law of nature


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law of nature

n
1. (Philosophy) an empirical truth of great generality, conceived of as a physical (but not a logical) necessity, and consequently licensing counterfactual conditionals
2. (Philosophy) a system of morality conceived of as grounded in reason. See natural law2, nomological2
3. See law18
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.law of nature - a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics"
concept, conception, construct - an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
all-or-none law - (neurophysiology) a nerve impulse resulting from a weak stimulus is just as strong as a nerve impulse resulting from a strong stimulus
principle, rule - a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; "the principle of the conservation of mass"; "the principle of jet propulsion"; "the right-hand rule for inductive fields"
Archimedes' principle, law of Archimedes - (hydrostatics) the apparent loss in weight of a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid
Avogadro's hypothesis, Avogadro's law - the principle that equal volumes of all gases (given the same temperature and pressure) contain equal numbers of molecules
Bernoulli's law, law of large numbers - (statistics) law stating that a large number of items taken at random from a population will (on the average) have the population statistics
Benford's law - a law used by auditors to identify fictitious populations of numbers; applies to any population of numbers derived from other numbers; "Benford's law holds that 30% of the time the first non-zero digit of a derived number will be 1 and it will be 9 only 4.6% of the time"
Bose-Einstein statistics - (physics) statistical law obeyed by a system of particles whose wave function is not changed when two particles are interchanged (the Pauli exclusion principle does not apply)
Boyle's law, Mariotte's law - the pressure of an ideal gas at constant temperature varies inversely with the volume
Coulomb's Law - a fundamental principle of electrostatics; the force of attraction or repulsion between two charged particles is directly proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the distance between them; principle also holds for magnetic poles
Dalton's law of partial pressures, law of partial pressures, Dalton's law - (chemistry and physics) law stating that the pressure exerted by a mixture of gases equals the sum of the partial pressures of the gases in the mixture; the pressure of a gas in a mixture equals the pressure it would exert if it occupied the same volume alone at the same temperature
distribution law - (chemistry) the total energy in an assembly of molecules is not distributed equally but is distributed around an average value according to a statistical distribution
equilibrium law, law of chemical equilibrium - (chemistry) the principle that (at chemical equilibrium) in a reversible reaction the ratio of the rate of the forward reaction to the rate of the reverse reaction is a constant for that reaction
Fechner's law, Weber-Fechner law - (psychophysics) the concept that the magnitude of a subjective sensation increases proportional to the logarithm of the stimulus intensity; based on early work by E. H. Weber
Fermi-Dirac statistics - (physics) law obeyed by a systems of particles whose wave function changes when two particles are interchanged (the Pauli exclusion principle applies)
Charles's law, Gay-Lussac's law, law of volumes - (physics) the density of an ideal gas at constant pressure varies inversely with the temperature
Henry's law - (chemistry) law formulated by the English chemist William Henry; the amount of a gas that will be absorbed by water increases as the gas pressure increases
Hooke's law - (physics) the principle that (within the elastic limit) the stress applied to a solid is proportional to the strain produced
Hubble law, Hubble's law - (astronomy) the generalization that the speed of recession of distant galaxies (the red shift) is proportional to their distance from the observer
Kepler's law, Kepler's law of planetary motion - (astronomy) one of three empirical laws of planetary motion stated by Johannes Kepler
Kirchhoff's laws - (physics) two laws governing electric networks in which steady currents flow: the sum of all the currents at a point is zero and the sum of the voltage gains and drops around any closed circuit is zero
law of averages - a law affirming that in the long run probabilities will determine performance
law of constant proportion, law of definite proportions - (chemistry) law stating that every pure substance always contains the same elements combined in the same proportions by weight
law of diminishing returns - a law affirming that to continue after a certain level of performance has been reached will result in a decline in effectiveness
law of effect - (psychology) the principle that behaviors are selected by their consequences; behavior having good consequences tends to be repeated whereas behavior that leads to bad consequences is not repeated
law of equivalent proportions, law of reciprocal proportions - (chemistry) law stating that the proportions in which two elements separately combine with a third element are also the proportions in which they combine together
law of gravitation, Newton's law of gravitation - (physics) the law that states any two bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them
References in classic literature ?
By a Law of Nature with us, there is a constant attraction to the South; and, although in temperate climates this is very slight -- so that even a Woman in reasonable health can journey several furlongs northward without much difficulty -- yet the hampering effect of the southward attraction is quite sufficient to serve as a compass in most parts of our earth.
It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.
And as he thought it an indispensable duty, enjoined both by the Christian law, and by the law of nature itself; so was it withal so pleasant, that if any duty could be said to be its own reward, or to pay us while we are discharging it, it was this.
And, like all fine arts, it must be based upon a broad, solid sincerity, which, like a law of Nature, rules an infinity of different phenomena.
Filled with good cheer and mountain mutton, one of the free trappers began to repine at the solitude of his lodge, and to experience the force of that great law of nature, "it is not meet for man to live alone.
Although Oliver had been brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is the first law of nature.
These are no dreams; it is the general law of nature.
We need something more than a fixed Law of Nature to settle which nerve shall carry it.
I only believe in my leading idea that men are /in general/ divided by a law of nature into two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to say, material that serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have the gift or the talent to utter /a new word/.
The little puss seems already to have airs enough to make a husband as miserable as it's a law of nature for a quiet man to be when he marries a beauty.
Unarmed and naked as I was, the first law of nature manifested itself in the only possible solution of my immediate problem, and that was to get out of the vicinity of the point of the charging spear.
I should like to know, too, by what mysterious law of nature it is that before you have left your watch "to be repaired" half an hour, some one is sure to stop you in the street and conspicuously ask you the time.