Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Physics

  • John R. Albright
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_810

Related Terms

Description

Physics is the science that forms the foundations for the other sciences and for much of engineering. It is based largely on mathematics– more so than most other sciences. It therefore has a reputation for being difficult. This is apparently at odds with the most thoughtful definition: Physics is that science which considers the simplest systems and then tries to achieve a complete description of them. It is the aim for completeness that causes the difficulty. A biologist cannot hope to produce a complete description of even a single cell. It should be evident that physicists are adept at looking for simplifications. If none appears without oversimplification, then the problem is generally turned over to a different science.

Self-identification

Physicists have considerable self-awareness of their participation in their science. They have undergone a training that emphasizes the unity of the field, in spite of the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Albright, J. R. (1982). Comments concerning the visual acuity of quark hunters. Synthese, 50, 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, C. D. (1932). Energies of cosmic-ray particles. Physical Review, 41(4), 405–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackett, P. M. S., & Occhialini, G. P. S. (1933). Some photographs of the tracks of penetrating radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 139(839), 699–720, 722, 724, 726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dirac, P. A. M. (1931). Quantised singularities in the electromechanical field. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 133, 60–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dirac, P. A. M. (1939). The relation between mathematics and physics. Proceedings of the Royal Society (Edinburgh), 39, 122–129.Google Scholar
  6. Moore, R. (1985). Neils Bohr: The man, his science, and the world these changed. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Toretti, R. (1999). The philosophy of physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lutheran School of TheologyChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Purdue University CalumetINUSA
  3. 3.Florida State UniversityFLUSA