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Hrm. I really don't like the current definition of physics. Matter and the four fundamental forces? That just doesn't sound right. Where does energy fit in? Matter's just a subset of energy. There's got a be a better way, something about "basic interactions". (One def I saw was "matter and energy and their interactions")

I also wouldn't restrict physics to the "four fundamental forces". After all, there's the basic assertion that there's really only one "fundamental" force.

So if you don't want to use the basic "science of nature", its historical definition, perhaps some def w/the buzzwords "matter", "energy","laws","forces".

I would like to exchange the main Physics page with the one on /Schemes. Are there any objections, or is anything still missing from /Schemes? --AxelBoldt

I would merge, rather than replace. For instance, the subfields in /Schemes is sparse compared to the American Physical Societies section of main. The central theories area of /Schemes also intersperses theories with full blown areas of study (i.e. thermodynamics isn't one theory, whilst special relativity is).

As for a definition, may I suggest:

Physics is the study of nature in the broadest sense. Physicists attempt to find the most general rules that govern all of nature. Physics generally breaks down in to the study of the properties of matter, fields, space, time, and energy and how they interact. To describe these phenomena, physicists generally us the most precise language available to them, mathematics.

Or something of that general sort. Perhaps even a mention that physics really is the study of everything in nature (i.e., mention that chemistry is a subset of physics that is governed by the molecular-atomic description of matter, and that biology is a subset of chemistry). Just musing. --BlackGriffen

Ok, I like your definition and agree that I should incorporate more subfields. Do you think thermodynamcis fits better as a subfield? I think it is pretty close to a theory: a bunch of definitions, a small number of laws, and then only consequences.

I'm not sure all biologist would agree with your reductionist view of biology as a subset of chemistry as a subset of physics, so I don't want to go there. Biologists pose and answer questions that are different from questions of physics. For instance, even if you knew all laws of physics, you still wouldn't know why we have our eyes in the head and not on our asses. --AxelBoldt

On the /Schemes page, I've changed Laser science to Optics, since it's a little more top-level, and doesn't really fit anywhere else. Lasers are a completely enclosed subfield of Optics, in my opinion -- DrBob

On the /Schemes page, I suggest to move Quantum electrodynamics and Statistical Mechanics to central theories. --css

I think something should be included on ancient greek physics. Not all was Aristotle. From the top of my head Archimedes found out interesting things that are still applied.

It looks like a lot of what has been added to this page belongs to History of Physics which is empty.

Hmm, I see that the history section in Physics has been copied pretty much wholesale into that article. That's fine, but I think we should also keep the section in Physics, because in addition to giving a history it also describes the subtopics of physics which I think is important for the article. As for History of Physics, if it is supposed to justify its own article, more historical material should be added to distinguish it, e.g. precise dates and a greater level of detail. Then at the end of Physics we add a line like "for a more detailed history of physics, see History of Physics" (currently pointless, as there isn't more detail yet.) --CYD

How about renaming "proposed theories" to, say, "current research topics"? Then we can include current experimental efforts as well. I don't think a new section should be added to the end of the article just for this, putting it with the other lists should be fine. -- CYD

Then we'd have to get rid of Grand Unified Theory and Theory of Everything. There's no correspondence between the two categories so it wouldn't be a renaming but a replacing.

I'm not sure about that. GUTs and TOEs are part of current research efforts, aren't they? Alternatively, we could add descriptions of current research efforts to the end of the article, after the History of Physics section (actual descriptions, not just a list bullet points.) Or, we could have another article, say Current research topics in physics[?] and link to it. --CYD

What does TOE mean? Principally, it means M-theory. F-theory is related to M. Loop quantum gravity was never meant to be and never will be a TOE (and I agree with the opinion that it's not even scientific). Friedman(?) is looking at something that may or may not even be interesting. So basically TOE = M.

I got the impression that research in GUTs is dead. Especially after '95 or so when everyone joined M-theory, or should I say, when the strings community absorbed the supergravity community. I'm sure that people are doing various calculations with GUTs and hoping for evidence one way or another but nobody seems to look for, nor expects, any conceptual breakthroughs.

We can have anything you like, I'm not picky. But when the topic of hot research was introduced I came up with a big blank, which led me to think "hmmm, good question!" It took me quite a bit of brain raking to come up with 'search for SUSY' and 'search for Higgs boson'. I'd add dark matter (maybe!), gravitational waves and gamma ray bursts to the list, but I really don't know that much. -- ark

Explaning high Tc superconductivity; explaining sonoluminescence; search for WIMPs; search for axions; explaining neutrino oscillations (and thus the solar neutrino problem); explaining the muon g-2 factor; explaining energetic cosmic rays; the large extra dimensions hypothesis; etc. Baez has a longer list at http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/open_questions -- CYD

Large extra dimensions hypothesis? I've never heard of that! What is it?

An alternative to SUSY that's being seriously considered. You can find plenty of related sites with a Google search, but the original paper is here: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/9803315 -- CYD

How about "Proposed theories and research directions"? And then we add Supersymmetry, Higgs boson etc. AxelBoldt, Monday, June 3, 2002

I just replaced the translation of "phusis" as "matter" back to "nature", given the following two sites: http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=5449 and http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=physics . AxelBoldt, Wednesday, May 29, 2002

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