Philosophy of physics

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In philosophy, the philosophy of physics studies the fundamental philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. The philosophy of physics begins by reflecting on the basic metaphysical and epistemological questions posed by physics: causality, determinism, and the nature of physical law. It then turns to questions raised by important topics in contemporary physics:

Centuries ago, the study of causality, and of the fundamental nature of space, time, matter, and the universe were part of metaphysics. Today the philosophy of physics is essentially a part of the philosophy of science.

Contents

Philosophy of space and time

Time

Time is a fundamental quantity (that is, a quantity which cannot be defined in terms of other quantities, because at present we don't know anything more basic than time). Thus time is defined via measurement - by its standard time interval. Currently, the standard time interval (called "conventional second," or simply "second") is defined as 9,192,631,770 oscillations of a hyperfine transition in the 133 caesium atom. (ISO 31-1). What exactly time "is" and how it works follows from the above definition. Physicists use theory to predict how time is measured. Time then can be combined mathematically with the fundamental quantities of space and mass to derive concepts such as velocity, momentum, energy, and fields.

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