I have preserved the text here so we can sort out what needs keeping, the refs just refer back to the same page and Wikipedia is not a reference for itself.

which were proposed by Indians[1][2] and Greek[3] during 7th to 2nd c. BCE.

CaptainScreebo Parley! 15:51, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the notice and correction. --Saeed     19:05, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Hello, did you see what I posted at Qwyrxian's talk page? I think you should have a look, and not edit the article until you have read that and discussed things with us, either here or there. It took me all afternoon to check and verify and copyedit what you put in the history section, I suggest that you make modifications at a User:Saeed.Veradi/user created sub-page and ask others to help before putting it live. I am happy to help, but it would be nice if the content that you wish to propose were more encyclopaedic and wikipediaish. ;-) CaptainScreebo Parley! 19:55, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Images used for the beginning of the article "Physics" in other languages:

Which one would you chose? --Saeed     18:16, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The second one, as it doesn't focus on one particular aspect. Some of the others are way too specific. 20:37, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

## Translation request

Can anyone please make a translated version of this image? Thanks. --Saeed     18:18, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

We can do better images, and with a broader sense and denotation of scientific method. Jorgen W (talk) 09:05, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

## Can this small modification to the third paragraph be considered?

I'm just an IP and the page is semi-protected, otherwise I would have been WP:BOLD with it. Current paragraph:

Physics is also significant and influential through advances in its understanding that have translated into new technologies. For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism or nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products which have dramatically transformed modern-day society, such as television, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons; advances in thermodynamics led to the development of industrialization; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus.

What I think it should be changed to:

Physics is also significant and influential through advances in its understanding that have translated into new technologies. For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism, nuclear physics, and solid-state physics led directly to the development of new products which have dramatically transformed modern-day society, such as electronics and semiconductor chips, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons; advances in thermodynamics led to the development of industrialization; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus.

Television ain't so much the special thing it used to be. Sorta like saying that advancement of physics has led to the telegraph. 70.109.189.90 (talk) 03:33, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Personally I like it, in that it provides a little bit of historical sense, and television did certainly "dramatically transform[] modern-day society". But, if others like, it can be removed. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:31, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no need to write "influential" almost everywhere, it's not a newsmagazine. Jorgen W (talk) 08:59, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

## Utility of branches of science

Chemistry is more concerned with what things are. Physics is more concerned with what things do. And Mathematics is concerned with the relative magnitude of things.WFPM (talk) 19:28, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course. Wikipedia is a collaborative project. Include the information you wish, and other users will correct you if needed. Personally, I think you should introduce it into the third paragraph, but reformulate the statement a little... --MaxAMSC (talk) 21:26, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that anything that I did to reformulate it would make it more complicated and therefor less understandable.WFPM (talk) 22:56, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

## Wikiproject

How do I join the Wikiproject?-- 21:51, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

See Wikiproject_physics and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Physics/Participants. IRWolfie- (talk) 17:16, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

## Edit request on 30 March 2012

I feel the authors view of physics is biased on the current perception of nature. Jyotheeswar Adhi (talk) 09:33, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

You did not actually request anything, and your concern is too vague to be actionable. Please be more specific. --Cybercobra (talk) 09:49, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

## Science vs Religion

Guys someone has to step up and write a section on how god hates science and also islam — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.123.37.137 (talk) 16:29, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

We can only consider attributing perspectives that appear in published sources.Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:34, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

## Physics

This is the topmost concept of a very respected aspect of a major arm of the sciences.

Problems I have with respect to the current first paragrath of the current version of the articel (18-Jun-2012).

Firstly, e=mc^2 means all these aspects are equally valid.

So it may be no more balanced to subordinate "Energy as an aspect of Matter, or vice versa. To be more specific, it is surely only a theory that energy is equated with mass. Any theory is open to falsification. I don't think we want to define or categorize a science by a one sided view of the truth of a possible theory within it. Mass, energy and the physical observables surely deserve the same weight within the science. And multiple different theories each deserved domr exposure and discussion within that body of knowledge and hypothesis. In truth, isn't it is better to talk about a science as a body of hypothesis about a topic, as every theory may only be valid within a specified subset of the total topic, and invalid in other subset(s) (such as high-energy). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jjalexand (talkcontribs) 17:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

A hypothesis has no known applicability, theories are rigorously applicable in the areas in which they have been tested. Conflating theory with hypothesis would be a disaster for the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:38, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

There is a note that says any added References will be removed as link spam. So, to the powers that be... I would like to offer this humble suggestion of an awesome resource. They offer free on-line video tutorials on Physics and Math and several other subjects. Their material is of such high quality that some public schools have integrated their free courses into the schools curriculum. The site is www.khanacademy.org I am not in any way associated with this website except as a happy student. OldCodger2 (talk) 04:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a typical case of wp:ELNO item 11. To be avoided. - DVdm (talk) 10:25, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

