Physics is a natural science; it is the study of matter and its motion through spacetime and all that derives from these, such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the world and universe behave.
Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of astronomy. Over the last two millennia, physics had been considered synonymous with philosophy, chemistry, and certain branches of mathematics and biology, but during the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century, it emerged to become a unique modern science in its own right. However, in some subject areas such as in mathematical physics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics remain difficult to distinguish.
Physics is both significant and influential, in part because advances in its understanding have often translated into new technologies, but also because new ideas in physics often resonate with the other sciences, mathematics and philosophy.
For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism or nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products which have dramatically transformed modern-day society (e.g., television, computers, and domestic appliances); advances in thermodynamics led to the development of motorized transport; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus.
In Science, the term natural science refers to a naturalistic approach to the study of the universe, which is understood as obeying rules or laws of natural origin. Overall, natural science is the core of all sciences.
The term natural science is also used to distinguish those fields that use the scientific method to study nature from the social sciences and the humanities, which use the scientific method to study human behavior and society; and from the formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, which use a different (a priori) methodology.
In physics, motion means a change in the location of a body. Change in motion is the result of applied force. Motion is typically described in terms of velocity, acceleration, displacement, and time. An object’s velocity cannot change unless it is acted upon by a force, as described by Newton’s first law also known as Inertia. An object’s momentum is directly related to the object’s mass and velocity, and the total momentum of all objects in a closed system (one not affected by external forces) does not change with time, as described by the law of conservation of momentum.
A body which does not move is said to be at rest, motionless, immobile, stationary, or to have constant (time-invariant) position.
Motion is always observed and measured relative to a frame of reference. As there is no absolute reference frame, absolute motion cannot be determined; this is emphasised by the term relative motion. A body which is motionless relative to a given reference frame, moves relative to infinitely many other frames. Thus, everything in the universe is moving.
More generally, the term motion signifies any spatial and/or temporal change in a physical system. For example, one can talk about motion of a wave or a quantum particle (or any other field) where the concept location does not apply.
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