Classical Physics, History of Classical Physics

Physics strives to find unifying principles to explain all natural phenomena. It is perhaps no exaggeration to say that all natural sciences exist within the frame work of the laws of physics. Physics comprises a variety- of subjects ranging from mechanics, optics, acoustics, heat, electricity and magnetism to special areas such as atomic physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, biophysics and geophysics.

Classical Physics

History of Classical Physics

The development and growth of physics started with classical physics -physics developed prior to about the year 1890. In classical physics matter and energy are regarded as two separate entities. Anything that occupies space and has mass is matter. Energy IS the capacity to move matter, or stated differently as the capacity to do work. The laws of classical physics treat the conservation of mass and energy separately. Classical physics deals essentially with theories, laws, concepts and experiments in three major branches, namely classical mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism.

Classical Physics (Newtonian) Mechanics

Classical physics (Newtonian) mechanics is the study of forces and their effect on matter and deals mainly with the motion of bodies whose speeds are small compared to that of light. It is based on Newtons laws of motion and gravitation. Thermodynamics is the study of heat, and deals with the relation between heat and work and with engines in which changes in internal energy take place as a result of flow of heat and of work done on/by the system. It is based on four laws the zeroth, first, second and third laws of thermodynamics.

Electromagnetism is the study of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic radiation including light. The laws governing the production of electric and magnetic fields and their interaction with electric charges and currents were formulated by James Clerk Maxwell in the form of four basic equations. These equations were also found applicable to understand properties of light such as reflection, refraction and interference.




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