## History of natural science

Am not quiet sure who put in this statement, i might bother looking up, "Natural science was developed in China, India and in southwest Asia, between the 4th and 10th century BCE.[10]" but it is completely false. Natural sciences did not develop in india, china, or southeast asia from the 4th-10th century. The process of development of natural sciences occurs from antiquity to the early modern period. Much of the biggest steps in the development of natural sciences occurred from the 10th century to the 15th century. Natural sciences means the use of the scientific method in science, but their isn't single individual aside from Alhazan in the 10th century, that this from the 4th to the 10th century, and even then it was not a systematic process but but done by one man. Can the author name any scientists that employed the scientific method in india and china in the 10th century, or played a role in developing, if so what are their names, chronology of their experiments with multiple primary sources listed. In fact any science that existed in these regions was purely qualitative and india's case almost completely religious philosophy, yet we have this rather bold claim. Recently a reference has been added to back this claim, yet reference is completely useless, it lists Joseph Needham book on science and civilization in science, yet in that book Needham makes absolutely no such claim, not even close, and then link lists nyaya for india, which links to another wiki page which also makes no such claim, and the same goes for the fertile crescent. The bottom line is that their isn't single source that will back this claim because it isnt true since it is almost universally accepted that natural science developed over a long period of time beginning in antiquity to its development in the late middle ages and early modern period. am not going to delete this statement right away even tho it is completely false, to give time for someone to try to defend this outrageous claim. Bottom line is this in order to list this statement as such on wiki you need multiple, reputable sources that say exactly that, not an interpretation of what one thinks the author is saying or one thinks he means. This claim is actually completely contrary to what all experts in the field actually do say about the development of natural sciences but anyways the forum is open for debate as long as someone can bring sources that back that claim, if not the above statement is definitely a candidate for deletion. Belief action (talk) 08:25, 24 July 2012 (UTC)TP

## Edit request on 24 July 2012

Am not quiet sure who put in this statement, i might bother looking up, "Natural science was developed in China, India and in southwest Asia, between the 4th and 10th century BCE.[10]" but it is completely false. Natural sciences did not develop in India, china, or southeast Asia from the 4th-10th century. The process of development of natural sciences occurs from antiquity to the early modern period. Much of the biggest steps in the development of natural sciences occurred from the 10th century to the 15th century. Natural sciences means the use of the scientific method in science, but their isn't single individual aside from Alhazan in the 10th century, that this from the 4th to the 10th century, and even then it was not a systematic process but but done by one man. Can the author name any scientists that employed the scientific method in India and china in the 10th century, or played a role in developing, if so what are their names, chronology of their experiments with multiple primary sources listed. In fact any science that existed in these regions was purely qualitative and India's case almost completely religious philosophy, yet we have this rather bold claim. Recently a reference has been added to back this claim, yet reference is completely useless, it lists Joseph Needham book on science and civilization in science, yet in that book Needham makes absolutely no such claim, not even close, and then link lists nyaya for India, which links to another wiki page which also makes no such claim, and the same goes for the fertile crescent. The bottom line is that their isn't single source that will back this claim because it isn't true since it is almost universally accepted that natural science developed over a long period of time beginning in antiquity to its development in the late middle ages and early modern period. am not going to delete this statement right away even tho it is completely false, to give time for someone to try to defend this outrageous claim. Bottom line is this in order to list this statement as such on wiki you need multiple, reputable sources that say exactly that, not an interpretation of what one thinks the author is saying or one thinks he means. This claim is actually completely contrary to what all experts in the field actually do say about the development of natural sciences but anyways the forum is open for debate as long as someone can bring sources that back that claim, if not the above statement is definitely a candidate for deletion. Belief action (talk) 08:38, 24 July 2012 (UTC)TP

Well for one thing the statement "Natural science was developed in China, India and in southwest Asia, between the 4th and 10th century BCE" needs to be deleted because it is completely factually incorrect, and is not the whole point of wiki to have accurate information. The statement should be edited to that natural sciences developed in the medieval to early modern period, culminating in the advent of the scientific revolution. Here are just some of the sources that back this claim:

1)Fernando Espinoza (2005). "An analysis of the historical development of ideas about motion and its implications for teaching". Physics Education 40 (2): 141.

2)Marshall Clagett, The Science of Mechanics in the Middle Ages, (Madison, Univ. of Wisconsin Pr., 1961), pp. 218–19, 252–5, 346, 409–16, 547, 576–8, 673–82;

3)Anneliese Maier, "Galileo and the Scholastic Theory of Impetus," pp. 103–123 in On the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected Writings of Anneliese Maier on Late Medieval Natural Philosophy, (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Pr., 1982).

4)Edward Grant (1996), The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

5)"Scientific Revolution" in Encarta. 2007. [1]

6)Shapin, Steven (1996). The Scientific Revolution.

These are just some good sources to consult on the matter, although their are countless others. As far as the ref. recently provided, its completely used inappropriately, it states Jospeh Needham in Science and Civilization in China, yet if one reads those sources , nowhere in those volumes those Needham make any statements that are even remotely near the above statement, he merely talks about science and technology in china through out history, the other links on the ref. link to pages on wiki, which am pretty sure is not appropriate ref. style, but those pages don't make that claim either, in fact far from it, the India link is about religious philosophy in India. Either way the statement needs to be edited to what respectable sources actually claim, which is what i have stated above and on my previous talk 24.150.213.201 (talk) 21:51, 24 July 2012 (UTC) TP

The be short and sweet this " Natural science was developed in China, India and in southwest Asia, between the 4th and 10th century BCE" needs to be replaced with this " Natural sciences developed in the late middle and early modern periods resulting in the advent of modern science during the scientific revolution" Anyone or multiple sources that i listed above can be used as a reference. 24.150.213.201 (talk) 20:26, 25 July 2012 (UTC)TP

