Physics

Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, behavior through space and time, that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, chemistry and certain branches of mathematics, were a part of natural philosophy, but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics which are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy. Advances in physics enable advances in new technologies.

For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have transformed modern-day society, such as television, domestic appliances, nuclear weapons. Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. Early civilizations dating back to beyond 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, the Indus Valley Civilization, had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun and stars; the stars and planets were worshipped, believed to represent gods. While the explanations for the observed positions of the stars were unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for astronomy, as the stars were found to traverse great circles across the sky, which however did not explain the positions of the planets. According to Asger Aaboe, the origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, all Western efforts in the exact sciences are descended from late Babylonian astronomy.

Egyptian astronomers left monuments showing knowledge of the constellations and the motions of the celestial bodies, while Greek poet Homer wrote of various celestial objects in his Iliad and Odyssey. Natural philosophy has its origins in Greece during the Archaic period, when pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales rejected non-naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena and proclaimed that every event had a natural cause, they proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment. The Western Roman Empire fell in the fifth century, this resulted in a decline in intellectual pursuits in the western part of Europe. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire resisted the attacks from the barbarians, continued to advance various fields of learning, including physics. In the sixth century Isidore of Miletus created an important compilation of Archimedes' works that are copied in the Archimedes Palimpsest. In sixth century Europe John Philoponus, a Byzantine scholar, questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics and noting its flaws.

He introduced the theory of impetus. Aristotle's physics was not scrutinized until John Philoponus appeared, unlike Aristotle who based his physics on verbal argument, Philoponus relied on observation. On Aristotle's physics John Philoponus wrote: “But this is erroneous, our view may be corroborated by actual observation more than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights of which one is many times as heavy as the other, you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend on the ratio of the weights, but that the difference in time is a small one, and so, if the difference in the weights is not considerable, that is, of one is, let us say, double the other, there will be no difference, or else an imperceptible difference, in time, though the difference in weight is by no means negligible, with one body weighing twice as much as the other”John Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics served as an inspiration for Galileo Galilei ten centuries during the Scientific Revolution.

Galileo cited Philoponus in his works when arguing that Aristotelian physics was flawed. In the 1300s Jean Buridan, a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris, developed the concept of impetus, it was a step toward the modern ideas of momentum. Islamic scholarship inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further placing emphasis on observation and a priori reasoning, developing early forms of the scientific method; the most notable innovations were in the field of optics and vision, which came from the works of many scientists like Ibn Sahl, Al-Kindi, Ibn al-Haytham, Al-Farisi and Avicenna. The most notable work was The Book of Optics, written by Ibn al-Haytham, in which he conclusively disproved the ancient Greek idea about vision, but came up with a new theory. In the book, he presented a study of the phenomenon of the camera obscura (his thousand-year-old

Mathematics

Mathematics includes the study of such topics as quantity, structure and change. Mathematicians use patterns to formulate new conjectures; when mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity from as far back; the research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or centuries of sustained inquiry. Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Since the pioneering work of Giuseppe Peano, David Hilbert, others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th century, it has become customary to view mathematical research as establishing truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. Mathematics developed at a slow pace until the Renaissance, when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.

Mathematics is essential in many fields, including natural science, medicine and the social sciences. Applied mathematics has led to new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians engage in pure mathematics without having any application in mind, but practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are discovered later; the history of mathematics can be seen as an ever-increasing series of abstractions. The first abstraction, shared by many animals, was that of numbers: the realization that a collection of two apples and a collection of two oranges have something in common, namely quantity of their members; as evidenced by tallies found on bone, in addition to recognizing how to count physical objects, prehistoric peoples may have recognized how to count abstract quantities, like time – days, years. Evidence for more complex mathematics does not appear until around 3000 BC, when the Babylonians and Egyptians began using arithmetic and geometry for taxation and other financial calculations, for building and construction, for astronomy.

The most ancient mathematical texts from Mesopotamia and Egypt are from 2000–1800 BC. Many early texts mention Pythagorean triples and so, by inference, the Pythagorean theorem seems to be the most ancient and widespread mathematical development after basic arithmetic and geometry, it is in Babylonian mathematics that elementary arithmetic first appear in the archaeological record. The Babylonians possessed a place-value system, used a sexagesimal numeral system, still in use today for measuring angles and time. Beginning in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics as a subject in its own right with Greek mathematics. Around 300 BC, Euclid introduced the axiomatic method still used in mathematics today, consisting of definition, axiom and proof, his textbook Elements is considered the most successful and influential textbook of all time. The greatest mathematician of antiquity is held to be Archimedes of Syracuse, he developed formulas for calculating the surface area and volume of solids of revolution and used the method of exhaustion to calculate the area under the arc of a parabola with the summation of an infinite series, in a manner not too dissimilar from modern calculus.

