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Physics - Physics And Philosophy

press relativity stars carried

The development of quantum theory, especially the delineation of Planck's constant and the articulation of the Heisenburg uncertainty principle carried profound philosophical implications regarding limits on knowledge. Modern cosmological theory (i.e., theories regarding the nature and formation of the universe) provided insight into the evolutionary stages of stars (e.g., neutron stars, pulsars, black holes, etc.) that carried with it an understanding of nucleosynthesis (the formation of elements) that forever linked mankind to the lives of the very stars that had once sparked the intellectual journey towards an understanding of nature based upon physical laws.

Resources

Books

Bloomfield, Louis A. How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Things. 2nd. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

Feynman, Richard P. The Character of Physical Law. MIT Press, 1965.

Gribbin, John. Q is for Quantum: An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics. New York: The Free Press, 1998.

Hartle, James B. Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity. Boston: Addsion-Wesley, 2002.

Hawking, Stephen, ed. On the Shoulders of Giants. Running Press, 2000.


Other

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Physics Laboratory" [cited March 10, 2003]. <http://physics.nist.gov/lab.html>.


K. Lee Lerner

David E. Newton

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Determinism

—The notion that a known effect can be attributed with certainty to a known cause.

Energy

—A state function that reflects an ability to do work.

Matter

—Anything that has mass and takes up space.

Mechanics

—The science that deals with energy and forces and their effects on bodies.

Sub-microscopic

—Referring to levels of matter that cannot be directly observed by the human senses, even with the best of instruments; the level of atoms and electrons.

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