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# Overview of Mechanics

by Ron Kurtus (revised 17 April 2018)

Mechanics is a field of Physics consisting of the study of the motion of objects and in some cases the forces involved, according to the various physical laws. Those laws change when the speed of objects are near the speed of light, as well as when the size of the objects and the distances they travel are on the atomic scale.

The study of Mechanics can be divided into classifications, according to speed and size. They are: Classical Mechanics, Relativistic Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Quantum Field Theory.

Questions you may have include:

• What are the features of Classical Mechanics?
• What are the features of Relativistic Mechanics?
• What are the features of Quantum Mechanics?
• What are the features of Quantum Field Theory?

This lesson will answer those questions. Useful tool: Units Conversion

## Classification by size and speed

Mechanics can be classified according to the size of the object and its speed.

Mechanics classifications by size and speed

(Creative Commons © by Surachit)

## Classical Mechanics

Classical Mechanics (also called Newtonian mechanics) concerns objects that range from everyday to very large in size. Also, their speed is normal and much less than the speed of light.

• Size: Far larger than 10−9 m
• Speed: Far less than 3*108 m/s

The field can be subdivided into Kinematics, Dynamics, and Statics.

## Relativistic Mechanics

Relativistic Mechanics concerns objects of normal to extremely large in size and are traveling close to the speed of light. At such high speeds, physical laws change.

• Size: Far larger than 10−9 m
• Speed: Comparable to 3*108 m/s

## Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics concerns objects that are extremely small in size but are traveling much less than the speed of light. At very small sizes or short distances, space becomes quantized.

• Size: Near or less than 10−9 m
• Speed: Far less than 3*108 m/s

## Quantum Field Theory

Quantum Field Theory concerns objects that are extremely small in size and are traveling close to the speed of light.

• Size: Near or less than 10−9 m
• Speed: Comparable to 3*108 m/s

## Summary

Mechanics is is the study of the motion of objects and the forces involved, according to the various physical laws. Those laws change when the speed of the objects nears the speed of light, as well as when the size of the objects and the distances they travel are on the atomic scale.

The classifications, according to speed and size are: Classical Mechanics, Relativistic Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Quantum Field Theory.

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## Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

### Websites

Mechanics - Wikipedia

Classical mechanics - Wikipedia

Mechanics outline - HyperPhysics

Physics Resources

## Questions and comments

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www.school-for-champions.com/science/
mechanics_overview.htm

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

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