Macroscopic

Macroscopic

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The macroscopic scale is the length scale
Length scale
In physics, length scale is a particular length or distance determined with the precision of one order of magnitude. The concept of length scale is particularly important because physical phenomena of different length scales cannot affect each other and are said to decouple...

 on which objects or processes are of a size which is measurable
Measurement
Measurement is the process or the result of determining the ratio of a physical quantity, such as a length, time, temperature etc., to a unit of measurement, such as the metre, second or degree Celsius...

 and observable
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

 by the naked eye
Naked eye
The naked eye is a figure of speech referring to human visual perception unaided by a magnifying or light-collecting optical device, such as a telescope or microscope. Vision corrected to normal acuity using corrective lenses is considered "naked"...

.

When applied to phenomena and abstract object
Abstract object
An abstract object is an object which does not exist at any particular time or place, but rather exists as a type of thing . In philosophy, an important distinction is whether an object is considered abstract or concrete. Abstract objects are sometimes called abstracta An abstract object is an...

s, the macroscopic scale describes existence in the world as we perceive it, often in contrast to experiences (microscopy
Microscopy
Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye...

) or theories (microphysics
Microphysics
The term microphysics refers to areas of physics that study phenomena that take place on the microscopic scale , such as:* Quantum mechanics* Molecular physics* Atomic physics* Nuclear physics* Particle physics...

, statistical physics
Statistical physics
Statistical physics is the branch of physics that uses methods of probability theory and statistics, and particularly the mathematical tools for dealing with large populations and approximations, in solving physical problems. It can describe a wide variety of fields with an inherently stochastic...

) considering objects of geometric length
Length
In geometric measurements, length most commonly refers to the longest dimension of an object.In certain contexts, the term "length" is reserved for a certain dimension of an object along which the length is measured. For example it is possible to cut a length of a wire which is shorter than wire...

s smaller than one millimeter.

A macroscopic view of a ball
Ball
A ball is a round, usually spherical but sometimes ovoid, object with various uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. Balls can also be used for simpler activities, such as catch, marbles and juggling...

 is just that: a ball. A microscopic
Microscopic
The microscopic scale is the scale of size or length used to describe objects smaller than those that can easily be seen by the naked eye and which require a lens or microscope to see them clearly.-History:...

 view could reveal a thick round skin seemingly composed entirely of puckered cracks and fissures (as viewed through a microscope
Microscope
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

) or, further down in scale, a collection of molecule
Molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

s in a roughly spherical
Sphere
A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space, such as the shape of a round ball. Like a circle in two dimensions, a perfect sphere is completely symmetrical around its center, with all points on the surface lying the same distance r from the center point...

 shape.

Anything that applies to physical objects or physical settings having a geometric extent larger than one millimeter is called macroscopic. For example, classical mechanics
Classical mechanics
In physics, classical mechanics is one of the two major sub-fields of mechanics, which is concerned with the set of physical laws describing the motion of bodies under the action of a system of forces...

, describing the movements of the above mentioned ball, can be considered a mainly macroscopic theory; on the much smaller scale of atoms and molecules, classical mechanics no longer applies and the movement of particles is described by quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

. As another example, near the absolute minimum of temperature
Absolute zero
Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached using only thermodynamic means....

, the Bose–Einstein condensate
Bose–Einstein condensate
A Bose–Einstein condensate is a state of matter of a dilute gas of weakly interacting bosons confined in an external potential and cooled to temperatures very near absolute zero . Under such conditions, a large fraction of the bosons occupy the lowest quantum state of the external potential, at...

 exhibits elementary quantum effects on macroscopic scale.

The term may also refer to a "larger view", namely a view only available from a large perspective. A macroscopic position could be considered the "big picture".

The opposite to the macroscopic scale is the microscopic scale: objects smaller than those that can easily be seen by the naked eye
Naked eye
The naked eye is a figure of speech referring to human visual perception unaided by a magnifying or light-collecting optical device, such as a telescope or microscope. Vision corrected to normal acuity using corrective lenses is considered "naked"...

 and which require a lens
Lens (optics)
A lens is an optical device with perfect or approximate axial symmetry which transmits and refracts light, converging or diverging the beam. A simple lens consists of a single optical element...

 or microscope
Microscope
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

to see them clearly.