Science that deals with the structure of matter and the interactions between the fundamental constituents of the observable universe. Long called natural philosophy (from the Greek physikos), physics is concerned with all aspects of nature, covering the behaviour of objects under the action of given forces and the nature and origin of gravitational, electromagnetic, and nuclear force fields. The goal of physics is to formulate comprehensive principles that bring together and explain all discernible phenomena. See also aerodynamics; astrophysics; atomic physics; biophysics; mechanics; nuclear physics; particle physics; quantum mechanics; solid-state physics; statistical mechanics.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on physics, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up physics? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.