Physical Law

Cosma / Communication / Knowledge / Realm / Physical / Law


ThreeOutOfTwo (Official Site)
ThreeOutOfTwo (YouTube Channel)


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




Softecks (YouTube Channel)

Archimedes Principle   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Avogadro’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Ohm’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Newton’s Laws of Motion   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Newton’s Law of Gravity   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Newton’s Law of cooling   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Coulomb’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Stefan-Boltzmann Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Pascal’s Principle   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Hooke’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Bernoulli’s Theorem   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Boyle’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Charles’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Law of Conservation   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Tyndall Effect   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia
Graham’s Law   Encyclopædia Britannica   |   Wikipedia

Physical Principles (Wolfram Alpha)

Coulomb’s Law (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Coulomb’s Law (Wikipedia)

What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics? (Jim Lucas, Live Science)
Second Law of Thermodynamics (Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science)
Second Law of Thermodynamics (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Second Law of Thermodynamics (Wikipedia)

Principles of Physical Science (A. Brian Pippard, Encyclopædia Britannica)
Scientific Law (Wikipedia)



Physical Laws Gifts (Zazzle)




Jules Henri Poincaré made clear the importance of paying attention to the invariance of laws of physics under different transformations, and was the first to present the Lorentz transformations in their modern symmetrical form. Poincaré discovered the remaining relativistic velocity transformations and recorded them in a letter to Hendrik Lorentz in 1905. Thus he obtained perfect invariance of all of Maxwell’s equations, an important step in the formulation of the theory of special relativity. In 1905, Poincaré first proposed gravitational waves (ondes gravifiques) emanating from a body and propagating at the speed of light as being required by the Lorentz transformations. — Wikipedia

Henri Poincaré (Encyclopædia Britannica)

Scientific Law History (Wikipedia)
List of scientific laws named after people (Wikipedia)


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




Scientific Law (FlexBook)

MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Physicists (CareerOneStop, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration)
Careers in Physical Sciences (Physics World)


Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature (Harvard University)

American Physical Society (APS)
European Physical Society (EPS)
American Institute of Physics (AIP)


Laws of Nature (
Laws of Nature (NPR Archives)



Physical Laws (




Note: Okay, no, these don’t really break any “Laws of Physics,” but it’s good for a bit ‘o fun anyway — enjoy!

Nature’s non-stick solutions (Rachel Brazi, Chemistry World)
Hydrophobe (Wikipedia)

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Basics (EPA)
Sulfur hexafluoride (Wikipedia)

Gallium (Royal Society of Chemistry)
Facts About Gallium (Traci Pedersen, Live Science)
Gallium (Wikipedia)

Nitinol (Science Direct)
Nickel titanium (Wikipedia)

4-D Printing Turns Carbon Fiber, Wood Into Shapeshifting Programmable Materials (Evan Ackerman, IEEE Spectrum)
Programmable Table (MIT Self-Assembly Lab)

Hot Ice Crystal Towers (The STEM Hub)
Sodium Acetate (PubChem, National Library of Medicine)
Sodium Acetate (Wikipedia)

Hydrogel: Preparation, characterization, and applications (M.Ahmed, Journal of Advanced Research)
Hydrogel (Wikipedia)

Self-Healing Material (Science Direct)
Self-healing Material (Wikipedia)

Aerogels: Thinner, Lighter, Stronger (Tori Woods, NASA’s Glenn Research Center)
Aerogel (Wikipedia)

Breaking Bad IV – can a little crystal blow up a room? (Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex)
Nitrogen Triiodide (Wikipedia)



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.