Физик нь матери[1] болон түүний хөдөлгөөн,[2][3] мөн орон зай болон цаг хугацааг[4][5] судалдаг шинжлэх ухаан. Тухайлбал хүч, энерги, масс, цэнэг гэсэн ойлголтуудыг авч үздэг шинжлэх ухаан юм. Туршлагын шинжлэх ухаан учир түүний зорилго нь байгаль ертөнцийг ойлгох явдал байдаг.[6][7] Физик гэдэг үгийн гарал зүйн талаар физисээс (φύσις) харна уу.

In one form or another, physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines; through its modern subfield of astronomy, it may be the oldest of all.[8] Sometimes synonymous with philosophy, chemistry and even certain branches of mathematics and biology during the last two millennia, physics emerged as a modern science in the 17th century[9] and these disciplines are now generally distinct, although the boundaries remain difficult to define.

Физикт гарсан дэвшил нь үргэлж технологийн салбарт тусгалаа олж байдаг ба зарим тохиолдолд бусад шинжлэх ухаанууд болон математик, философид ч нөлөөлөх нь бий. Жишээлбэл цахилгаан соронзонгийн ойлголтонд гарсан дэвшилийн ачаар цахилгаан гаралтай төхөөрөмжүүдийг (зурагт, цахим тооцоолуур, гэр ахуйн хэрэгсэл гэх мэт) маш өргөнөөр хэрэглэх болсон, мөн термодинамикын хөгжилийн үр дүнд хөдөлгүүрт тээврийн хэрэгслүүд хөгжин бий болсон, механикт гарсан хөгжил дэвшил нь интеграл ба диффренциал тоолол, квант хими зэргүүдийг хөгжүүлэхэд түлхэц болсон ба микробиологид хэрэглэж буй электрон микроскоп гэх мэтийн багаж хэрэгсэлийг ашиглахад хүргэсэн юм.

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. Most physicists also specialize in either theoretical or experimental research, the former dealing with the development of new theories, and the latter dealing with the experimental testing of theories and the discovery of new phenomena. Despite important discoveries during the last four centuries, there are a number of open questions in physics, and many areas of active research.

  1. R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands (1963), The Feynman Lectures on Physics, ISBN 0-201-02116-1 Hard-cover. p.1-1 Feynman begins with the atomic hypothesis, as his most compact statement of all scientific knowledge: "If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations ..., what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is ... that all things are made up of atoms -- little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. ..." vol. I p. I-2
  2. James Clerk Maxwell (1876), Matter and Motion. Notes and appendices by Joseph Larmor. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of events". p.1
  3. "Give me matter and motion, and I will construct the universe." --Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
  4. http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/matter/index.html
  5. E.F. Taylor, J.A. Wheeler (2000), Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity, ISBN 0-201-38423-X Hard-cover. Back cover: "Spacetime tells matter how to move; mass tells spacetime how to curve."
  6. H.D. Young & R.A. Freedman, University Physics with Modern Physics: 11th Edition: International Edition (2004), Addison Wesley. Chapter 1, section 1.1, page 2 has this to say: "Physics is an experimental science. Physicists observe the phenomena of nature and try to find patterns and principles that relate these phenomena. These patterns are called physical theories or, when they are very well established and of broad use, physical laws or principles."
  7. Steve Holzner, Physics for Dummies (2006), Wiley. Chapter 1, page 7 says: "Physics is the study of your world and the world and universe around you." See Amazon Online Reader: Physics For Dummies (For Dummies(Math & Science)), last viewed 24 Nov 2006.
  8. Evidence exists that the earliest civilizations dating back to beyond 3000BC, such as the Sumerians, Ancient Egyptians, and the Indus Valley Civilization, all had a predictive knowledge and a very basic understanding of the motions of the Sun, Moon, and stars.
  9. Francis Bacon (1620), Novum Organum was critical in the development of scientific method.