Klosterneuburg, Austria

Many-body Systems in Quantum Mechanics

Language: English Studies in English
Subject area: engineering and engineering trades
University website: www.ist.ac.at
Mechanics (Greek μηχανική) is that area of science concerned with the behaviour of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment. The scientific discipline has its origins in Ancient Greece with the writings of Aristotle and Archimedes (see History of classical mechanics and Timeline of classical mechanics). During the early modern period, scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, and Newton laid the foundation for what is now known as classical mechanics. It is a branch of classical physics that deals with particles that are either at rest or are moving with velocities significantly less than the speed of light. It can also be defined as a branch of science which deals with the motion of and forces on objects.
In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity (physical property) involved in an interaction. The fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized" is referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization". This means that the magnitude of the physical property can take on only discrete values consisting of integer multiples of one quantum.
To the art of mechanics is owing all sorts of instruments to work with, all engines of war, ships, bridges, mills, curious roofs and arches, stately theatres, columns, pendent galleries, and all other grand works in building. Also clocks, watches, jacks, chariots, carts and carriages, and even the wheel-barrow. Architecture, navigation, husbandry, and military affairs, owe their invention and use to this art.
William Emerson (1754/73) The Principles of Mechanics. Preface; Cited in: R.S. Woolhouse (1988) Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Essays in Honour of Gerd Buchdahl. p. 29.
All this, the positive and physical essence of mechanics, which makes its chief and highest interest for a student of nature, is in existing treatises completely buried and concealed beneath a mass of technical considerations.
Ernst Mach The Science of Mechanics (1893) Preface to the first edition, , p. vii.
The laws of motion of visible and tangible, or molar, matter had been worked out to a great degree of refinement and embodied in the branches of science known as Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics. These laws had been shown to hold good... throughout the universe on the assumption that all such masses of matter possessed inertia and were susceptible of acquiring motion, in two ways, firstly by impact, or impulse from without; and, secondly, by the operation of certain hypothetical causes of motion termed 'forces,' which were usually supposed to be resident in the particles of the masses themselves, and to operate at a distance, in such a way as to tend to draw any two such masses together, or to separate them more widely.
Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century (1889).
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