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Physics is the science of matter and its motion, as well as space and time — the science that deals with concepts such as force, energy, mass, and charge. Physics is an experimental science; it is the general analysis of nature, conducted to understand how the world around us behaves.


Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, having emerged as a modern science in the 17th century, and through its modern subfield of astronomy, it may be the oldest of all. Those who work professionally in the field are known as physicists.

Advances in physics often translate to the technological sector, and sometimes influence the other sciences, as well as mathematics and philosophy. For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism have led to the widespread use of electrically driven devices (televisions, computers, home appliances etc.,); advances in thermodynamics led to the development of motorized transport; and advances in mechanics led to the development of calculus, quantum chemistry, and the use of instruments such as the electron microscope in microbiology.

Today, physics is a broad and highly developed subject. Research is often divided into four subfields: condensed matter physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; high-energy physics; and astronomy and astrophysics.

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