Physical Law

Cosma / Communication / Knowledge / Realm / Physical / Law



Explore physical laws, principles and effects (Wolfram Alpha)


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


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)


Physics Fundamentals (Martindale’s Reference Desk)







WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library












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

  • Unraveling a perplexing explosive process that...
    on May 20, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Mysterious fast radio bursts release as much energy in one second as the Sun pours out in a year and are among the most puzzling phenomena in the universe. Now researchers at Princeton University, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have simulated and proposed a cost-effective experiment to produce and observe the early stages of this process in a way once thought to be impossible with existing technology.

  • Denying abortion access has a negative impact on...
    on May 20, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    The Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court proceedings in the United States have put the spotlight on the issue of abortion rights. Limiting access to safe abortions has many consequences, including increases in poverty, unemployment and pregnancy-related deaths. Another key area of impact from restricting abortion access is on family well-being and child development.

  • Here's what's come out of US congress hearings on...
    on May 20, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    The United States Congress recently held a hearing into US government information pertaining to "unidentified aerial phenomena" (UAPs).

  • US economy on brink of recovering pre-COVID job...
    on May 19, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    The U.S. is on pace to recover all 22 million jobs wiped out in the COVID-19 recession as early as July, but the milestone will obscure sharp differences among industries and an economy transformed by the crisis.

  • US child welfare system is falling short because...
    on May 18, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Although government spending on the child welfare system totaled US$33 billion in 2018, the most recent year for which an estimate is available, it's still failing to meet all children's needs because of overwhelming demand.


Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm


Law (Constant) Relativity
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)
Matter (Microscope) Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle

Universe (Astronomical Instrument)
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Our Neighborhood
Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid


1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.