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The Physics Portal

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Physics (from Greek φυσική / physikê meaning science of nature) is the science concerned with the discovery and understanding of the laws and principles which govern the physical universe. Physics deals with the elementary constituents of the universe and their interactions. Therefore, it can be thought of as a foundational science, upon which stands "the central science" of chemistry, and the earth sciences, biological sciences, and social sciences. Discoveries in basic physics have important ramifications for all of science.

Physics, like all the sciences, is a work in progress. Experimental and theoretical physics researchers continue to find new phenomena and to create and refine new models and theories.

As the fundamental science its biggest and even main goal is to bring one unified theory to the universe.

Selected article

Plasma lamp, illustrating some of the more complex phenomena of a plasma, including filamentation. The colors are a result of relaxation of electrons in excited states to lower energy states after they have recombined with ions. These processes emit light in a spectrum characteristic of the gas being excited.

In physics and chemistry, plasma is a gas, in which a certain proportion of its particles are ionized. The presence of a non-negligible number of charge carriers makes the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. Plasma therefore has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids, or gases and is considered to be a distinct state of matter. Plasma typically takes the form of neutral gas-like clouds, as seen, for example, in the case of stars. Like gas, plasma does not have a definite shape or a definite volume unless enclosed in a container; unlike gas, in the influence of a magnetic field, it may form structures such as filaments, beams and double layers (see section 3, below).

Plasma was first identified in a Crookes tube, and so described by Sir William Crookes in 1879 (he called it "radiant matter").[1] The nature of the Crookes tube "cathode ray" matter was subsequently identified by British physicist Sir J.J. Thomson in 1897,[2] and dubbed "plasma" by Irving Langmuir in 1928,[3] perhaps because it reminded him of a blood plasma. Langmuir wrote, "Except near the electrodes, where there are sheaths containing very few electrons, the ionized gas contains ions and electrons in about equal numbers so that the resultant space charge is very small. We shall use the name plasma to describe this region containing balanced charges of ions and electrons.[3]

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Main tycho remnant full.jpg

The supernova remnant of "Tycho's Supernova", a huge ball of expanding plasma. The blue outer shell arises from X-ray emission by high-speed electrons.

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Physics news

More physics news is available from Wikinews and the Current Events portal

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Things you can do


Whether you are an expert or a novice, be bold, improve an article by editing it. Practice in the sandbox if you must. But hurry back to fix that glaring error that has been bothering you.
  • Join WikiProject Physics.
    • Watch the WikiProject Physics talk page for physics-related issues on Wikipedia.
  • Improve Physics Portal
  • Review articles
    • Assign importance and quality to unassessed articles (See Physics quality control)
    • Review an article for techno babble and report confusing sections in articles talk page. (Give enough detail to help the editors.)
  • Advanced Editing
    • Expand a physics stub.
    • Fix a page needing attention: Modern physics, Classical physics, Other physics topics.
    • Create a requested article.
  • Add a requested image.
  • Check out other physics-related WikiProjects: WikiProject Science, WikiProject Fluid dynamics, WikiProject Elements.

Check list for physics novices and experts new to wikipedia

Whether you are an expert or a novice, be bold, improve an article by editing it. Practice in the sandbox if you must. But hurry back to fix that glaring error that has been bothering you.
  • Register with wikipedia for a user name. (See the username policy)
  • Visit the help page
  • Add articles to your watch list.
  • Check your watchlist on regular basis
  • Revert an obvious vandalism edit
  • Edit your user page to tell wikipedia enough about you to help other editors get to know you
  • Review an article and make a useful comment on the talk page
  • Add your name to the WikiProject Physics members list

Activities for physics novices and experts familiar with wikipedia

  • Edit a physics article
  • Add your name to the WikiProject Physics members list
  • Revert Vandalism
  • Add or improve diagrams and figures
  • Assign importance and quality to unassessed articles (See Physics quality control)
  • Review article for techno babble and suggest areas that need improving on talk page (or add clean up tag.)
  • Fix a page needing attention: Modern physics, Classical physics, Other physics topics.

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Portal:Physics and Astronomy article)

From Wikiversity

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The Physics and Astronomy Portal

Welcome to the Physics and Astronomy portal. This portal is intended to be a user-friendly guide to physics and astronomy content on Wikiversity for pre-school, primary and secondary levels. For a more specialist and advanced portal, please refer to the School of Physics and Astronomy.

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Featured content

Please feel welcome to look through the physics and astronomy content (right) and select some for this feature box.

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Expansion of the Universe
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This image is a simplified artist's impression of the expansion of the universe since the big bang. Click on the image for a full size version which you can freely re-use and modify. Print it and use it for your lessons, integrate it into your pages on Wikiversity, or use it in other learning resources and websites. Use the links below to find more images like this one.

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Wikimedia Commons category scheme for astronomy

This image is a part of the Educational Media Awareness Campaign, raising awareness among educators about the availability and usage of millions of free internet media in education.
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Create a new physics and astronomy page

Enter the title of your new page into the box below and click the button. This will create a new page for you and start off the page with some boilerplate.

To-do list for Physics and Astronomy
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Related material on Wikiversity
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Guide to Physics and Astronomy
The following is a dynamic listing of all the pages categorised into this portal. To restructure or extend this list, you will need to edit the category system itself. Where are the use instructions for this template?
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Explore Wikiversity
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  • 15 August: celebrate Wikiversity Day!
  • 1 January: visit the Think Tank to suggest a new learning project


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  • Creating educational content at Wikiversity (teacher-orientated tour).
  • Starting out at Wikiversity (student-orientated tour).
  • If you missed the main welcome page, try again!
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