Comparative table of physical pictures of the world (time period, scientists, basic theories)

Physical picture of the world Initial philosophical ideas Basic concepts Basic principles
Mechanical picture of the world Matter is a material instance Movement is a simple mechanical movement. Space and time are absolute . Interaction is transmitted instantly to any point in space Matter consists of indivisible, weighty atoms. Mass is a measure of inertia. Under the influence of force, the movement is not uniform and linear. The interaction of bodies by the forces of gravity is universal . The principle of relativity, the principle of action at a distance , the principle of determinism
Electromagnetic picture of the world Matter is a continuous field . Movement is the propagation of vibrations in the field. Space and time are relative . Interaction is transmitted at a finite rate The world is an electrodynamic system consisting of electrically charged particles interacting with the help of an electromagnetic field. Proximity principle Correspondence principle
Quantum field picture of the world Matter exists in two forms: matter and field Movement is a special case of physical interaction Spacetime and causation are relative and dependent Interaction is transmitted at a finite speed not exceeding the speed of light Each element of matter has the properties of a wave and a particle. Observation conditions (cognition method) affect the certainty of the characteristics of the investigated object Uncertainty principle, complementarity principle


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