In physics, classical mechanics and quantum mechanics are the two major sub-fields of mechanics. Classical mechanics is concerned with the set of physical laws describing the motion of bodies under the action of a system of forces. The study of the motion of bodies is an ancient one, making classical mechanics one of the oldest and largest subjects in science, engineering and technology.
Classical mechanics describes the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery, as well as astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galaxies. Besides this, many specializations within the subject deal with gases, liquids, solids, and other specific sub-topics. Classical mechanics provides extremely accurate results as long as the domain of study is restricted to large objects and the speeds involved do not approach the speed of light. When the objects being dealt with become sufficiently small, it becomes necessary to introduce the other major sub-field of mechanics, quantum mechanics, which reconciles the macroscopic laws of physics with the atomic nature of matter and handles the wave–particle duality of atoms and molecules. However, when both quantum mechanics and classical mechanics cannot apply, such as at the quantum level with many degrees of freedom, quantum field theory (QFT) becomes applicable. QFT deals with small distances and large speeds with many degrees of freedom as well as the possibility of any change in the number of particles throughout the interaction. To deal with large degrees of freedom at the macroscopic level, statistical mechanics becomes valid. Statistical mechanics explores the large number of particles and their interactions as a whole in everyday life. Statistical mechanics is mainly used in thermodynamics. In the case of high velocity objects approaching the speed of light, classical mechanics is enhanced by special relativity. General relativity unifies special relativity with Newton's law of universal gravitation, allowing physicists to handle gravitation at a deeper level.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to physics:
Physics – natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.
Celestial mechanics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the motions of celestial objects. The field applies principles of physics, historically classical mechanics, to astronomical objects such as stars and planets to produce ephemeris data. Orbital mechanics (astrodynamics) is a subfield which focuses on the orbits of artificial satellites. Lunar theory is another subfield focusing on the orbit of the Moon.
The gravity of Earth, denoted g, refers to the acceleration that the Earth imparts to objects on or near its surface. In SI units this acceleration is measured in meters per second squared (in symbols, m/s2 or m·s−2) or equivalently in newtons per kilogram (N/kg or N·kg−1). It has an approximate value of 9.81 m/s2, which means that, ignoring the effects of air resistance, the speed of an object falling freely near the Earth's surface will increase by about 9.81 metres (32.2 ft) per second every second. This quantity is sometimes referred to informally as little g (in contrast, the gravitational constant G is referred to as big G).
There is a direct relationship between gravitational acceleration and the downwards weight force experienced by objects on Earth, given by the equation ma = F (force = mass × acceleration). However, other factors such as the rotation of the Earth also contribute to the net acceleration.
In everyday usage, the mass of an object is often referred to as its weight though these are in fact different concepts and quantities. In scientific contexts, mass refers loosely to the amount of "matter" in an object (though "matter" may be difficult to define), whereas weight refers to the force experienced by an object due to gravity. In other words, an object with a mass of 1.0 kilogram will weigh 9.81 newtons (newton is the unit of force, while kilogram is the unit of mass) on Earth (its mass multiplied by the gravitational field strength). Its weight will be less on Mars (where gravity is weaker), more on Saturn, and negligible in space when far from any significant source of gravity, but it will always have the same mass.
Objects on the surface of the Earth have weight, although sometimes this weight is difficult to measure. An example is a small object floating in a pool of water, or even a dish of water, which does not appear to have weight since buoyed by the water, but is found to have its usual weight when it is added to water in a container which is entirely supported and weighed on a scale. Thus, the "weightless object" floating in water actually transfers its weight to the bottom of the container (where the pressure increases). Similarly, a balloon has mass but may appear to have no weight or even negative weight, due to buoyancy in air. However, in the case of buoyancy, the weight of the balloon and the gas inside it has merely been transferred to a large area of the Earth's surface (in fact the entire surface, eventually), making the weight difficult to measure. The weight of a flying airplane is similarly distributed to the ground, but does not disappear. If the airplane is in level flight, the same weight-force is distributed to the surface of the Earth as when the plane was on the runway, but spread over a larger area.
Algeria · Nigeria · Sudan · Ethiopia · Seychelles
Uganda · Zambia · Kenya · South Africa
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Nepal · Sri Lanka · Vietnam
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Note: Varies by jurisdiction
Note: Varies by jurisdiction