Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,374 words)

1. Concept and origins

The present-day understanding of physics as a science concerned with the properties and laws of inanimate matter and the development of mathematically-formulated theories on the basis of experiment and measurement arose only in the late 18th and early 19th centuries out of the wider sense of physics as natural philosophy (Physical sciences). The key development was the focus on a specific subject area and the increasing reliance on quantitative and mathematical procedures (Quantification a…

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Steinle, Friedrich and Epple, Moritz, “Physics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025548>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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