classical mechanics


plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: 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

Recent Examples on the Web And of course that observation was central to the formulation of Kepler’s laws, which together with Galileo’s study of pendula and falling bodies, all this led to the pinnacle of the scientific revolution: Newton’s formulation of classical mechanics and the laws of gravitation. Quanta Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 Modern mechanics The problems above came from an ambiguity in the concept of force in classical mechanics. Larry M. Silverberg, Discover Magazine, 8 Dec. 2023 But for this piece of understanding, the key was a 350-year-old theorem of classical mechanics. Jackie Appel, Popular Mechanics, 22 Aug. 2023 The roots are in classical mechanics. Quanta Magazine, 29 Mar. 2023 And what must be true is that the full, exact theory of quantum cosmology should be able to reproduce this theoretical datum in an appropriate regime, just as quantum mechanics can reproduce the trajectory of a baseball (albeit in a much more complicated way than classical mechanics). Edgar Shaghoulian, Scientific American, 22 Aug. 2022 But, as physicist Carlo Rovelli, author of The Order of Timepoints out, the elementary laws of nature, which include classical mechanics, electrodynamics, quantum theory, general relativity, and the standard model, are all invariant under the reversal of time. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2021 Arnold was studying classical mechanics and wanted to know when the orbits of planets are stable, returning to their original configuration after a set period. Quanta Magazine, 9 Dec. 2021 Quantum physics enters the picture as a way to explain how very tiny things behave, filling one of the empty spots left by classical mechanics like general relativity. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 12 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'classical mechanics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of classical mechanics was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near classical mechanics

Cite this Entry

“Classical mechanics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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