phys·ics | \ ˈfi-ziks \

Definition of physics 

1 : a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions

2a : the physical processes and phenomena of a particular system

b : the physical properties and composition of something

Examples of physics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Musk, who studied physics, has floated ideas on Twitter such as using a double-layer Kevlar pressure pod or a long inflatable air sock to penetrate the narrow passageways and provide a rescue conduit. Fortune, "Elon Musk’s Team Due in Thailand to Help Rescue Soccer Team Trapped in Flooded Cave," 7 July 2018 The truth is that, unless there has been some huge misunderstanding of the laws of physics, human colonisation of the galaxy will be hard. The Economist, "Colonising the galaxy is hard. Why not send bacteria instead?," 12 Apr. 2018 Many laws are broken, most notably the laws of physics. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Skyscraper:' Big, dumb and kind of fun, thanks to Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell," 12 July 2018 The identification of blazars as a likely source for cosmic rays rounds out a story that began with one of the most daring discoveries in all of physics. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Skeptics believe that extraordinary claims, from claims of aliens to government aircraft that can make abrupt 90 degree turns in violation of the laws of physics, require extraordinary proof. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "70 Years and Counting, the UFO Phenomenon Is as Mysterious As Ever," 2 July 2018 According to Mordechai Segev, a professor of physics at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, a functional, accurate quantum computer would need to consist of about 2,000 quantum bits. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?," 30 June 2018 What's remarkable about DeepMind's software, however, is that the programmers didn't try to hard-code these laws of physics into the software. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Google researchers created an amazing scene-rendering AI," 29 June 2018 That will require a lot of power and some fairly large tanks to have any kind of discernible effect against some real limits of physics. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Here’s how Elon Musk might use rocket thrusters on the new Tesla Roadster," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'physics.' 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 physics

1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for physics

Latin physica, plural, natural science, from Greek physika, from neuter plural of physikos of nature, from physis growth, nature, from phyein to bring forth — more at be

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Statistics for physics

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for physics

The first known use of physics was in 1715

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More Definitions for physics

physics

noun

English Language Learners Definition of physics

: a science that deals with matter and energy and the way they act on each other in heat, light, electricity, and sound

physics

noun
phys·ics | \ ˈfi-ziks \

Kids Definition of physics

: a science that deals with the facts about matter and motion and includes the subjects of mechanics, heat, light, electricity, sound, and the atomic nucleus

phys·ics | \ ˈfiz-iks \

Medical Definition of physics 

: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions in the fields of mechanics, acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, magnetism, radiation, atomic structure, and nuclear phenomena

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More from Merriam-Webster on physics

Spanish Central: Translation of physics

Nglish: Translation of physics for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of physics for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about physics

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