the term “physics” comes from the Greek word “physica” which means nature. so, it is a science that deals with the relationship of space, time, matter, and energy. classical physics, modern physics, and Contemporary physics are three major branches of physics. however, it is further subdivided into numerous branches and fields.
along with other branches of science such as biology, chemistry, etc, physics revolutionized human life around us.
“Science is the knowledge of logical reasoning.”
so, A man has always wanted to observe, think and reason about the world around him. the man tried to find ways to organize the disorder in the observed facts about the natural phenomena and material things in an orderly manner which results in a single discipline of science, called natural Philosophy.
Classification of the Study of Nature
the study of nature may be classified into two branches:
- Biological Science: the science of living things is known as biological science.
- Physical Science: the science of non-living things is known as a biological science.
What is Physics?
Physics the branch of science concerned with the properties of matter and energy and the relationship between them.
in other words, physics is basically the study of how objects behave. it is an important and basic part of physical science. it is an experimental science.
List of Branches of Physics
- Heat & Thermodynamics
- General Relativity
- Quantum Mechanics
- Atomic Physics
- Molecular Physics
- Nuclear Physics
- Solid-State Physics
- Particle Physics
- Super Conductivity
Basic Pillars of Physics
there are four fundamental pillars and areas of interest in physics on a theoretical basis. these pillars enable us to reach the different phenomena of matter. these are not the branches of physics but only structures in the different fields of physics. the four pillars are as follows:
- Classical Mechanics
- Classical electrodynamics
- Quantum mechanics
What are the main frontiers of fundamental science?
there are three main frontiers of fundamental science.
- the world of extremely large 1.e. universe
- the world of extremely small (i.e. particles such as electrons, protons, neutrons, mesons, and others.
- the world of middle-sized things (from molecules at one extreme to the earth at the other). it is the world of complex matter.
Some new Branches of Physics and Their Role in developing the technology
Branches of Physics: by the end of the 19th century many physicists started believing that everything about physics has been discovered. however, about the beginning of the 20th century, many new experimental facts revealed that the laws formulated by the previous investigators need modification.
- Nuclear Physics: the branch of physics which deals with atomic nuclei is called nuclear physics.
- Particle Physics: the branch of physics which is concerned with the ultimate particles of which matter is composed is called particle physics.
- Relativistic mechanics: the branch of physics with deals with velocities approaching that of light is called relativistic mechanics.
- Solid State Physics: the branch of physics which is concerned with the structure and properties of solids is called solid-state physics.
Other Branches of Physics
Physics is the most fundamental of all sciences and provides other branches of science, basic principle, and fundamental laws. this overlapping of physical and other fields gives birth to new branches.
Role of Physics in Technology
- Physics also plays an important role in the development of technology and engineering.
- science and technology are a vital force for change in the outlook of mankind.
- the information media and the fast means of communications have brought all parts of the world in close contact with one another.
- events in one part of the world immediately reverberate around the globe.
- we are living in the age of information technology.
- computer networks are products of chips developed from the basic ideas of physics. the chips are made of silicon. silicon can be obtained from the sand.
- it is up to us whether we make a sandcastle or a computer out of it.
Astrophysics: the branch of physics concerned with the chemical and physical properties, origin, and evolution of the celestial bodies.
Atomic physics: the branch of physics that studies the atoms that make up matter and the interactions that exist between them.
biophysics: the branch of physics which deals with the scientific study of the biological process in terms of the laws of physics. for example, echolocation in bats, stresses, and strains in skeletal muscular structures.
aerodynamics: the branch of physics which deals with the study of the movement of air and other gases. it includes the study of the interactions of air with moving objects, such as airplanes, and of the effects of moving air on stationary objects such as buildings.
cosmology: the branch of physics which deals with the behavior of the material universe in its entirety.it is one of the widest subjects in the spectrum of physics.
Physical Chemistry: the branch of chemistry that is concerned with the physical structure of the chemical compound, the amount of energy they have, the way they react with other compounds, and the bonds that hold their atoms together.
Physical Oceanography: it is the study of physical condition and physical process within the oceans. especially the motion and physical properties of the ocean’s water.
Medical physics: it is the application of physics to medicine. it generally concerns physics as applied to medical and radiotherapy.
