The 30 Most Important Equations in Physics - Claude

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id creditedTo country application impact yearAppeared importanceRank
Newton's Second Law (F = ma) Isaac Newton England Classical mechanics Fundamental equation of motion, used in all areas of physics 1687 1
Maxwell's Equations James Clerk Maxwell Scotland Electromagnetism Unified electricity, magnetism, and light; basis for modern electrodynamics 1865 2
Schrödinger Equation Erwin Schrödinger Austria Quantum mechanics Describes the behavior of matter and energy at the atomic and subatomic level 1926 3
Einstein's Energy-Mass Equivalence (E = mc^2) Albert Einstein Germany/Switzerland Special relativity, nuclear physics Relates energy to mass, key to understanding nuclear reactions and energy 1905 4
Hubble's Law Edwin Hubble United States Cosmology Established the expansion of the universe, cornerstone of Big Bang theory 1929 5
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Werner Heisenberg Germany Quantum mechanics Fundamental limit on precision of measurements at quantum scale 1927 6
Boltzmann's Entropy Equation Ludwig Boltzmann Austria Thermodynamics, statistical mechanics Relates entropy to number of microscopic states, foundation of statistical physics 1877 7
Planck's Energy Quantum Max Planck Germany Quantum mechanics Introduced the concept of energy quanta, launching quantum theory 1900 8
Dirac Equation Paul Dirac England Quantum mechanics, special relativity Relativistic quantum mechanical wave equation, predicted antimatter 1928 9
Euler's Equation (e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0) Leonhard Euler Switzerland Complex analysis Relates fundamental constants e, i, pi; considered most beautiful equation 1748 10
Principle of Least Action Pierre Louis Maupertuis France Classical mechanics Alternative formulation of mechanics using variational principle 1744 11
Noether's Theorem Emmy Noether Germany Theoretical physics Connects symmetries to conservation laws, fundamental to modern physics 1915 12
Navier-Stokes Equations Claude-Louis Navier, George Stokes France, Ireland Fluid dynamics Describes motion of viscous fluids, used in aerodynamics, weather, & more 1822 13
Riemann Hypothesis Bernhard Riemann Germany Number theory Conjectured rule for distribution of prime numbers, unproven but very important 1859 14
Gauss's Law Carl Friedrich Gauss Germany Electrostatics Relates electric field to charge distribution, part of Maxwell's equations 1835 15
AmpÚre's Circuital Law André-Marie AmpÚre France Magnetostatics Relates magnetic field to electric current, part of Maxwell's equations 1826 16
Faraday's Law of Induction Michael Faraday England Electromagnetism Describes how changing magnetic field induces electric field 1831 17
Boyle's Law Robert Boyle Ireland Thermodynamics Relates pressure and volume of gas at constant temperature 1662 18
Fourier's Heat Equation Joseph Fourier France Heat transfer Describes conduction of heat in solids, used in many applications 1822 19
Coulomb's Law Charles-Augustin de Coulomb France Electrostatics Describes force between electric charges, foundation of electrostatics 1785 20
Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion Johannes Kepler Germany Astronomy Describes motion of planets around the Sun, basis for Newton's gravity 1609 21
Lorentz Force Law Hendrik Lorentz Netherlands Electromagnetism Describes force on charge moving in electromagnetic field 1895 22
Biot-Savart Law Jean-Baptiste Biot, FĂ©lix Savart France Magnetostatics Describes magnetic field generated by electric current 1820 23
Fermat's Principle of Least Time Pierre de Fermat France Optics Light travels path that takes least time, explains refraction and reflection 1662 24
Fresnel Equations Augustin-Jean Fresnel France Optics Describe reflection and transmission of light at interface between media 1823 25
Snell's Law Willebrord Snellius Netherlands Optics Relates angles of incidence and refraction for light crossing boundary 1621 26
Hooke's Law Robert Hooke England Mechanics, materials science Linearly relates force and extension in spring, describes elastic materials 1660 27
Bragg's Law William Henry Bragg, William Lawrence Bragg England Crystallography Describes condition for diffraction by crystal lattice planes 1913 28
Carnot's Theorem Sadi Carnot France Thermodynamics Limits the maximum efficiency of any heat engine 1824 29
Lagrange's Equations Joseph-Louis Lagrange Italy/France Classical mechanics Reformulates Newtonian mechanics, basis for Hamiltonian mechanics 1788 30


Name Values Coverage Question Example Type Source SortIndex IsComputed IsRequired IsConceptDelimiter Crux
id 30 100% What is the ID of this concept? Newton's Second Law (F = ma) string 1 false true true
creditedTo 30 100% The physicist(s) credited with discovering or formulating the equation Isaac Newton string 1.9 false
country 30 100% The country where the equation was discovered or formulated England string 1.9 false
application 30 100% The primary application or area of physics the equation is used in Classical mechanics string 1.9 false
impact 30 100% The impact or significance of the equation in physics and beyond Fundamental equation of motion, used in all areas of physics string 1.9 false
yearAppeared 30 100% The year the equation first appeared 1687 number 1.9 false
importanceRank 30 100% The ranking of the equation's importance in physics (1 = most important) 1 number 1.9 false