Physical Law

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Explore physical laws, principles and effects (Wolfram Alpha)

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Physical Realm
Physical Laws (Constants) Relativity
Matter Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)

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Physics Fundamentals (Martindale’s Reference Desk)

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A Dictionary of Named Effects and Laws in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics (D. W. Ballentyne & D. R. Lovett)

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Scientific laws are statements that describe or predict a range of natural phenomena. Each scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the Universe. The term law has diverse usage in many cases (approximate, accurate, broad, or narrow theories) across all fields of natural science (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, etc.). Scientific laws summarize and explain a large collection of facts determined by experiment, and are tested based on their ability to predict the results of future experiments. They are developed either from facts or through mathematics, and are strongly supported by empirical evidence. It is generally understood that they reflect causal relationships fundamental to reality, and are discovered rather than invented.

Laws reflect scientific knowledge that experiments have repeatedly verified (and never falsified). Their accuracy does not change when new theories are worked out, but rather the scope of application, since the equation (if any) representing the law does not change. As with other scientific knowledge, they do not have absolute certainty (as mathematical theorems or identities do), and it is always possible for a law to be overturned by future observations. A law can usually be formulated as one or several statements or equations, so that it can be used to predict the outcome of an experiment, given the circumstances of the processes taking place.

Laws differ from hypotheses and postulates, which are proposed during the scientific process before and during validation by experiment and observation. Hypotheses and postulates are not laws since they have not been verified to the same degree and may not be sufficiently general, although they may lead to the formulation of laws. A law is a more solidified and formal statement, distilled from repeated experiment. Laws are narrower in scope than scientific theories, which may contain one or several laws. Science distinguishes a law or theory from facts. Calling a law a fact is ambiguous, an overstatement, or an equivocation. Although the nature of a scientific law is a question in philosophy and although scientific laws describe nature mathematically, scientific laws are practical conclusions reached by the scientific method; they are intended to be neither laden with ontological commitments nor statements of logical absolutes.

According to the unity of science thesis, all scientific laws follow fundamentally from physics. Laws which occur in other sciences ultimately follow from physical laws. Often, from mathematically fundamental viewpoints, universal constants emerge from a scientific law. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica

List of scientific laws named after people (Wikipedia)

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • A new way to count qubits
    on September 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Researchers at Syracuse University, working with collaborators at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, have developed a new technique for measuring the state of quantum bits, or qubits, in a quantum computer. […]

  • Explainer: The US push to boost 'quantum...
    on September 24, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    A race by U.S. tech companies to build a new generation of powerful "quantum computers" could get a $1.3 billion boost from Congress, fueled in part by lawmakers' fear of growing competition from China. […]

  • Scientists solve the golden puzzle of calaverite
    on September 21, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Scientists from Russia and Germany have shed light on the crystalline structure of calaverite, foretelling the existence of a new gold compound previously unknown to chemists. The results of their study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. […]

  • Plan to restore and protect the Hudson River
    on September 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    The Hudson River is not an ordinary river. Rather, it is an estuary, where salt water from the ocean mixes with freshwater for 153 miles, from New York Harbor to Troy, NY. During the 1950s, the Hudson was an open sewer, with industries discharging toxic chemicals, paints, heavy metals and other waste into the water. Fish were contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) dumped from General Electric's factories into the upper Hudson, and more than a century of dredging and filling […]

  • Physicists develop a more accurate solution for...
    on September 19, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Researchers at the RUDN University have developed a mathematical method to solve the quantum Coulomb three-body problem for bound states with high accuracy. They also showed that previous calculations performed by a group of Japanese scientists are incorrect. The work will contribute to more accurate calculations of the trajectories of quantum particles in space, and its results will be useful in solving fundamental problems of physics. The paper was published in the journal Physical Review A. […]