Belief action (talk) 08:38, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. Floating Boat (the editor formerly known as AndieM) 16:07, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
(template was reactivated) Be more specific and concise (I couldn't find that word earlier) about what needs to be changed in a X to Y format. I, and I'm sure many others, can't read a long wall of text like that! Floating Boat (the editor formerly known as AndieM) 09:02, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Deactivating the template until the edit request becomes more specific and is doable. RudolfRed (talk) 01:23, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Not sure how much more concise and specific i can be but here it goes again: statement X is " Natural science was developed in China, India and in southwest Asia, between the 4th and 10th century BCE" needs to be replaced with this

Statement Y " Natural sciences developed in the late middle and early modern periods resulting in the advent of modern science during the scientific revolution" Anyone or multiple sources that i listed above can be used as a reference

This is located in the 3rd paragraph of the history section, first sentence. Belief action (talk) 20:16, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

• 'Note: the offending sentence is sourced to Wikipedia, which is unacceptable. Since Belief action provides at least two usable reliable sources, I'd support the change. However, since the topic is well outside my usual domain, I'm inclined to defer to others. I'm leaving a note at the relevant WikiProject; it doesn't doesn't appear to be very active, but someone else should wander by soon. Thanks for your interest in improving the article. Rivertorch (talk) 08:47, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I've removed it. The text was pure OR. IRWolfie- (talk) 09:31, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll deactivate the template again and mark this as   Partly done:. (talk) 21:05, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, looks like I'm late to the issue, but I'll state for the record (in case there's further debate) that I support the change, but not without caveats. The previous wording does seem to have been improperly sourced and to have been close to being purely subjective OR. That being said, from a general perspective on the history and evolution of the natural sciences in the context of the regions in question, it really makes little sense to describe the process as entirely the product of the events in the last millennium, since, very obviously, this process was a continuum that stretches much farther back. There will always be differences of opinion on which are the landmark events which propelled precursor practices into the realm of genuine science, which is one of several reasons why I think the present context demands an inclusive approach; arguments can be made about which activities are close enough in methodology to be equated with the scientific method and modern empirical practice, but these will often be highly subjective and it's clear that at least a rudimentary understanding of (and the beginning of structured testing for) physical principles was underway in these regions well before the 10th century. All of that being said, we don't report on our own perspectives here, nor even the things we take as fact; we follow the sources and as the OP presently has references which support his wording and the previous statements were not supported by sourcing at all, I think this change is in the clear. Honestly though, even given the confines of the section and the context of the page, I'd ideally like to see more perspectives on this issue represented, if the sources can be found (and I'm certain they can be in time). My (minor) difference of opinion with Belief action on this definition notwithstanding, my hat goes off to him for going to such effort to build consensus before making a change to such a high profile article. Snow (talk) 20:21, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

## High-energy physics <-> Higgs Boson

Desperately needs an update on the Higgs Boson research. As of middle 2012, Higgs Boson has been found to exist to a certain degree of error. 82.81.231.188 (talk) 21:19, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Updated. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:30, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

I've started adding references to the sections. I'm using the reference style used in Condensed matter physics, which passed Good Article review in June 2012. I've also become aware of the differences in the way the American and the British physical societies divide physics into subfields, and I am taking this into account. StarryGrandma (talk) 19:40, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

## Edit request on 12 December 2012

Experimental physics had its debuts with experimentation concerning statics by medieval Muslim physicists like al-Biruni and Alhazen.[4][5] During the industrial revolution, as energy needs increased, so did research, which led to the discovery of new laws in thermodynamics, chemistry and electromagnetics.

to:

Experimental physics had its debuts with experimentation concerning statics by medieval Muslim physicists like Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī and Alhazen.[6][5] During the industrial revolution, as energy needs increased, so did research, which led to the discovery of new laws in thermodynamics, chemistry and electromagnetics.

Because it might as well show al-Biruni's full name and also link to his article. Tsharky87 (talk) 19:17, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Partly done: I linked the article but supposed the current moniker, perhaps being analogous to that of Kepler and Galileo (not to mention Alhazen in the same sentence), didn't need the full-name treatment. Feel free to re-open this request if you'd like a second opinion. Rivertorch (talk) 23:20, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

## Nuclear & particle physics

"but intra-nuclear phenomena such as fission and fusion are considered part of high-energy physics." Not true, both fission and fusion are part of nuclear physics, none of them is considered "high-energy".

Also there seems to be some bias, as particle physics' paragraphs are the size of nuclear, atomic, molecular, and optical physics combined. Furthermore nuclear physics is pushed to the end of the section with a single unsourced sentence that puts the accent on nuclear weapons ...

"In addition, particle physicists design and develop the high energy accelerators,[44] detectors,[45] and computer programs[46] necessary for this research." This particular sentence is really bad – Firstly, a lot of the work is done by engineers, as well as physicists and secondly, it implies that this is not the case for other fields of physics, which is simply absurd!

