Definition of classical mechanics

: a theory of matter that is based on Newtonian (see newtonian sense 2) mechanics and describes the behavior of particles in the absence of quantum effects — compare quantum mechanics

Examples of classical mechanics in a Sentence

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Over the past several decades, researchers have achieved a greater understanding of how quantum mechanics inevitably becomes classical mechanics through an interaction between a particle or other microscopic system and its surrounding environment. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests," 22 July 2019 Schrödinger drew on his deep knowledge of classical mechanics, and his equation in many ways resembles those used for ordinary waves. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Does a Quantum Equation Govern Some of the Universe's Large Structures?," 7 Mar. 2018 Way back in 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published three laws of motion that formed the foundation for classical mechanics. National Geographic, "NASA Team Claims ‘Impossible’ Space Engine Works—Get the Facts," 21 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'classical mechanics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of classical mechanics

1901, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2019

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The first known use of classical mechanics was in 1901

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What made you want to look up classical mechanics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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