Physical Law

" . applicable to a defined group or class of phenomena. and expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present. according to the Oxford English dictionary.What is physical law? • A physical law or scientific law is. "a theoretical principle deduced from particular facts.

• They are typically conclusions based on repeated scientific experiments and observations over many years and which have become accepted universally within the scientific community .

If we know how the natural world works. . or fulfill various tasks we may conceive. we can make use of natural principles to create devices and processes that will make our lives easier or more convenient. such knowledge can have purely practical value. On one level.• Physical science purports to give explanations of physical phenomena because it claims to explain why physical events occur and how physical objects work. we can predict events and prepare accordingly.

they do not properly answer WHY things are the way they are. .But.

• Stable. • Absolute. They appear to apply everywhere in the universe. at least within their regime of validity. Nothing in the universe appears to affect them. • Universal. there have never been repeatable contradicting observations. By definition.What are some of the general properties of physical law? • True. • Simple. They are typically expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Unchanged since first discovered • Omnipotent. Everything in the universe apparently must comply with them (according to observations) .

Newton was able to define the fundamental relationship between the acceleration of an object and the total forces acting upon it. Newton's Three Laws of Motion: • Sir Isaac Newton developed the Three Laws of Motion (law of gravity.What are examples of this so called physical law? 1. conservation of massenergy. and conservation of momentum) which describe basic rules about how the motion of physical objects change. .

Laws of Thermodynamics • The laws of thermodynamics are actually specific manifestations of the law of conservation of mass-energy as it relates to thermodynamic processes. .2.

it turns out. parallel the laws of universal gravitation in structure. There also exist similar laws relating to magnetism and electromagnetism as a whole. The formulas.3. Electrostatic Laws • Coulomb's law and Gauss's law are formulations of the relationship between electrically charged particles to create electrostatic force and electrostatic fields. • .

Physical Law and Philosophy…… .

Physical Law enables us to predict things more or less. it would render our existence meaningless and intolerable. .• Only a madman would insist that our formulation of quantitative law DOES NOT aid our understanding of the world. A world without predictability would be a world without order.

• This can be illustrated by describing what happens when we release a leaf in a vacuum chamber. the more we formulate the precise and determining action of a physical law. we get a trajectory that seems to be little more than the graphic display of a mathematical expression we call the "law of gravity".• Contrary to all current thinking within science. To see an event in this way as a mathematical necessity made visible gives us a powerful sense of explanation. the less it tells us about the events it governs. The leaf now "drops like a rock". . That is. We gain more and more exactness about less and less of the world's concrete expression.

we restrict ourselves to the sphere of our mathematical explanation and do not smuggle in qualitative aspects of the phenomenon lying outside the explanation . in doing this.• BUT.

like: -How these laws relate to the world they help us understand? -Why are physical laws the way they are? -Do physical laws make things happen? .• Thus. instead of being illuminating. philosophers believe that physical law actually leads us to more questions.