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Classical Physics. Introduction to Physics Textbook: Physics for Computer Science Students, by N. Garcia, A. Damask, and S. Schwarz, 2nd, 1998. Chapter One. Physical Quantities. Physical Quantities. In physics two fundamental processes are involved:

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Classical physics

Classical Physics

Introduction to Physics

Textbook: Physics for Computer Science Students, by N. Garcia, A. Damask, and S. Schwarz, 2nd, 1998.


Chapter one

Chapter One

Physical Quantities


Physical quantities
Physical Quantities

  • In physics two fundamental processes are involved:

    1. the description of natural phenomena based on experiments, which control variables;

    2. mathematical manipulation or theorizing, which is a predictive process.


Quantities and units
Quantities and Units

  • In classical physics the fundamental parameters in the measurement system are length, mass, and time.

  • There are two versions of the metric system in use, the cgs (centimeter, gram, second) and the mks (meter, kilogram, second).

  • Conversion of units

  • In square or cubic units, all measurements must be in the same units.



Accuracy of numbers
Accuracy of Numbers

  • Suppose we wish to find the area of a rectangular surface.

  • See Figure 1-1.

  • Our measurement of widths is as

    and The largest area is

    and the smallest is


Classical physics

  • We can write the answer as

  • The accuracy of the product cannot exceed the accuracy of any of the components in the product.

  • No matter how accurately a given parameter is measured, when is combined arithmetically with another measurement the result is only as accurate as the least-accurate measurement.