What is Physics? In ancient times, the systematic study of fundamental natural laws was not a huge concern.

The concern was staying alive. Science, as it existed at that time, consisted primarily of agriculture and, eventually, engineering to improve the daily lives of the growing societies. The sailing of a ship, for example, utilizes air drag, the same principle that keeps an airplane aloft. The ancients were able to figure out how to construct and operate sailing ships without precise rules for this principle. The ancients are known perhaps best for their astronomy, which continues to influence us heavily today. They regularly observed the heavens, which were believed to be a divine realm with the Earth at its center. It was certainly obvious to everyone that the sun, moon, and stars moved across the heaven in a regular pattern, and humans began identifying constellations in the heavens and used these signs of the odiac to define calendars and seasons. !athematics developed first in the !iddle East, though the precise origins vary depending upon which historian one talks to. It is almost certain that the origin of mathematics was for simple recordkeeping in commerce and government. Egypt made profound progress in the development of basic geometry, because of the need to clearly define farming territory following the annual flooding of the "ile. Some scholars in the #th century $.%. refused to accept the ancient supernatural explanations of nature and proclaimed categorically that every event had a natural cause. Science &. The systematic study of the nature and behavior of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms '. The knowledge so obtained or the practice of obtaining it (. )ny particular branch of this knowledge* the pure and applied sciences. +. )ny body of knowledge organized in a systematic manner #. Skill or techni,ue -. .nowledge Scientific method The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific ,uestions by making observations and doing experiments. The steps of the scientific method are to* )sk a /uestion 0o $ackground 1esearch %onstruct a 2ypothesis Test 3our 2ypothesis by 0oing an Experiment )nalyze 3our 0ata and 0raw a %onclusion %ommunicate 3our 1esults Physics 4hysics is the most basic science, which deals with the study of nature and natural phenomena. 5nderstanding science begins with understanding physics. 6ith every

mp( players.passing day. particularly for modelling complex processes. is based on a theoretical understanding of electrons that was developed around the turn of the '>th century.uipment 5nderstanding and predicting earth. research. It. The ultimate test of any physical theory is its agreement with observations and measurements of physical phenomena. including games consoles. 4hysics doesn.t ?ust deal with theoretical concepts.uations used in physics often look far more complicated than they really are. creating mathematical models. Everything we know about physical world and about the principles that govern its behaviour has been learned through observations of the phenomena of nature. but what that really means is that physics is about asking fundamental . The dictionary definition of physics is 7the study of matter.uestions like* 2ow did the universe begin9 2ow will the universe change in the future9 2ow does the Sun keep on shining9 6hat are the basic building blocks of matter9 6hat do 4hysicists do9 !any physicists work in :pure.uestions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. then it has no chance of predicting what really happens in nature. trying to find answers to these types of . The answers they come up with often lead to unexpected technological applications. all of the technology we take for granted today.s applied in every sphere of human activity.uestion. 4hysics is an empirical study. If the simulation is not based on correct physics. The mathematical e. and the interaction between them8. all based on physics. and 0=0s. 0eveloping computer games 0esign and manufacture of sports e. and testing them by doing experiments. Thus physics is inherently a science of measurement. mobile phones. physics has brought to us deeper levels of understanding of nature. . and diagnosing illness through various types of imaging. 4hysicists ask really big . through radiotherapy. energy. 4hysicists are increasingly using advanced computers and programming languages in the solution of scientific problems.uakes 6hat about mathematics9 !any apparently complicated things in nature can be understood in terms of relatively simple mathematical relationships. <or example. 4hysicists try to uncover these relationships through observing. including* 0evelopment of sustainable forms of energy production Treating cancer.

laid the foundation for what is now known as classical mechanics. It can also be defined as a branch of science which deals with the motion of and forces on ob?ects. Thermodynamics describes the bulk behavior of the body. and radio waves exhibit similar properties. which means nature. It defines macroscopic variables.uent effects of the bodies on their environment. Bptics* Bptics is the branch of physics which involves the behaviour and properties of light. !icroscopic or !odern 4hysics which deals with the study of atoms. not the peculiar properties of particular materials. These general constraints are expressed in the four laws of thermodynamics. and infrared light. ultraviolet. It states that the behavior of those variables is sub?ect to general constraints that are common to all materials. . such as internal energy. 5nification which means explaining different physical phenomena by using few laws and concepts. microwaves. not the microscopic behaviors of the very large numbers of its microscopic constituents. The Sanskrit word :$hautiki.Unification and reductionism The word physics is derived from @eek word :fusis. Bptics usually describes the behaviour of visible. Its laws are explained by statistical mechanics. !acroscopic or %lassical 4hysics which deals with the study of astronomical and other big elements. other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as CArays. !esoscopic 4hysics which deals with the study of hundreds of atoms or molecules.epler. '. It is a branch of classical physics that deals with particles that are either at rest or are moving with velocities significantly less than the speed of light. such as molecules. $ecause light is an electromagnetic wave. Electrodynamics* The scientific study of electric charge and electric and magnetic fields. along with the forces and motions those fields induce (. . in terms of the microscopic constituents. 1eductionism which means explaining complex phenomena by breaking them into smaller constituents and studying simpler parts. $ranches like* !echanics* !echanics is the branch of science concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when sub?ected to forces or displacements. is used for the study of physical world. Thermodynamics* Thermodynamics is a branch of natural science concerned with heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work. Two principles thrusts in the study of 4hysics are*A &. and the subse. 4hysics can be defined as the branch of science which deals with nature and natural phenomena. molecules and other microscopic elements. entropy. '. including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. 0uring the early modern period. and pressure that partly describe a body of matter or radiation. Scope and excitement of physics %lassification of 4hysics &. and especially "ewton. scientists such as @alileo.