Geophysics: it is the physics of the earth and its environment in space. its subjects include the shape of the earth, its gravitational and magnetic field, dynamics of the earth as a whole and component parts, the earth’s internal structure composition and tectonics, the generation of magmas, volcanism and rock formation, the hydrological cycle including snow and ice, all aspects of the oceans, the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and solar-terrestrial relations, and analogous problems associated with the moon and other planets.
Engineering Physics: it is an academic degree, available mainly at the levels of B. Tech, B.Sc, M.Sc, and P.Hd, unlike other engineering degrees( such as aerospace engineering or electrical engineering), EP does not necessarily include a particular branch of science or physics.
instead, EP provides a more thorough grounding in applied physics of any area chosen by the student ( such as optics, nanotechnology, microfabrication, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control theory, aerodynamics, energy, or solid-state physics).
Plasma: plasma is a gas in which an important fraction of the atoms is ionized so that the electrons and the ions are separately free. in physics and chemistry, plasma is a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized.
the basic premise is that heating a gas dissociates its molecular bonds, rendering it into its constituent atoms. further heating leads to ionization (a loss of electrons), turning it into plasma containing charged particles, positive ions, and negative electrons.
the presence of a non-negligible number of charge carriers makes the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. plasma, therefore, has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids, or gases and is considered a distinct state of matter.
like gas, plasma does not have a definite shape or a definite volume unless enclosed in a container; unlike gas, under the influence of a magnetic field, it may form structures such as filaments, beams, and double layers. some common plasma in stars and neon.
Photonics: the branch of physics that studies the photons and considered a part of quantum mechanics. the photons are elementary particles that are associated with electromagnetic fields.
Magnetohydrodynamics: Magneto fluid dynamics or hydro magnetics is the branch of physics that studies the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids. examples of such fluids include plasmas, liquid metals, and saltwater. the word magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is derived from the magneto-meaning magnetic field, and hydro- meaning liquid, and dynamics meaning movement.
the idea of MHD is that magnetic fields can induce currents in a moving conductive fluid, which create forces on the fluid, and also change the magnetic field itself. it is also known as space plasma physics.
it is the study of plasmas as they occur naturally in the universe. it is a fundamental part of the study of space weather and has important implications not only to understanding the universe, but also the practical everyday life. including the operation of communications and weather satellites. it is unique from other fields as astrophysics which study a similar phenomenon, in that space physics utilizes measurements from high altitude rockets and spacecraft.
Superfluidity: it is a state of matter in which the matter behaves like a fluid without viscosity and with infinite thermal conductivity. the substance which looks like a liquid will flow uncontrollably, and also will be at exactly the same temperature throughout itself. superfluidity is the frictionless flow and other exotic behavior of electrons in a superconducting solid.
Superconductivity: it is an electrical resistance of exactly zero which occurs in certain materials below a characteristic temperature. superconductivity is a phenomenon observed in several metals and ceramic materials. when these materials are cooled to temperatures ranging from near absolute zero (o degrees Calvin, -273 Celcius) to liquid nitrogen temperatures (77k, -196c), their electrical resistance drops with a jump down to zero.
the temperature at which electrical resistance is zero is called the critical temperature (Tc) and varies with the individual material. for practical purposes, critical temperatures are achieved by cooling materials with either liquid helium or liquid nitrogen.
because these materials have electrical resistance, meaning electrons can travel through them freely, they can carry large amounts of electrical current for long periods of time without losing energy as heat. superconducting loops of wire have been shown to carry electrical currents for several years with no measurable loss.
this property has implications for electrical power transmission, if transmission lines can be made of superconducting ceramics, and for electrical storage devices.
Optics: it is the branch of physics that involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light.
Hydrodynamics: the branch of physics which deals with the dynamics of fluids, especially incompressible fluids, in motion. it is concerned with the mechanical properties of fluids. it tells that how quickly an object can travel in a fluid. example: a person swimming in water.
Electromagnetism: it is one of the four fundamental interactions in nature the other three are the strong interaction, the weak interaction, and gravitation.
electromagnetism is the force that causes the interaction between electrically charged particles; the areas in which this happens are called electromagnetic fields. electromagnetism is responsible for practically all the phenomena encountered in daily life, with the exception of gravity.
ordinary matter takes its form as a result of intermolecular forces between individual molecules in matter. electromagnetism is also the force that holds electrons and protons together inside atoms, which are the building blocks of molecules. this governs the processes involved in chemistry, which arise from interactions between the electrons inside and between atoms.
branches of physics video illustration
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