One more note, please do make it explicit that the Standard model is checked and works only in a specific set of circumstances – the high-energy particles description. It is in no why the ultimate theory, as is suggested by the title of the book used as reference. (http://books.google.fr/books?id=1KHuAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y)Kshegunov (talk) 14:45, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

## Typo fix request

The very first sentence is missing a verb. It seems to be missing an "is". Thank you. Tcurwick2 (talk) 02:47, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

My fault. Fixed. --McGeddon (talk) 11:02, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

## modern physics

Modern physics started with the discovery of the neutron by James Chadwick, of the atomic nucleus by Ernest Rutherford and co-workers Hans Geiger and Marsden by means of alpha particle scattering, the model of the hydrogen atom by Niels Bohr, Max Planck in hisCite error: There are `<ref>` tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). attempt to explain black body radiation by means of ad-hoc quantization rules, Einstein in relativity theory and continued in quantum mechanics pioneered by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schroedinger, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Dirac, among others. EliDika (talk) 14:19, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Not done: I'm sorry, but you haven't cited any sources, and I think the explanations in this article and in History of physics#20th century: Birth of Modern Physics are more informative. Sorry. --Stfg (talk) 14:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
In addition, I know of no one that would link the birth of modern physics with the discovery of the neutron. Modern physics is usually understood to involve quantum mechanics and/or relativity in some way. Which usually means that people put the birth of modern physics with the advances of Planck and Einstein in the early 1900s. Some include radioactive phenomena, and those would give a date of in the late 1890s. The discovery of the neutron was in 1932, well after QM, Relativity, and Radioactive phenomena had been discovered. 15:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

## Subfields of Physics Table

I can't tell if the subfields of physics table is protected or whether I just can't figure out how to edit it.

In either event, Computational Physics is an obvious addition that should be made to the Applied Physics section of the table. As the Computational Physics page notes, this is distinct subfield from physics of computation (which is already in the table).

If someone with more Wikipedia know-how or more Wikipedia power could add this to the table, that would be great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JsePrometheus (talkcontribs) 20:28, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

The table is generated by a template, {{Subfields of physics}}, but I'm not sure why, since the template is not used in any other article. So to make changes to the table, you have to go to the template page and edit that.
Regarding computational physics, I'm not convinced that it should be classified as a subfield of applied physics. Computational methods can be employed in all fields within physics and many beyond, it doesn't really fit in a list of subfields defined by topics. I think it would be better to mention it in the Theory and experiment section, but be aware that it is already included under Prerequisites. — HHHIPPO 21:22, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

## Recent contributions

For one thing, please assume good faith with your fellow editors. Materialscientist is in no way an "be authoritarian who bustles around auto reverting sensible contribs". Your contributions were inconsistent with the tone of Wikipedia articles, which is why they were reverted. To indulge in the "discuss" portion of the bold, revert, discuss cycle I'll deal with the specific changes: you changed "involves the study of" to "dealing with". This is very informal language that is not appropriate for an encyclopedia, and is needlessly ambiguous.

Similarly it is stylistically inappropriate to change "More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves." to "More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand it (the universe)." You generally use a pronoun as a replacement for its antecedent, but here it seems that you are using "it" as a general placeholder and clarifying that "it" refers to the universe in a parenthetical statement. This is needlessly confusing, and conflates "nature" with "the universe". The original wording was clear and unambiguous.

Regarding the removal of "and related concepts such as energy and force" from the lead - this again was an inappropriate edit, as the lead sentence is trying to give an overview of the scope of this broad topic. Motion, matter, energy and force are all core concepts in Physics, and the introductory sentence is a perfectly elegant way to explain that. This removal is less problematic than the others, but still is unjustified. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 14:07, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

________ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brandaray (talkcontribs) 13:05, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

What is the aim of an encyclopedia, anyway? For my part, I like encylodiea's to give me a successive string of intensely informative sentences requiring minimal effort to, including handy details and focusing on the important stuff (like definitions). Consider this: "is the natural science that studies matter and its work through space and time." The reader's mind has one clear object to focus on: matter. It is basic and to teh point, not aiming to give a "true" scientific def. Reader is given a basic platform to build his understand of physics upon, and can add and take away whatever he wants, thus fascilitating understanding. Thats my theory, anyway. That is a better, if still not perfectly elegant, way to express the scope of thsi broad topic. Matter is all substance and work everything that can be done to substance. It includes everythign the prev def does but without the list.

This is the top result for physics, why not make use of that so that people are given a concise picture of physics instead of the usual wikipedia drone?

## Prerequisites

The section on prerequisites needs to be changed as follows (I suggest two options, both of which could be ignored). I am willing to do the changes (including replacing the diagram) if we meet consensus, but I'm worried that my views constitute OR.

1. Remove Ontology and any mention of analytic/synthetic. I suspect that most physicists do not need to know about these philosophical positions, i.e., they are not prerequisites, but they can inform and be used by some in physics.
2. Retain ontology but
• Still remove the Analytic–synthetic distinction terminology.
• Move the ontology box within physics (or have an additional arrow from physics to ontology).
• Math does not create ontology. Earth, wind, rain, and fire did not arise from math. Mass, force and quantum numbers did not arise from Math. It is physics that determines the appropriate observables - the ontological atoms of physics - and how to measure them. Note that under physics all observables (and theories) are useful (predictive) fictions, but there has not yet been a single universally applicable theory of physics that could be said to be true. Certainly, physics might be said to approach ultimate reality (ontology) but it has never fully achieved it.
• Indeed, one would also assume that formal philosophical ontology should have physics as its prerequisite, as demonstrated by Interpretations of quantum mechanics and of time.
• Enclose they entire diagram within a box called Epistemology.
• This includes the scientific method and even the organization of all elements in the box.
• Note that formal (philosophical) epistemology is not a prerequisite field of study by physicists, but they nevertheless engage in doing it.

