What is a "physical system"?
Please give as many examples as possible.
Does it have anything to do with high school physics or freshmen physics?
- Dr. RLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
It's all the objects within a given volume needed to solve a particular physics problems. Theoretically, if you provide a physical description of the objects (like their mass, position, orientation, angular momentum, velocity, shape, and (for more complicated problems) higher order properties like elasticity and chemical constituents *and* the boundary conditions of the system (how it interacts with the rest of the world), you can calculated what will happen over time. A "closed system" (the most popular kind) is one in which there is no relavent interaction with anything outside the system.
Everything in the universe that is observable (including the universe itself) is technically part of one or another "physical system". The term is used to distinguish it from things like political systems and mathmatical systems, which are abstract relationships, as opposed to objects. It means you're gonna do a physics problem on it.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
In physics the word system has a technical meaning, namely, it is the portion of the physical universe chosen for analysis. Everything outside the system is known as the environment, which in analysis is ignored except for its effects on the system. The cut between system and environment is a free choice, generally made to simplify the analysis as much as possible. An isolated system is one which has negligible interaction with its environment.
Often a system in this sense is chosen to correspond to the more usual meaning of system, such as a particular machine. But physical systems are often more esoteric: an atom, the water in a lake, or indeed the water in the left-hand half of a lake can all be considered as physical systems. In the study of quantum decoherence the "system" may refer to the macroscopic properties of an object (e.g. the position of a pendulum bob), while the relevant "environment" may be the internal degrees of freedom, described classically by the pendulum's thermal vibrations. (from Wikipedia)
The concept of "physical system" is fundamental in physics at each level!