Search Results 1 - 25 of 54. Results contain 305 matches


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Overview

Physics, philosophy of

The philosophy of physics forms a central discipline of the philosophy of science, which itself can claim to be central to metaphysics and epistemology (see Science, philosophy of). ...

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Thematic

Quantum logic

The topic of quantum logic was introduced by Birkhoff and von Neumann (1936), who described the formal properties of a certain algebraic system associated with quantum theory. To ...

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Thematic

Action at a distance

Action at a distance is typically characterized in terms of some cause producing a spatially separated effect in the absence of any medium by which the causal interaction ...

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Thematic

Motion

Motion is a kind of change, so it is worth beginning with change generally. Change is puzzling because it requires something both to remain the same (so one ...

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Thematic

Bell’s theorem

Bell’s theorem is concerned with the outcomes of a special type of ‘correlation experiment’ in quantum mechanics. It shows that under certain conditions these outcomes would be restricted ...

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Biographical

Bohr, Niels (1885–1962)

One of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr founded atomic quantum theory and the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. This radical ...

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Biographical

Boyle, Robert (1627–91)

Boyle is often remembered for the contributions that he made to the sciences of chemistry and pneumatics. Like other natural philosophers in seventeenth-century England, however, he was a ...

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Biographical

Bridgman, Percy William (1882–1961)

Bridgman founded high-pressure experimental physics and was committed to a classical empiricist view of science – a view challenged by twentieth-century developments in relativistic and quantum mechanics. He ...

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Biographical

Campbell, Norman Robert (1880–1949)

Campbell made important contributions to philosophy of science in the 1920s, influenced by Poincaré, Russell and his own work in physics. He produced pioneering analyses of the nature ...

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Thematic

Chaos theory

Chaos theory is the name given to the scientific investigation of mathematically simple systems that exhibit complex and unpredictable behaviour. Since the 1970s these systems have been used ...

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Thematic

Conservation principles

In antiquity ‘self-evident’ principles were used to argue for the conservation of certain quantities. The concept of quantitative conservation laws, such as those of mass and energy, is ...

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Thematic

Cosmology

The term ’cosmology’ has three main uses. At its most general, it designates a worldview, for example, the Mayan cosmology. In the early eighteenth century, shortly after the ...

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Biographical

Kepler, Johannes (1571–1630)

Kepler’s mathematical analysis of Brahe’s observations of the motions of Mars enabled him to formulate the descriptive ‘laws’ of planetary motion, thus giving heliocentric astronomy an empirical basis ...

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Thematic

Laws, natural

It is widely supposed that science aims to identify ’natural laws’. But what are laws of nature? How, if at all, do statements of laws differ from ’mere’ ...

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Thematic

General relativity, philosophical responses to

Much of the early philosophical attention given Einstein’s theory of gravitation was not uncontaminated by a grim post-war atmosphere conducive to public diversions, hysteria and national chauvinism. Most ...

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Thematic

Matter

Viewed as arising within the framework of a more general theory of substance, philosophical treatments of matter have traditionally revolved around two issues: (1) The nature of ...

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Biographical

Maxwell, James Clerk (1831–79)

For his two achievements of unifying electricity, magnetism and light, and of inventing statistical dynamics, Maxwell stands as the founding mind of modern theoretical physics. More than any ...

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Thematic

Measurement, theory of

A conceptual analysis of measurement can properly begin by formulating the two fundamental problems of any measurement procedure. The first problem is that of representation, justifying the assignment ...

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Thematic

Mechanics, Aristotelian

The central feature of Aristotle’s mechanics is his discussion of local motion, a change of place, which he categorizes as either natural or violent. He further divides natural ...

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Thematic

Mechanics, classical

Understood at its most general, ‘classical mechanics’ covers the approach to physical phenomena that dominated science from roughly the time of Galileo until the early decades of the ...

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Thematic

Determinism and indeterminism

Over the centuries, the doctrine of determinism has been understood, and assessed, in different ways. Since the seventeenth century, it has been commonly understood as the doctrine that ...

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Thematic

Determinism and indeterminism

REVISED

Over the centuries, the doctrine of determinism has been understood, and assessed, in different ways. Since the seventeenth century, it has been commonly understood as the doctrine that ...

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Biographical

Duhem, Pierre Maurice Marie (1861–1916)

Duhem was a French Catholic physicist, historian of science and philosopher of science. Champion of a programme of generalized thermodynamics as a unifying framework for physical science, he ...

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Biographical

Einstein, Albert (1879–1955)

Albert Einstein was a German-born Swiss and American naturalized physicist and the twentieth century’s most prominent scientist. He produced the special and general theories of relativity, which overturned ...

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Thematic

Electrodynamics

Electric charges interact via the electric and magnetic fields they produce. Electrodynamics is the study of the laws governing these interactions. The phenomena of electricity and of magnetism ...

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