Dpleibovitz (talk) 15:35, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

If the 'ontology' mention is retained (I'm personally inclined to think that ontology actually undergirds mathematics), then this sentence - "Ontology is a prerequisite for physics, but not for mathematics." - should be changed. There are many arguments over the ontological status of mathematical objects. I propose this replacement: "Ontology is a prerequisite for physics, but arguably not for mathematics." 70.138.217.107 (talk) 19:38, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

I second changing the picture about ontology, which mathematics exceeds not. Duxwing (talk) 03:21, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

## Get your Fundaments right here!

Text of current lede a) fails to characterize physics properly and b) expresses the counterfactual that physics is an ill-defined and amorphous activity. "Fundamental" does occur but in an improper and tangential way. Lycurgus (talk) 03:19, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I see only concrete statements. Can you be more specific? For example in the lede 'matter and motion' is directly from Maxwell's 1878 textbook. so ... ? --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 03:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
A lede is about generality, summarizing the essence of the thing exposited in the article. There are no specifics to specify but rather that lack of cogent and correct generalization is the issue as is the counterfactual implying an amorphous and ill defined thing. Responding under assumption no changes since I opened this thread, also I'm not going to put time into this article. Lycurgus (talk) 22:35, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

## It's not all of Science

The lede states that "More broadly, it [Physics] is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves." This definition is so broad that it'd conflate with that of science as a whole. It claims to be sourced based on Young & Freedman 2014, p.1, whose most relevant quote says that "You will come to see physics as a towering achievement of the human intellect in its quest to understand our world and ourselves." In their statement, "its" refers to the human intellect broadly, not physics specifically. The other source is "Physics for Dummies", and I challenge its reliability as a source for precise definitions. Fgnievinski (talk) 00:53, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

But see "Physics is the most fundamental and all-inclusive of the sciences, and has had a profound effect on all scientific development. In fact, physics is the present-day equivalent of what used to be called natural philosophy, from which most of our modern sciences arose." --Richard Feynman Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume I p.3-1. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 02:27, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
That may serve as a historical definition; modernly, physics is not all of natural science either. Fgnievinski (talk) 04:17, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
If you have access to JSTOR, there is a wealth of material on the fundamental character of physics; it's not just historical, it's up-to-date and points to future, and also to speculative directions in science: Reviewed Work: How Modern Science Came into the World: Four Civilizations, One Seventeenth-Century Breakthrough by H. Floris Cohen, via JSTOR. If you can get it, there is H. Floris Cohen's 2010 How Modern Science Came Into the World. HFC (2010) p.266 finds 3 distinct transformations from Greek science, what he denotes "realist-mathematical science, the natural philosophy of kinetic corpuscularianism, and fact-finding experimentalism" which all fall under the realm of physics. Transformation 1 can be traced from Hellenic Alexandria (i.e. Archimedes), Transformation 2 from theories of matter, most famously Newton's world picture, Transformation 3 from Alhacen and Galileo. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 17:49, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
That still doesn't mean "it is the general analysis of nature," including human nature and all. Fgnievinski (talk) 16:14, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
English wikipedia uses the nature article, for the English/American view that 'nature' is natural, not artificial, not man-made. That is, the nature article stems from the English/American cultural view that no artifice can explain natural phenomena, as nature arose separately without human fiat. The DNA story, solved by collaboration of a former physicist and a naturalist has proven to be pivotal for the understanding of life, are rooted in scientific scholarship and the philosophical conviction that the gene had a physical basis. The explanations for the rise of societies and cooperative behavior, the operation of the brain, and consciousness are still works in process. These studies do not preclude physics or natural science. Indeed, to be comprehensible, these studies need to be rooted in physics (a paraphrase of Einstein), without artifice or fiat, in a chain of explanation, ultimately like that in a mathematical proof. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 05:05, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
So by extension, I guess you'd argue that in the sentence "... conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves", the "universe" also excludes humans? Without footnotes making explicit these caveats, the current version ("More broadly, it [physics] is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves") suggests that physics seeks to explain everything there is to know -- including psychology, sociology, etc., which seems well outside the scope of physics. Fgnievinski (talk) 05:55, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── No, that's not the argument. Understanding must be grounded in physical reasoning. Feynman said, for example "The American Civil War will pale into insignificance compared to Maxwell's equations.". The universe existed before human fiat, and will exist long after human fiat. It's in the articles. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 08:09, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

And, I think, that if you are a strict materialist, which I am not but I understand Science to be (it can't really be anything else), then Physics *is* the most fundamental and all-encompassing science. Without a metaphysical component, ultimately any final-cause explanation of biology, psychology, sociology, even humanities, would have a physical root. And, as Laplace might say "All we need do, is add up the summations" to have a physical theory have predictive utility in these non-physics disciplines.
Being a non-materialist, I don't buy totally into the concept, so I would not say that Physics (nor even "Science") is the Be-all and End-all in philosophy, but I think that Physics may well be the bottom of all other sciences. 70.109.187.202 (talk) 03:49, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

### Physics doesn't study everything that exists

Let's get back to the sources. The current ones, Young & Freedman and Physics for Dummies, don't support the assertion of an all-encompassing physics. Then there's Feynman's, which is fine, but only mentions physics vis-à-vis sciences, thus excluding all the arts and humanities -- which of course are still concerned with phenomena contained in this natural universe, just are not the subject of physics or natural sciences or sciences as fields of study. Unless it can be properly sourced, I plan to remove from the lede the statement unsupported by the current sources ("More broadly, it [physics] is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves"). Fgnievinski (talk) 22:00, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

