What is Physics?
Table of Content
- What is Physics?
- Branches of Physics
- How Physics help us?
- Principal Thrusts in Physics
What is Physics?
The world around us is full of miracles and phenomena. Humans have always been excited to figure out the secret of nature and how everything works. Just think of the abstractness of the rainbow, how the sky shines at night, the switching of day and night, and the annual repetitive cycle of seasons, tides and rainbow. These phenomena have never failed to astound us in our lives.
The answer to all these curious queries is hidden in Physics. The word physics is recognized from the word “physical” which means nature. Physics is the branch of science which deals with the nature, properties, and interrelationship between matter and energy. This energy can be in the form of electricity, heat, sound, gravity, force or magnetic waves. The type of matter on which physics work, varies from subatomic elements (be it an atom or even a part of an atom) to gigantic bodies.
Have you ever wondered why the sky is always blue? Why not red or orange? Why the stars twinkle at night rather than being dimmed all night? All such answers are found in Physics. The blue colour of the sky is due to scattering of light (which we will deal in the optics part) and twinkling of stars is due to variable refractive indices (which you will get to know in the refraction part). In a similar manner, every flabbergasting natural process is linked with physics.
A very basic definition of Physics can be stated as “the study of nature and scientific phenomena and understanding them with the help of laws and mathematics.” As simple as that! At a primary level physics can be classified in two ways:
- Theoretical Physics
- Practical Physics
Theoretical Physics is based on predictions and law framing. For example, when you prove a theorem in mathematics you make some assumptions to get to the result. In a similar manner when scientists look forward to proving a law, they make some predictions and prove their results. Making assumptions in physics is a part of examining an experiment and understanding the natural law hidden by it. For example, Newton Laws of motion are simply frameworks of Calculus.
Practical Physics deals with stating and proving scientific results through experiments. For example, when proving a scientific law, scientists or physicists work on the following points:
- Objectives: What is the objective of the experiment?
- Materials Required: What materials scientists need to head forward?
- Procedure: Listing down the steps proceeded in the experiment.
- Observations: Results of an experiment.
That’s how practical physics works to state and proved scientific and mathematical results
Physics is a vast subject which can’t be explained on its own. So to make things simple physics is divided into different branches. This classification makes a study of physics easier to understand and replicate concepts so that we can apply them wherever required. Physics is classified as follows:
- Classical Physics
- Modern Physics
- Nuclear Physics
- Atomic Physics
The entire branch works under their own zone and formulates new terms and concepts experimentally. For example in classical physics you get to learn about mechanics and laws of motion, in Optics you learn how light affects matters and how image formation in a lens or mirror take place. This way all branches covers their research area and serve the scientific world.
Physics is useful to us because it tells us how the world around us works. Be it lighting of a lamp or transporting tons of production material from one country to another, everything is possible just because of physics. Here are a number of ways in which physics helps us:
- Designing Electronics
- Constructing buildings
- Improving the economy
Have you ever been to a doctor for a checkup? Well, he must have checked your blood pressure and weight with some instruments. These instruments are products of physics only. They are explained briefly in medical physics. Also when you meet a bone break or fracture the doctor asks you to go for an X-ray test. So what is X-ray? X-ray is the result of nuclear physics. People go for radiation to cure and prevent cancer, which is yet again part of atomic physics.
Physics serve us a lot when it comes to energy. What do you think how buildings and industries function? Who provides this source of energy? Everything from a cleaner to getting electricity in our home, everything requires Physics.
If physics wouldn’t exist there won't be any internet, no communication, and no smartphones which mean no social lifestyle. This is because social networking relies on optical fibers and aspects of communication which are included in the Optics branch of physics.
People in the past believed that flying in the sky is impossible. They also lived on a thought that you could converse with someone only if he/she is nearby you.
Not only Physics help in creating power to run appliances and electronics but also aids developers in designing processors and chips which are main fragments of computers and laptops.
What role does Physics play in architecture and construction? First of all the basic weight and stability of the building are justified with the help of Physics only. Also understanding how materials are affected by heat, light, and water helps in securing the building and ensuring public safety. This analyzing and testing of material is taught in “Thermal Properties of Matter”.
Apart from the above-stated benefits, physics also helps in stimulating the economy of the country. One who understands the basics of physics can pursue career profiles like engineers, pilots, scientists and STEM professionals. Physics not only facilitate in providing jobs, it also includes serving the country’s exports and imports.
Physics explains natural phenomena in a simple and comprehensive manner. How physics utilize various theorems and use resulting information to explain a phenomena or process is called thrusts of physics. The two thrusts in physics are:
Unification is simply using few laws and concepts in a unified manner to explain a variety of phenomena.
For example Light, Electricity and Magnetism are different processes and have different laws of physics for an explanation. But all the three sections are covered in Electromagnetism, where they can be explained under one theory that is “Electromagnetic theory”.
Reduction means explaining complex phenomena by dividing the process into simple parts and exploring each one by one.
For example, a complex music can be broken down into a different section of music notes, to make music learning a fun experience.
- Why is the sky blue?
The colour of sky is blue, due to scattering of light which you will study in optics; a branch of physics.
- Why physics is important for humans?
Physics offer humans a proper lifestyle, products, safe lifestyle and a great value. This makes physics important for humans.
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