Reza Ziaei

Master Luthier

Introducing to Physics
Lecture I: The Natural Philosophy Next Lecture

Physics (from Ancient Greek: phusikḗ “Knowledge of Nature”, phúsis “Nature”) is the science that involves studying the properties of nature and the natural phenomena. In fact, physics explains “How” natural phenomena occur. In physics, we are faced with such questions:

How do natural phenomena occur? “How is the sound of a violin produced?”

How is the nature world organized? “How are the various parts of a machine interacting?”

It was about the sixth century BC, when the Ionians founded a new method of studying universe: “The Natural Philosophy”. Simultaneously the word “Philosopher” (composed of Philo and Sophos, literally meaning wisdom-loving) became common too. According to Aristotle, the characteristic of this Ionian cosmology was the fact that whenever they confronted with the question: “What is nature?” they at once converted it into another question: “What are things made of?”. The maturity of Ionian thought about nature was reflected in Aristotle’s works in the fourth century BC. He was the one who established the most lasting idea about mechanics. An idea whose foundations collapsed only near twenty centuries later by the founders of the “Classical Mechanics”: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton.

In this period, the development of a new idea about the behaviour of the universe began, whose impacts was also impressive not only in the world of science, but in the nature of philosophical inquiry and religious beliefs-especially in Europe, the most important hostess of these new scientific movements. Newton in his famous book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Principia), describes the philosophy of nature as: “All the difficulty of philosophy seems to consist in this-from the phenomena of motions to investigate the forces of Nature, and then from these forces to demonstrate the other phenomena […]”.

Also, the physicists of the new doctrines recognized observation and experimentation as the basis for the development of their theories. At this time, physics, as a new branch of science, separated its path from philosophy and was independently accepted. In the new era, the physicist judged each theory based on its empirical validity, while the ideas of the ancients were generally focused on reasoning, and the contradictions of the theory with experiment were only justified through mere reasoning.

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Remind yourself that all men assert that wisdom is the greatest good, but that there are few who strenuously seek out that greatest good.

Pythagoras.

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