But as 70.109.187.202 (a non-materialist) points out, a materialist POV will entail the fundamental position of physics as the base science.
I recall the editor who selected Young & Freedman, etc as the citation, years ago; he wanted to use readily available resources. At the time, Feynman was not available online.
What if we were to replace Young & Freedman, etc with R. P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol.1, Chaps.1,2,&3.? That would support 70.109.187.202's statement about those who are materialist, as well. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 00:38, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Note: I think at least we 3 recognize that currently all the arts and humanities are not founded on the same basis as the sciences. That does not mean that the this condition will be true in the future. Polymaths in particular are multidisciplinary. Jacob Bronowski Science and Human Values abstract writes that Science and art spring from the same root. Each of the National Laboratories has an artist in residence, to illustrate their awareness of this commonality. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 02:08, 19 July 2015 (UTC) have been re-reading Feynman v.I p3-1, and point out that although the scope of physics is all space-time, by no means do all physical theories explain everything. There would have to be more work in physics and in all of science to do, for that to be true. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 09:35, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing up Feynman, always an enjoyable reading. He says: "There is another kind of problem in the sister sciences which does not exist in physics..." Alas, there you have it: a scope around physics. He goes on to single out History, and there's also the Arts, and the rest of Humanities and Social sciences. This article must stop stating that physics is concerned with all of reality. Feynman concludes saying: "If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that nature does not know it!"; we should also remember the present article is not about the universe or nature, but about one particular field of study. Fgnievinski (talk) 19:42, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. In addition Feynman states a condition for using the methods of physics to solve the problem: "In order for physics to be useful to other sciences in a theoretical way, other than in the invention of instruments, the science in question must supply to the physicist a description of the object in a physicist’s language." This translation requirement has been a mechanism for cross-fertilization. It has occurred over and over again in the history of physics, propagating though the sciences. A history ranging from application to theory, from insight & terminology to instrument, back & forth, repeatedly.
But the history that Feynman was referring to was 'how did this science (such as geology) get that way?'. Thus for geology, the problem is an application of thermodynamics to the specific configuration of the materials which comprise Earth. Same for biology, astronomy, etc. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 08:20, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

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## edit request

Under core theories, please change specialised and organised to specialized and organized as accordant with engvar — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:CA0D:8C00:C07:1488:8B84:6989 (talk) 23:55, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Please sign all your talk page messages with four tildes (~~~~). Thanks.
Not done: It seems that there's more occurences of "ise-words" than of "ize-words". So have replaced the latter by the former for internal article consistency. If I missed some, feel free to continue. - DVdm (talk) 17:31, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

## Semi-protected edit request on 26 June 2016

In line 5 of the second paragraph of "Physics in the Medieval Islamic World", the phrase "obscura camera" should more properly be "camera obscura"

2601:801:4100:FEA0:5830:1115:A043:DB54 (talk) 05:10, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Done and added wikilink: [4]. - DVdm (talk) 09:19, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

## Semi-protected edit request on 13 December 2016

Physics (from Ancient Greek: φυσική (phusikḗ) ἐπιστήμη(epistḗmē) "knowledge of nature", 216.73.79.197 (talk) 19:37, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 20:52, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

## Mistake in the flowchart diagram

The flowchart appearing in the "Relation to other fields" section seems to be wrong in putting ontology as a derivative or proceeding from Mathematics. Ontology must precede mathematics in the diagram. It is possible to speak of the Ontology of Mathematics (mathematical objects) but never the Mathematics of Ontology

Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundations_of_mathematics — Preceding unsigned comment added by 14.139.160.244 (talk) 16:22, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

## "This is overly technical and fairly idiosyncratic."

User:Headbomb, you deleted two passages. Which one is "too technical"? "traditionally"? Some qualification is needed to avoid an obviously false statement. Your choice. Much of modern physics does not involve that.

Furthermore, I invite you to consider the wisdom of basing the opening sentence of the lede of an article in one of the hard sciences on such a concept: "in (modern) physics, matter is not a fundamental concept because a universal definition of it is elusive". Must we be so wishy-washy? I interpret this description to imply that less-well-informed readers will be misled by taking it too seriously. Have you considered how you would explain to such a reader how that first sentence relates to items in List of unsolved problems in physics, where much of the activity is now focussed? Layzeeboi (talk) 00:28, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

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## Request for comment: Plasma (physics)

There is a request for comment on the lede of Rfc Plasma (physics) that might interest physics editors. Attic Salt (talk) 13:51, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

The article is also being considered for demotion from "good article" status: [5]. Please consider weighing in. Attic Salt (talk) 14:51, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

## Misuse of "Analytic" and "Synthetic"

In the section "Relation to Other Fields" and subsection "Prerequisites," the following is stated:

"It means physics is ultimately concerned with descriptions of the real world, while mathematics is concerned with abstract patterns, even beyond the real world. Thus physics statements are synthetic, while mathematical statements are analytic."

The second sentence does not follow from the first, as what is being delivered seems to be an a priori/a posteriori distinction instead of an analytic/synthetic one. Some, such as Kant in The Critique of Pure Reason, claim mathematically statements are actually synthetic, hence making the second statement disputed in of itself.

