Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Thursday, August 16, 2018

What is physics?


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Florian Marquardt

Photo license: CC BY-SA 3.0


What is physics? Here is my definition:


Physics is the study of matter, motion, force, space and time


I believe that physics has a lot to contribute to philosophy. Philosophy, being the study of the fundamental principles of reality, ought to be concerned with the material we are surrounded in. Historically, physics has provided insight into certain philosophical concepts such as space, time, causality and consciousness. Although this is not my opinion, it could also be imagined that if physicists dig deep enough into an atom, maybe they could discover the 'meaning of life'.


Physics also teaches us that matter is absurd. If you look deep into an atom, you will find wide assortment of objects and complexity extending into infinity. To the ordinary person, this must seem strange. Regarding quantum mechanics, physicist Werner Heisenberg said,


"...I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments." (Physics and Philosophy, 1958)



License: CC BY-SA 4.0