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Physics and Cosmology in the 20th Century

Two major paradigms emerged out of classical mechanics during the first decades of the twentieth century: special relativity (1905) and quantum mechanics (1900 - 1930). When applied to the physics of gravity, special relativity led to general relativity (1915), and, this in turn, led to Big Bang cosmology. Meanwhile quantum mechanics, when united with special relativity (1930), produced relativistic quantum mechanics / quantum field theory, and eventually to particle physics, in which electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force were unified (e.g., the electroweak force), and these unified with the strong nuclear force (fundamental particle physics) (1940's - present).

Quantum corrections to the early universe led to inflationary Big Bang cosmology (1970's-present). Current research areas include attempts a superunification of all of physics, including gravity, in terms of quantum gravity and its application to cosmology. Meanwhile, classical thermodynamics, developed in the 19th century, led to non-linear, non-equilibrium thermodynamics and its application to systems showing the spontaneous emergence of order from chaos (1960's - present).

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Go to Physics and Cosmology Topic Index

Physics and Cosmology in the 20th Century

Physics and Cosmology: Topic Index
Special Relativity
General Relativity
Quantum Physics
Thermodynamics, Chaos, and Complexity
Relating Science and Theology
The Theology of Creation
Big Bang Cosmology and Creation Theology
The Anthropic Principle and Creation Theology
The Theology of Providence
God’s Providence and Quantum Mechanics
Special Relativity, Time, and Eternity
Evil and the Problem of Suffering in Nature
Science and the Spiritual Quest


Dr. Robert J. Russell


See also:

Physics and Cosmology
The Relation of Science & Religion
Does God Act?
Was the Universe Designed?
Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
Steven Weinberg and John Polkinghorne Debate on Design
Sir Isaac Newton
Albert Einstein
Niels Bohr
Werner Heisenberg
Galaxies and Nebulae
Books on Physics and Theology