Q:

How is classical physics different from modern physics?

A:

Quick Answer

Scholars use the term "classical physics" to describe theories of physics developed prior to 1900 and "modern physics" as a label for developments that occurred after 1900; classical physics deals with matter and energy on a macro scale without delving into the more complex studies of quanta that characterize modern physics. Max Planck's work marked the end of classical physics. Unlike classical physics, modern physics includes the theory of relativity.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Classical physics was an outgrowth of "natural science," a broad term that initially encompassed all scientific inquiry. As time passed, scientific subfields, like biology and astronomy, began developing. The questions that concern physics--the flow of matter and energy--had always been at the heart of natural science. Classical physics primarily involved mechanics (the study of the forces that affect the motion of objects), hydrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics and acoustics.

Some of the important laws of classical physics are the laws of conservation of mass and of energy. According to these, energy in a system is neither created nor destroyed.

In the twentieth century, Max Planck put an end to Newtonian classical physics with the development of quantam mechanics. His theories regarding quanta, or small units of energy, revolutionized the science. As a result of Planck's work and that of successors like Einstein, modern physics became focused on the structure of nature's smallest particles, rather than on the large, observable systems that are the focus of classical physics.

Learn more about Thermodynamics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are examples of thermal energy?

    A:

    Thermal energy is the movement of particles within matter and is found in the sun, magma, heated water and even the human body. Heat represents the transfer of thermal energy between matter.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of physics from Ask.com?

    A:

    Ask.com defines physics as "the branch of science that is mostly involved with properties of matter, energy and nature." Additionally, Ask lists the main topics explored in physics: mechanics, heat, light, sound, magnetism, electricity and the structure of atoms. Ask also defines the word physics, when used as a noun, as "the science that deals with matter, energy, motion and force."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does "E" equal?

    A:

    In physics and chemistry, the term "E" is often used as an abbreviation for energy in equations. Since energy can take different forms and has various relationships with matter, motion, light and other scientific concepts, "E" appears in many different equations.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does the concept of "power" relate to work in physics?

    A:

    In physics, power is the rate at which work is done. Mathematically, it is the work done on an object divided by the time being considered. While work only considers the force that acts to cause a displacement, power considers the time it takes for the force to cause the displacement. Power can also be described as force multiplied by velocity, since velocity is displacement divided by time.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore