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Unformatted text preview: 261Physics IClass 1Measurements262What is Physics?Physicists study the fundamental objects and interactions of nature, and their manybody manifestations. •Quantitative  Measurements determine the relevant physical variables. •Predictive  If we can predict the behavior of a physical system then we understand the system and its interactions. •Mathematical  The parts we understand are framed in appropriate mathematical language to facilitate predictions. This is called a theory. 263MeasurementsMeasurements play a vital role in Physics. •They identify the most important variables for a particular system  eg. volume of gas, mass of an atom, or length of a solid object. •They constrain theory – eg. experiments tell us the mass of an object remains constant even when it changes speed, until the speed approaches the speed of light. •They provide empirical values for parameters that can't be predicted – eg. if I measure the mass of a rock I can predict its motion because I know how gravity works. 264...
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 Fall '08
 PeterPersans
 Physics, Standard Deviation, random uncertainties

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