Other notable achievements of Greek mathematics are conic sections, trigonometry (Hipparchus of Nicaea, the beginnings of algebra. The Hindu–Arabic numeral system and the rules for the use of its operations, in use throughout the world today, evolved over the course of the first millennium AD in India and were transmitted to the Western world via Islamic mathematics. Other notable developments of Indian mathematics include the modern definition of sine and cosine, an early form of infinite series. During the Golden Age of Islam during the 9th and 10th centuries, mathematics saw many important innovations building on Greek mathematics; the most notable achievement of Islamic mathematics was the development of algebra. Other notable achievements of the Islamic period are advances in spherical trigonometry and the addition of the decimal point to the Arabic numeral system. Many notable mathematicians from this period were Persian, such as Al-Khwarismi, Omar Khayyam and Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī. During the early modern period, mathematics began to develop at an accelerating pace in Western Europe.

The development of calculus by Newton and Leibniz in the 17th century revolutionized mathematics. Leonhard Euler was the most notable mathematician of the 18th century, contributing numerous theorems and discoveries; the foremost mathematician of the 19th century was the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who made numerous contributions to fields such as algebra, differential geometry, matrix theory, number theory, statistics. In the early 20th century, Kurt Gödel transformed mathematics by publishing his incompleteness theorems, which show that any axiomatic system, consistent will contain unprovable propositions. Mathematics has since been extended, there has been a fruitful interaction between mathematics and science, to

Spin (physics)

In quantum mechanics and particle physics, spin is an intrinsic form of angular momentum carried by elementary particles, composite particles, atomic nuclei. Spin is one of two types of angular momentum in quantum mechanics, the other being orbital angular momentum; the orbital angular momentum operator is the quantum-mechanical counterpart to the classical angular momentum of orbital revolution and appears when there is periodic structure to its wavefunction as the angle varies. The existence of spin angular momentum is inferred from experiments, such as the Stern–Gerlach experiment, in which silver atoms were observed to possess two possible discrete angular momenta despite having no orbital angular momentum. In some ways, spin is like a vector quantity. All elementary particles of a given kind have the same magnitude of spin angular momentum, indicated by assigning the particle a spin quantum number; the SI unit of spin is the or, just as with classical angular momentum. In practice, spin is given as a dimensionless spin quantum number by dividing the spin angular momentum by the reduced Planck constant ħ, which has the same units of angular momentum, although this is not the full computation of this value.

The "spin quantum number" is called "spin", leaving its meaning as the unitless "spin quantum number" to be inferred from context. When combined with the spin-statistics theorem, the spin of electrons results in the Pauli exclusion principle, which in turn underlies the periodic table of chemical elements. Wolfgang Pauli in 1924 was the first to propose a doubling of electron states due to a two-valued non-classical "hidden rotation". In 1925, George Uhlenbeck and Samuel Goudsmit at Leiden University suggested the simple physical interpretation of a particle spinning around its own axis, in the spirit of the old quantum theory of Bohr and Sommerfeld. Ralph Kronig anticipated the Uhlenbeck-Goudsmit model in discussion with Hendrik Kramers several months earlier in Copenhagen, but did not publish; the mathematical theory was worked out in depth by Pauli in 1927. When Paul Dirac derived his relativistic quantum mechanics in 1928, electron spin was an essential part of it; as the name suggests, spin was conceived as the rotation of a particle around some axis.

This picture is correct so far as spin obeys the same mathematical laws as quantized angular momenta do. On the other hand, spin has some peculiar properties that distinguish it from orbital angular momenta: Spin quantum numbers may take half-integer values. Although the direction of its spin can be changed, an elementary particle cannot be made to spin faster or slower; the spin of a charged particle is associated with a magnetic dipole moment with a g-factor differing from 1. This could only occur classically if the internal charge of the particle were distributed differently from its mass; the conventional definition of the spin quantum number, s, is s = n/2, where n can be any non-negative integer. Hence the allowed values of s are 1/2, 1, 3/2, 2, etc.. The value of s for an elementary particle depends only on the type of particle, cannot be altered in any known way; the spin angular momentum, S, of any physical system is quantized. The allowed values of S are S = ℏ s = h 4 π n, where h is the Planck constant and ℏ = h/2π is the reduced Planck constant.

In contrast, orbital angular momentum can only take on integer values of s. Those particles with half-integer spins, such as 1/2, 3/2, 5/2, are known as fermions, while those particles with integer spins, such as 0, 1, 2, are known as bosons; the two families of particles obey different rules and broadly have different roles in the world around us. A key distinction between the two families is. In contrast, bosons obey the rules of Bose–Einstein statistics and have no such restriction, so they may "bunch together" if in identical states. Composite particles can have spins different from their component particles. For example, a helium atom in the ground state has spin 0 and behaves like a boson though the quarks and electrons which make it up are all fermions; this has some profound consequences: Quarks and leptons, which make up what is classically known as matter, are all fermions with spin 1/2. The common idea that "matter takes up space" comes from the Pauli exclusion principle acting on these particles to prevent the fermions that make up matter from being in the same quantum state.

