In this section, we delve into some very fundamental ideas which, although expressed with respect to different quantities, are the basis of not only classical mechanics but also relativistic and quantum mechanics as well. These three areas of physics describe the universe within different ranges of parameters: quantum mechanics deals with things on the smallest scale; classical mechanics deals mostly with the size-range of macroscopic objects that we are all familiar with; and general relativity describes the most massive objects in the universe. All of these areas of physics involve some notion of inertia, a state which does not change; each of these areas also have an equation of motion which describes how inertial motion changes. We'll discover that the notions of inertial motion and the change in inertial motion can be expressed in terms of a very small number of elementary rules; and yet, these rules encapsulate a myriad of predictions which encompasses all observable phenomena within a given range of parameters.
The difference between kinematics, dynamics, and mechanics and what each of these terms means is a common point of confusion. But in the most basic sense, the meanings and differences of each of these terms can be described as follows: kinematics describes the motion of an object without consideration of what caused that motion; dynamics describes what caused that motion (namely, a force) without consideration of what the motion of the object is; and mechanics combines the two and describes both the motion and cause of the motion.
Many of the concepts we use in physics are very abstract and "non-visualizable." But, nonetheless, they can be applied to tell us a great deal about how the universe works. For example, the concepts of angular momentum and the conservation of angular momentum are very abstract and it might, at least initially, not seem to have much to do with anything based in physical reality—as Feynman probably would've said, the latter is just a number that we keep measuring to be the same. But when these concepts are applied, they actually "say" or predict a lot about how the universe works: this law requires everything from solar systems being flat to a spinning ice skater rotating faster as they bring their arms in.