modern physics provides the theoretical basis for the work done in physics. it would show you that you weigh a different amount than on Earth. and the attractive and repulsive forces associated with electrical charge and magnetism. "ewton. chemical reactions. technology and society Fundamental forces in nature Gravitational force: The force of attraction between all masses in the universe. for example.uare of the distance between them. computing the force needed to move a heavy ob?ect. more modern. and is the force that binds protons and neutrons EnucleonsF together to form the nucleus of an atom. !odern physics is reserved for situations where classical physics does not apply. therefore. provides a good introduction to the study of physics. )nother way. especially the attraction of the earthGs mass for bodies near its surface. and therefore more accurate. 4hysics. It ensures the stability of ordinary matter. The gravitational force on Earth is e. the acceleration of gravity is different than on Earth. so if you were to stand on a scale.!odern physics provides a wider. @ravitational force surrounds us. This law states that every massive particle in the universe attracts every other massive particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the s.. %lassical physics. on or near the surface of the Earth. $ecause classical physics is easier to understand and use. nuclear strong force or color forceF is one of the four fundamental interactions of nature. or determining the speed of a train. therefore. This general. Electromagnetic force: The fundamental force that is associated with electric and magnetic fields and is responsible for atomic structure. picture of the behavior of the universe than does classical physics. however. way to state the law is* :every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the s. Strong nuclear force* The strong interaction Ealso called the strong force. is still useful. and all other electromagnetic phenomena. physical law was derived from observations made by induction. It is what decides how much we weigh and how far a basketball will travel when thrown before it returns to the surface. Bn a different astronomical body like =enus or the !oon. it remains valuable in several situations. the gravitational force e.uals your weight. It is about &>> times stronger than electromagnetism. which in turn is orders of magnitude stronger than the weak force interaction and gravitation. In most everyday occurrences classical physics is as accurate as modern physicsD as in. .uare of the distance between the point masses.ual to the force the Earth exerts on you. These situations arise particularly when extremely small masses or high speeds Espeeds approaching the speed of lightF are involved.s Haw of 5niversal @ravitation is used to explain gravitational force. !ost high school and introductory college physics courses are primarily classical physics. )t rest. Even when not used directly. %lassical physics is directly related to everyday experience and.

o!ards Unification of Forces The unification of forces is the idea that it. allAencompassing force. we will still need to look to even higher energies to combine these forces with gravity. but can be effectively repulsive in some circumstances. This is because of two of its basic properties that set it . at high energies. It can be attractive or repulsive. as its name indicates. The weak force is responsible for radioactive decay and neutrino interactions.t hold together. It is longAranged. the electromagnetic and weak forceLwithout which the sun wouldn. $ut it will be worth it.s orbit around Earth. It is a force that is responsible for the radioactive decay of subatomic particles and allows the Sun to provide us energy. It has a very short range and. It is basically attractive. Today. but much weaker than the strong force. Then. but with respect to the largeAscale issues that are of interest to cosmology it is gravitation that is most important. scientists seek to unify this with the strong force. <inally. it is very weak. "ewton realized in the &Ith century that the same gravitational force that describes an apple falling from a tree also describes the moon. <urthermore. Steven 6einberg. it is always attractive. 5nfortunately. but very long ranged. under a @rand 5nified Theory. Scientists have made great strides toward the goal of understanding how the forces can be combined. in the &Jth century. but very shortAranged.s forces as manifestations of one single. and acts between any two pieces of matter in the 5niverse since mass is its source. )bdus Salam and Sheldon Hee @lashow discovered that.Weak nuclear force: The weak nuclear force can be defined as a fundamental force of nature and gravity. and acts only between pieces of matter carrying electrical charge. the predicted energy at which these forces would experimentally combine is about &>> billion times the energy produced by todayGs most powerful particle accelerators. It acts only over ranges of order &>A&( centimeters and is responsible for holding the nuclei of atoms together. The gravitational force is weak.s possible to view all of nature. 5nderstanding whether the known subatomic forces have a common origin is key to creating a Theory of Everything. )nd even if we succeed in figuring out how the strong force fits into the puzzle. The electromagnetic force causes electric and magnetic effects such as the repulsion between like electrical charges or the interaction of bar magnets. The Tortoise and the 2are* @ravity )lways 6ins The four fundamental forces all play central roles in making the 5niverse what it is today. without which the nucleus of an atom wouldn. It is the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus accompanied by emission of a beta particle. Kames %lerk !axwell demonstrated that the electric and magnetic forces are aspects of a single electromagnetic force. 4roperties of the <undamental <orces The strong interaction is very strong.t shineLmerge into a single electroweak force. in the '>th century.

