Kinematics and Dynamics

Physics is often defined as the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It is possible to study the motion of objects without being concerned with the forces that cause the motion. But ultimately, physicists want to discover the causes of motion to better understand and to be able to predict motion.

The term kinematics has its origin in the Greek word kinesis, which means motion. Kinematics is the study of motion without regard for the cause. Special Relativity is a theory of the kinematics of objects at high relative speeds. On the other hand, dynamics, from the Greek dunamis (power), is the study of the causes of motion. General Relativity is Einstein's attempt at a theory of gravitation that is consistent with Special Relativity. As such, it is a dynamical theory. Physicists insist that other dynamical theories also be consistent with Special Relativity. Quantum Electrodynamics is an example such a theory that covers electrical and magnetic forces.

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