Thus, please change "synthetic" to "a posteriori" and "analytic" to "a priori." 2600:1700:B900:3E80:3147:607E:1B0C:1DA8 (talk) 23:26, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

I agree that this sentence is problematic. "Synthetic" can also mean, to some readers, "made up". "Synthesis" might be a better word, but I would vote for just removing this sentence completely. Attic Salt (talk) 23:54, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
The words 'synthetic' and 'analytic' are used in the sense of the Ancient Greeks, such as Pappus; synthetic in this sense means to use all the resources, the experience that you have at your disposal as in a synthetic proof, whereas analytic means to examine closely. (See George Polya, How to solve it : first analyze, then synthesize ). --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 00:32, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
While I agree the Greek (and, possibly borrowing from the Greeks, Cartesian, see, e.g., Descartes' Discourse on Method) is a proper use of the terms, that does not seem to be the context of the above passage. The passage is discussing the nature of the knowledge or object of study, while the Greek use of the terms seems to refer to the process (e.g., as used in the Cartesian method). I would also contend that even if this passage is referring to the differing methods of knowledge, both mathematics and physics include various aspects of the synthetic and analytic processes. In summary, I still think changing the terms to "a priori" and "a posteriori" would be best, or, as Attic Salt suggests, simply removing the sentence entirely, since the paragraph reads fine without it. 2600:1700:B900:3E80:3147:607E:1B0C:1DA8 (talk) 04:38, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the `{{edit semi-protected}}` template. As demonstrated above, there is dispute about what the terms mean and which terms are best for this passage. This change is therefore outside what a simple edit request can address and a consensus among interested editors will need to be demonstrated before this change is made. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:32, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
Um, isn't this conversation still on-going? I think it is useful to sound this out. Attic Salt (talk) 18:39, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
, exactly, which is why it does not fit into an edit request. There is clearly no current WP:CONSENSUS for the requested change so a new consensus will need to be created. This is usually achieved by discussions on talk pages. See the standard editing cycle or requests for comment pages for more information. In either event, this evident need for extended discussion means the simple "Please change X to Y cannot be done at this time. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:47, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

## Edit on history

The following statement has been deleted:

"experimental physics had its debuts with experimentation concerning statics by medieval Muslim physicists like al-Biruni and Alhazen.""

Reason:

1) I have obtained and read through both these sources and neither of them make the claim of the above statement either explicitly or implicitly. All these sources do is claim that al-Biruni performed experiments in mechanics. In order to for one to claim that experimental physics had its debut with Muslim physicists like al-Biruni and Alhazen the source would have to explicitly make the claim, which none of these sources do.

2) Furthermore the claim in itself is ridiculous. Experimentation has existed in physics and all of science since man began building tools and other complex objects, how else could the pyramids, Colosseum, etc have been built without experimentation. Also Archimedes discovered the principle of the buoyancy and the lever through experimentation as provided by a translation of Archimedes work "On Floating Bodies", one can follow this link to get access: http://www.archive.org/stream/worksofarchimede00arch#page/260/mode/2up

Are we to assume all science and physics before Muslim physicists like al-Biruni and Alhazen was just pure guess work, and that Archimedes guessed the principle of buoyancy and lever (not to mention he provided a qualitative and quantitative description of these laws)

3) The sources listed here don't even mention alhazen on the pages listed, hence that in itself is already a misrepresentation of the sources

4)This claim is a throw back remnant of jagged_85 work which has since been banned for misrepresenting sources and flat out lying in order to pursue an agenda, follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Jagged_85

If one can find scholarly sources that make the above claim then these claims can be reintroduced but not until sources that explicitly make the claim are found. Belief Action

The sentence "They proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, and many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment;[15] for example, atomism was found to be correct approximately 2000 years after it was first proposed by Leucippus and his pupil Democritus.[16]" completely ignores the quantum revolution!Davidaedwards (talk) 10:12, 4 May 2018 (UTC)Davidaedwards

Agree, sentence should be deleted. No one knows when experimental physics began, nor when observational astronomy began, nor when ... Attic Salt (talk) 12:40, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Smith 2001 traces Alhazen's experiments on diplopia to Claudius Ptolemy. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 02:11, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

## More general

More generally than studying matter (because it also studies spacetime, together and separately).. Physics is the study of reality.. which is to say the thing wherein all existing things are in, including the universe, which is physics' name for the real form of all things, similar to how the word nature is used. Existence is similar but has different usage. -Inowen (talk) 03:10, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

@Inowen: This is a collaborative space to discuss improvements to physics-related Wikipedia articles. If you wish to discuss physics in general, try https://www.physicsforums.com/. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:13, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I am discussing the article. -Inowen (talk) 03:34, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
What article? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:42, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Nevermind, it's me who was completely lost here for a moment. Ignore everything I just said. With apologies. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:43, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
@Inowen From the article: "In many ways, physics stems from ancient Greek philosophy." Your contribution appears to revisit it. What comes to mind is the thinking of Democritus. Might this be your point? -- 08:14, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
And 2500 years later, Feynman states it as "Matter is made of atoms" (see section 1-2) --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 09:23, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ancheta Wis, the point is that physics is not just about "matter" but also equally important things like energy, and space, and time. So "reality" isn't a bad word to use, and it is well-enough used in the field (Google: physics+reality). "Matter" is sometimes overused and then misused to refer to any kind of constituent substance that isn't just atoms, so Feynman wanted to bind those two ideas together - of matter is atoms and atoms is matter. -Inowen (talk) 22:16, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
Proposed changes: 1. Expand on the meaning of "knowledge of.." to be more clearly stated as "the study of..". 2. Expand on the term "nature" to mean "reality" as the word "nature" is sometimes bound to organic life and not to the cosmological meaning. 3. Indicate that physics studies not just "matter," unless matter refers to the quantum string and everything in reality to be made of string objects, which may be in vogue, but is unclear. -Inowen (talk) 22:52, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

