What are the differences between physics, quantum physics and metaphysics?
What are their foundations and how are they related? What do one or more mean to you?
Metaphysics is the philosophical study of the notion of existence as well as concepts such as space, time, free will and the individual.
Quantum physics, on the other hand, is the study of quanta--small units that make up energy. These quanta are problematic because they are unpredictable in behavior and movement as they have qualities akin to both particles and waves.
I was told once that metaphysics means 'beyond physics' and interpreted that as beyond the five senses and requiring other senses and capacities to begin to know. Quanta are also beyond our ability to measure, yes? Science/Philosophy... Thanks...
Pretty close, JT, but really "Quantum Physics" is a non-preferred term for "quantum mechanics" and a "quantum" can be simply a unit of measure, such as a single inch. What you refer to as "quanta" are wavicles, and indeed they're troublemakers!
Physics is the science of physical objects/matter, energy, and their interactions.
"Quantum physics" should actually be "quantum mechanics" or "wave mechanics" or "statistical physics"--In any case, it's a subset of physics that deals with matter and energy on an atomic and sub-atomic level from a purely statistical/mathematical point of view; at a scale so small that a thing is neither a particle nor a wave but both simultaneously, statistically speaking (a "wavicle"). These wavicles are so small that to observe them is to add energy to--and therefore change--them, hence we have the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle. This line of thinking and the very complex statistics to support it was all developed in the first half of the 20th century by Heisenburg, Shroedinger (sp?), and a few other famous physicists whose names elude me at the moment. Quantum mechanics does NOT follow classical mechanics principles, as do most branches of physics.
Metaphysics is the abstract, philosophical study of that which is not objective. It is fundamentally unrelated to the first two because it is not a science--it cannot be measured or calculated, but rather it is "felt" or "assumed".
Somehow I knew you would answer, Laura. You are well informed as usual, and gave a very interesting comment. I did not know that what is called quantum physics is the same as quantum mechanics. Felt part for me is as I answered the 'beauty' question.
Ah, thanks for your compliments, E.P., but I'm afraid they are unnecessary in this case since I "cheated": I have a B.A. in Physics, part of which also included the study of quantum mechanics/statistical physics. (Don't wavicles sound tasty?)
Yes, I knew about your B.A. in Physics and thought of you when writing the Question. Not all physics majors can express concepts well or are willing to share what they know. Besides, a little back-patting can be fun. I wrote imaginatively at the beau
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