Classical and Quantum Patent Mechanics
The branch of physics referred to as classical mechanics describes and predicts with great accuracy the motion of macroscopic objects moving much slower than the speed of light when subject to one or more forces. At the center of classical mechanics is Newton’s famous second law of motion: force = mass × acceleration. Classical mechanics is deterministic in that it exactly describes (within its limitations) the future motion of an object, provided that the object’s mass, initial position, and velocity, as well as the forces acting on the object, are sufficiently well known. The objects in classical mechanics are often approximated as fictional particles of a certain mass, their sizes being negligible or irrelevant. In cases where the physical extent of an object needs to come into play, the object often takes the form of a sphere or some other calculation-friendly shape (recall, for example, our spherical asteroid from the preface to this book).