You are on page 1of 5

Physics (from Ancient Greek: φυσική (ἐπιστήμη) phusikḗḗ (epistḗḗmḗ) "knowledge of nature

from φύσις phúsis "nature"[1][2][3]) is the natural science that involves the study of matter[4] and its
motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force.[5] One of
the most fundamental scientific disciplines, the main goal of physics is to understand how the
universe behaves.[a][6][7][8]
Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of
astronomy.[9] Over the last two millennia, physics was a part of natural philosophy along with
chemistry, biology, and certain branches of mathematics, but during the scientific revolution in
the 17th century, the natural sciences emerged as unique research programs in their own right.[b]
Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum
chemistry, and the boundaries of physics are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics often
explain the fundamental mechanisms of other sciences[6] while opening new avenues of research
in areas such as mathematics and philosophy.
Matter is the substance of which all material is made. That means objects which have mass.
More specifically, they must have rest mass, which is a form of energy that matter has even when
it is not moving (it has no kinetic energy), is extremely cold (it has no thermal energy), etc.
Matter is a word that is sometimes used in varying ways in everyday life, whereas mass is a
well-defined concept and quantity at least in physics. They are not the same thing, though they
are related.[1]
Matter can exist in four phases (or states), solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, plus a few other
extreme phases like critical fluids and degenerate gases.
Generally, as a solid is heated (or as pressure decreases), it will change to a liquid form, and will
eventually become a gas. For example, ice (frozen water) melts into liquid water when it is
heated. As the water boils, the water evaporates and becomes water vapor.
Sometimes, a solid will go directly from solid to gas - this is call subliming. An example of
sublimation is dry ice, the solid (frozen) form of carbon dioxide, CO2, which turns into gaseous
carbon dioxide at standard temperature and pressure - there is no liquid phase of CO2 at standard
temperatue and pressure.
A solid is matter in which the molecules are very close together and cannot move around.
Examples of solids include rocks, wood, and ice (frozen water).
A liquid is matter in which the molecules are close together and move around slowly. Examples
of liquids include drinking water, mercury at room temperature, and lava (molten rock).
A gas is matter in which the molecules are widely separated, move around freely, and move at
high speeds. Examples of gases include the gases we breathe (nitrogen, oxygen, and others), the
helium in balloons, and steam (water vapor).

depending on the context. radiant energy. energy is a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms. Plasma was discovered by William Crookes in 1879. Common energy forms include the kinetic energy of a moving object. . These gases follow quantum mechanical laws. there are many other definitions of energy. the density of a liquid and the mobility of a gas. and one joule is defined "mechanically". These supercritical fluids have unique characteristics. the solar wind in our Solar System is made of plasma. Degenerate Gas: A degenerate gas is one that is super-compressed and very dense. the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational. there is supercritical water deep inside the Earth. being the energy transferred to an object by the mechanical work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton. such as thermal energy. and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature. it can change from one form to another. Supercritical fluids exist deep inside some planets.[1] Physical changes occur when objects or substances undergo a change that does not change their chemical composition. In general a physical change is reversible using physical means. however.[note 1] However. electric or magnetic). In Newtonian physics. nuclear. in SI units. etc. There is plasma in stars (including our Sun). the radiant energy carried by light. Supercritical Fluid: A supercritical (or critical) fluid is a liquid/gas under extreme pressure. Unlike gases under normal conditions. where definitions are derived that are the most convenient. The molecules of this degenerate gas are virtually touching one another and the gas acts much like a solid. A plasma conducts electrical currents. but can not usually be used to separate compounds into chemical elements or simpler compounds. for example. electromagnetic. Physical changes are changes affecting the form of a chemical substance. the temperature in a degenerate gas does not depend on the pressure. There are many different types of plasmas. the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects. energy is measured in joules. the chemical energy released when a fuel burns.Plasma: A plasma is a gas that is composed of free-floating ions (atoms stripped of some electrons positively charged) and free electrons (negatively charged).[1] The "ability of a system to perform work" is a common description. This contrasts with the concept of chemical change in which the composition of a substance changes or one or more substances combine or break up to form new substances. but it is misleading because energy is not necessarily available to do work. there is a universal law of conservation of energy which says that energy can be neither created nor be destroyed. In physics..[2] For instance. salt dissolved in water can be recovered by allowing the water to evaporate. For example. but not its chemical composition. All of the many forms of energy are convertible to other kinds of energy. Physical changes are used to separate mixtures into their component compounds.