Further compaction would require electrons to occupy the same energy states, therefore a kind of pressure acts to resist the fermions being overly close. Elementary fermions with other spins are not known to exist. Elementary particles which are thought of as carrying forces are all bosons with spin 1, they include the photon which carries the electromagnetic force, the gluon, the W and Z bosons. The ability of bosons to occupy the same quantu

Eigenvalues and eigenvectors

In linear algebra, an eigenvector or characteristic vector of a linear transformation is a non-zero vector that changes by only a scalar factor when that linear transformation is applied to it. More formally, if T is a linear transformation from a vector space V over a field F into itself and v is a vector in V, not the zero vector v is an eigenvector of T if T is a scalar multiple of v; this condition can be written as the equation T = λ v, where λ is a scalar in the field F, known as the eigenvalue, characteristic value, or characteristic root associated with the eigenvector v. If the vector space V is finite-dimensional the linear transformation T can be represented as a square matrix A, the vector v by a column vector, rendering the above mapping as a matrix multiplication on the left-hand side and a scaling of the column vector on the right-hand side in the equation A v = λ v. There is a direct correspondence between n-by-n square matrices and linear transformations from an n-dimensional vector space to itself, given any basis of the vector space.

For this reason, it is equivalent to define eigenvalues and eigenvectors using either the language of matrices or the language of linear transformations. Geometrically, an eigenvector, corresponding to a real nonzero eigenvalue, points in a direction, stretched by the transformation and the eigenvalue is the factor by which it is stretched. If the eigenvalue is negative, the direction is reversed. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors feature prominently in the analysis of linear transformations; the prefix eigen- is adopted from the German word eigen for "proper", "characteristic". Utilized to study principal axes of the rotational motion of rigid bodies and eigenvectors have a wide range of applications, for example in stability analysis, vibration analysis, atomic orbitals, facial recognition, matrix diagonalization. In essence, an eigenvector v of a linear transformation T is a non-zero vector that, when T is applied to it, does not change direction. Applying T to the eigenvector only scales the eigenvector by the scalar value λ, called an eigenvalue.

This condition can be written as the equation T = λ v, referred to as the eigenvalue equation or eigenequation. In general, λ may be any scalar. For example, λ may be negative, in which case the eigenvector reverses direction as part of the scaling, or it may be zero or complex; the Mona Lisa example pictured at right provides a simple illustration. Each point on the painting can be represented as a vector pointing from the center of the painting to that point; the linear transformation in this example is called a shear mapping. Points in the top half are moved to the right and points in the bottom half are moved to the left proportional to how far they are from the horizontal axis that goes through the middle of the painting; the vectors pointing to each point in the original image are therefore tilted right or left and made longer or shorter by the transformation. Notice that points along the horizontal axis do not move at all. Therefore, any vector that points directly to the right or left with no vertical component is an eigenvector of this transformation because the mapping does not change its direction.

Moreover, these eigenvectors all have an eigenvalue equal to one because the mapping does not change their length, either. Linear transformations can take many different forms, mapping vectors in a variety of vector spaces, so the eigenvectors can take many forms. For example, the linear transformation could be a differential operator like d d x, in which case the eigenvectors are functions called eigenfunctions that are scaled by that differential operator, such as d d x e λ x = λ e λ x. Alternatively, the linear transformation could take the form of an n by n matrix, in which case the eigenvectors are n by 1 matrices that are referred to as eigenvectors. If the linear transformation is expressed in the form of an n by n matrix A the eigenvalue equation above for a linear transformation can be rewritten as the matrix multiplication A v = λ v, where the eigenvector v is an n by 1 matrix. For a matrix and eigenvectors can be used to decompose the matrix, for example by diagonalizing it. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors give rise to many related mathematical concepts, the prefix eigen- is applied liberally when naming them: The set of all eigenvectors of a linear transformation, each paired with its corresponding eigenvalue, is called the eigensystem of that transformation.

The set of all eigenvectors of T corresponding to the same eigenvalue, together with the zero vector, is called an eigenspace or characteristic space of T. If the set of eigenvectors of T form a basis of the domain of T this basis is called an eigenbasis. Eigenvalues are introduced in the context of linear algebra or matrix theory. However, they arose in the study of quadratic forms and differential equations. In the 18th century Euler studied the rotational motion of a rigid body and discovered the importance of the pri