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Q & A: Physics Questions? Ask the Van

Physics Questions? Ask the Van

Question of the Day

"So, as a preface, I know next to nothing about physics, but one thing bothers me about "Laws of Physics". How can we know they are Universal laws, when we only know what the outcome of any given experiment is in our Gravity Well (I believe that would be the correct naming of the solar system). I do understand that under variables such as higher gravity, you could adjust the numbers to reflect, the differences. But, we the universe is not uniform and orderly, it is chaotic, correct? So, should "Laws" be emended to "Laws within the uniformity of our solar system", yes I understand that is a huge mouthful. At the same time what if sometime in the far future, if humanity somehow makes it to another star system, what if physics act differently due to a bigger or lesser concentration of matter/dark matter/anti matter? If there is an introductory book to physics that would explains these questions please point me to it so I can try to understand it myself."
-Matthew (age 36)

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8094 questions have been answered online since 1998 by volunteers from the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois' Physics Van outreach program. We've tried hard to make this the most reliable physics Q&A site on the Web, but no site is perfect, as we explain on this note. Our Baloney feature provides examples of how shaky many other sites are.

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