and strong forces were unified into a single force. 6hen Einstein discovered the relationship ENmc' Ein other words that mass was a manifestation of energyF the law was said to refer to the conservation of massAenergy. with the strong force separating first and then at a still lower temperature the electromagnetic and weak forces separating to leave us with the + distinct forces that we see in our present 5niverse. are modified by the findings of the theory of relativity. as EinsteinGs theory of general relativity has provided a more comprehensive explanation for the phenomenon of gravity. There is further speculation. for example.apart from the other forces* E&F it is longAranged and thus can act over cosmological distances. that at even higher temperatures Ethe 4lanck ScaleF all four forces were unified into a single force. )lso. although gravitation is extremely weak. no matter what happens. one thing scientists have discovered is that nature is generally more complex than we think. which describe basic rules about how the motion of physical ob?ects changes. Then. closed systems. In the twentieth century. the current thinking in theoretical physics is that this was not always so. MHawM of @ravity* "ewton developed his MHaw of @ravityM to explain the attractive force between a pair of masses. and E'F it always supplies an attractive force between any two pieces of matter in the 5niverse. gravitation separated first and then the other ( forces separated as described above. electromagnetic. Thus. %onservation of !assAEnergy* The total energy in a closed or isolated system is constant. 5nification of the <orces of "ature )lthough the above discussion indicates that the fundamental forces in our present 5niverse are distinct and have very different characteristics. "ature of Physical #a!s Bver the years. There is a rather strong belief Ealthough it is yet to be confirmed experimentallyF that in the very early 5niverse when temperatures were very high compared with today. which is even less firm than that above. "ewtonGs law of gravity is an accurate lowAenergy approximation that works for most of the cases that youGll explore in physics. but they are still basically valid in most regular cases. but many of them refer to idealized. The following laws of physics are considered fundamental. The total of both . it always wins over cosmological distances and therefore is the most important force for the understanding of the large scale structure and evolution of the 5niverse. as the temperature dropped. which are hard to obtain in the real world. Bnly when the temperature dropped did these forces separate from each other. "ewton was able to define the fundamental relationship between the acceleration of an ob?ect and the total forces acting upon it. )nother law stated that the mass in an isolated system is constant. The process of the forces separating from each other is called spontaneous symmetry breaking. some are altered slightly in different circumstances. "ewtonGs Three Haws of !otion* Sir Isaac "ewton developed the Three Haws of !otion. The laws that "ewton developed. Still. the weak. it became clear that this is not the whole story.

but these are highly speculative. %are should be taken in applying them in these situations. and work within a system. The first law of thermodynamics demonstrates the relationship between internal energy. Invariance of the Speed of Hight* EinsteinGs ma?or insight. %onservation of !omentum* The total momentum in a closed or isolated system remains constant. although some may change forms. The formulas.mass and energy is retained. Electrostatic Haws* %oulombGs law and @aussGs law are formulations of the relationship between electrically charged particles to create electrostatic force and electrostatic fields. which led him to the Theory of 1elativity. !odern 4hysics O 4hysical Haws* In the realm of relativity and . added heat. where mass transforms into energy. )n alternative of this is the law of conservation of angular momentum. parallel the laws of universal gravitation in structure. The second law of thermodynamics relates to the natural flow of heat within a closed system. was the realization that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant and is not measured differently for observers in different inertial frames of reference. it turns out. The zeroeth law of thermodynamics makes the notion of temperature possible. There also exist similar laws relating to magnetism and electromagnetism as a whole.uantum mechanics. resulting in fields such as . scientists have found that these laws still apply. Haws of Thermodynamics* The laws of thermodynamics are actually specific manifestations of the law of conservation of massAenergy as it relates to thermodynamic processes. The third law of thermodynamics states that it is impossible to create a thermodynamic process which is perfectly efficient. The ultimate example of this is a nuclear explosion.uires some refinement to be applied.uantum gravity. !ost physicists believe that Einstein was right and the speed of light is constant. Some theoretical physicists have con?ectured different variable speed of light E=SHF possibilities. although their interpretation re.uantum electronics and . . unlike all other forms of motion.

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