## Observation

This is a heading to begin discussion about observation. Astronomical observation in naked-eye astronomy lies at the base of the first science, astronomy. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 13:49, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Okay. But don't you think it is a bit much to call astronmy the first science? Attic Salt (talk) 15:20, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
I invite you to read the citations about astronomy. Look up 'Exact sciences in antiquity'. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 15:40, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Okay, but isn't it biased to search astronomy citations to find out whether or not astronomy is the oldest science? I just did a search on google and found that social science is considered, by some, to be the "oldest" science, others say it is anatomy, still others say it is agriculture, etc. Anyway, I'm not even convinced that astronomy is the oldest physical science. Surely it is a silly question. I suppose this is important if the perception that astronomy is the "oldest" physical science leads to an over-representation of the subject in this article. Attic Salt (talk) 17:06, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Observation is the first step when gathering data about a science. Perhaps you might start searching there. Additionally, you might reflect on the roots of belief in order to come up with additional questions to attack this perception. --19:08, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
The knowledge in astronomy is both ancient and exact. That is the reason that a naked-eye astronomical observatory, which was relocated from one latitude to a different latitude of China, ceased to work. They forgot how to do astronomy in that dynasty.
Please compare the observations in the social science of your choice and check to see how accurate they are, in this day and age. It's hard to arrive at useful conclusions in them. There must be a missing factor which is not well-understood by us, in our time. --19:08, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
I have to caution about searches which confirm a thesis in order to prove that thesis. That is called confirmation bias. You need to search for disproofs of that thesis in order to progress. Failing that, please use citations to disprove the target thesis. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 19:08, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Of course, Ancheta, I'm advocating for avoiding confirmation bias. That is what I was saying. You were the one inviting me to read the citations about astronomy -- I was presuming that this was to to confirm your assertion that astronomy is the oldest science. Please clarify. Attic Salt (talk) 20:18, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I did not write the assertion in the article; I remember the editor who wrote it and his explanation of his motivation. The earliest astronomers studied the stars, each in their own methods; for example the Native Americans made observations in reflected light from pools of water. But the results are clearly about a global science with records of the declination and right ascension of the stars in their courses. Take a predicate such as "Sopdet (Sirius) has risen for the first time this year; the Nile will flood again.". That predicate records physical regularities with scientific precision, irrespective of fiat. That predicate was faithfully recorded in a style which is upheld to this day, irrespective of fashion. --07:37, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Now compare to another predicate "Teosinte is the father of maize.". That evidence for the first rise of agriculture some 10,000 years ago was clearly an independent discovery from the agriculture of the Fertile Crescent, dated thousands of years after the invention of the cultivation of maize. But agriculture requires fiat, repeated application of human will. The rising of Sirius is free of fiat, as is the rest of physics.
Now compare to a predicate "You have conquered the empire on horseback, but you will never keep it on horseback.". That sentence, uttered by a scholar-bureaucrat to the Han emperor, records the antiquity of the civil service system of China, which is a possible cause of the stability of that civilization, and also dependent on fiat.
I have just illustrated two possible counterexamples that could have predated astronomy, but which are entangled with human interventions (fiat), so that the examples are local, and neither global nor universal. Physics is free of this confounding factor, as is astronomy. The rise of science historically required this freedom, and allowed the construction of what are thought to be global or universal predicates. But if you wish to dispute the "oldest science" assertion, please cite your sources. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 08:02, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
Ancheta, you seem to be arguing that astronomy is an old science. I agree, it is old. But the cliche that it is the "oldest" science, so often seen in introductory text books (without supporting evidence) is my concern. Can we also please use normal English? Words like "fiat" and "predicate" are overdoing it, really. Thanks. Attic Salt (talk) 12:39, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
The concern, if I may interpolate, seems to be about textbook knowledge without evidence? In other words, catechism? Physics was built upon inquiry by people who had the time to think unfettered by ordinary needs. There is an educational movement called physics first which advocates that children learn about physics from ordinary playground equipment such as slides and merry-go-rounds. The intuitive knowledge that they gained on the playground also needs common nomenclature so that the feelings that children learned from their experiences with motion, inertia, friction, and force can get connected with abstract nouns like mass, space, and time. Then they can learn predicates (the science) by associating their observations with expectations, first-hand. Table-top physics in a lab, as opposed to classrooms. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 13:51, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
As long as we don't keep repeating "catechism". Otherwise, I apologise for contributing to this long-winded discussion. Attic Salt (talk) 13:58, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
1. ^ Chattopadhyaya 1986, pp. 169–70
2. ^ Radhakrishnan 2006, p. 202
3. ^ The atomists, Leucippus and Democritus: fragments, a text and translation with a commentary by C.C.W. Taylor, University of Toronto Press Incorporated 1999, ISBN 0-8020-4390-9, pp. 157-158.
4. ^ Glick, Livesey & Wallis (2005, pp. 89–90)
5. ^ a b Mariam Rozhanskaya and I. S. Levinova (1996), "Statics", p. 642, in Rashed & Morelon (1996, pp. 614–642)
6. ^ Glick, Livesey & Wallis (2005, pp. 89–90)