Physics would seem at first sight to be one of those “hard” sciences that requires as much if not more rigor than any. It is, according to the Free Online Dictionary, “the science of matter and energy and interactions between the two.” The Oxford Dictionary gives a few more words but is essentially the same—namely, “the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.” Derivations are cited as from Latin (physica = science) and Greek (phusika = natural things, from phusis = nature). We have already considered various meanings of the word science, so we could perhaps apply them also to physics, but we have not really stopped to consider much what we might mean by “nature,” although reference to it has popped up in all sorts of ways.
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