[6] In thermodynamics. which postulate that energy can be exchanged between physical systems as heat or work. from which science could easily result even if all other knowledge was lost. In the other founder of quantum mechanics. upon which classical thermodynamics is based. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics Main articles: Thermodynamics and Statistical mechanics The first chapter of The Feynman Lectures on Physics is about the existence of atoms. It deals with motion of particles and general system of particles. explanation of the atomic structure. the institute has Einstein was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in the been renamed to the Niels Bohr Institute.[1] By modeling matter as collections of hard spheres. A system is composed of particles. Denmark and his contribution to at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in the world of physics rests on his study and Zurich. Properties can be combined to express internal energy and thermodynamic potentials. and volume on physical systems on the macroscopic scale. Albert the University of Copenhagen. field of Physics. a native of diploma in the field of physics and mathematics Copenhagen. pressure. Albert Einstein theory. It also includes classical approach as given by Hamiltonian and Lagrange methods. He debated with Niels Bohr.Branches of physics Classical mechanics Classical mechanics is a model of the physics of forces acting upon bodies. this the Institute of Theoretical Physics located at contained his theory on relativity. Switzerland. . Einstein published On the quantum mechanics and in so doing founded Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies. In 1921.[2][3] Historically. and the transfer of energy as heat.[5] They also postulate the existence of a quantity named entropy. Thermodynamics studies the effects of changes in temperature. It is often referred to as "Newtonian mechanics" after Isaac Newton and his laws of motion. Central to this are the concepts of system and surroundings. which Feynman considered to be the most compact statement of physics.[4] The starting point for most thermodynamic considerations is the laws of thermodynamics. In addition. interactions between large ensembles of objects are studied and categorized. which in turn are related to one another through equations of state. which can be defined for any system. which are useful for determining conditions for equilibrium and spontaneous processes. he helped in the understanding of 1905. thermodynamics developed out of the desire to increase the efficiency of early steam engines. whose average motions define its properties. Albert Einstein (1885-1962) Niels Bohr (1885-1962) Famous For: Advancing the Theory of Relativity Famous For: Contributions to quantum At the age of seventeeen. it is possible to describe the kinetic theory of gases. nuclear reactions and nuclear fission enrolled to complete and receive his teaching Niels Henrik David Bohr.

Nonmathematical introduction to astrophysics of the Universe beyond our solar system using concepts of modern physics. Introduction to Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics (4) (Formerly Astronomy 2) Lecture . Introduction to the Solar System (3) Lecture .I-III. measurements do not apply to nominal properties of objects or events. which can be compared with other objects or events. . or any upper-division physics course (other than 137 or 160). Introduction to Stars. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 2 or 10.I-III. atomic and nuclear processes in relation to the structure and evolution of stars. and the Universe (3)Lecture .[2] However. Description and interpretation of astronomical phenomena using the laws of modern physics. . Not open to students who have received credit for course 10G. laboratory/discussion .2.5 hours. GE credit: SciEng. which would include nominal.I-II-III. Introduction to observations of the night sky using small telescopes in nighttime laboratory. (II-III. GE credit: SciEng. any quarter of Physics 9 or 9H.2 hours. . 10L. 10.3 hours. . and ratio scales.3 hours. interval. or 2. galaxies. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 2.[1][3] . 10. and the Universe. relativity. (I-III. or any upper-division physics course (other than 137 or 160). measurements can have multiple levels. Galaxies. Modern astronomical instrumentation. (I-III.[1][2] The scope and application of a measurement is dependent on the context and discipline.) Recent Syllabus 25. Prerequisite: course 10G or 10S (may be taken concurrently).3 hours. electromagnetic radiation. ordinal.Physics Courses Courses in Astronomy (AST) Lower Division Courses 10G. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 2. Observational Astronomy Laboratory (1) Laboratory . any quarter of Physics 9 or 9H. the solar system. Gravitation. in other fields such as statistics as well as the social and behavioral sciences.II-III.) Fassnacht and Lubin Recent Syllabus Measurement is the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event.) Recent Syllabus 10S. Prerequisite: good facility in high school physics and mathematics (algebra and trigonometry).) Recent Syllabus 10L. In the natural sciences and engineering. (I-II-III. which is consistent with the guidelines of the International vocabulary of metrology published by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Non-mathematical introduction to astrophysics of the solar system using concepts of modern physics.

numerical value). The value is the average of three statistics: basic literacy rate. we actually mean 10 times the definite predetermined length called "metre". -the units (in inch. defined and adopted by convention or by law. the imperial system. regulated and defined for the purposes of science and commerce.[1] A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a quantity. two parts of measurement -the quantity (magnitude. length is a physical quantity. agreement. For example. PQLI might be regarded as an improvement but shares the general problems of measuring quality of life in a quantitative way. Examples of systems of measurement in modern use include the metric system. the modern form of the metric system. and life expectancy at age one. The metre is a unit of length that represents a definite predetermined length. and practical use of units of measurement have played a crucial role in human endeavour from early ages up to this day.The Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI) is an attempt to measure the quality of life or wellbeing of a country. Systems of measurement have historically been important.meter) A system of measurement is a collection of units of measurement and rules relating them to each other. Now there is a global standard. It was developed for the Overseas Development Council in the mid-1970s by Morris David Morris. Different systems of units used to be very common. all equally weighted on a 0 to 100 scale.[1] Any other value of that quantity can be expressed as a simple multiple of the unit of measurement. The definition. When we say 10 metres (or 10 m). infant mortality. the International System of Units (SI). and United States customary units. . that is used as a standard for measurement of the same quantity. as one of a number of measures created due to dissatisfaction with the use of GNP as an indicator of development. It has also been criticized because there is considerable overlap between infant mortality and life expectancy.