Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy, perhaps the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, physics, chemistry, biology, and certain branches of mathematics were a part of natural philosophy, but during the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right.[c] 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 studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy.
Advances in physics often enable advances in new technologies. For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism, solid-state physics, and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have dramatically transformed modern-day society, such as television, computers, domestic appliances, and nuclear weapons; advances in thermodynamics led to the development of industrialization; and advances in mechanics inspired the development of calculus
Mechanics (Greek: μηχανική) is the area of physics concerned with the motions of physical objects, more specifically the relationships among force, matter, and motion. Forces applied to objects result in displacements, or changes of an object's position relative to its environment. This branch of physics has its origins in Ancient Greece with the writings of Aristotle and Archimedes (see History of classical mechanics and Timeline of classical mechanics). During the early modern period, scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, and Newton laid the foundation for what is now known as classical mechanics. 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. It can also be defined as a branch of science which deals with the motion of and forces on bodies not in the quantum realm. The field is today less widely understood in terms of quantum theory.
Kinematics is a subfield of physics, developed in classical mechanics, that describes the motion of points, bodies (objects), and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without considering the forces that cause them to move. Kinematics, as a field of study, is often referred to as the "geometry of motion" and is occasionally seen as a branch of mathematics. A kinematics problem begins by describing the geometry of the system and declaring the initial conditions of any known values of position, velocity and/or acceleration of points within the system. Then, using arguments from geometry, the position, velocity and acceleration of any unknown parts of the system can be determined. The study of how forces act on bodies falls within kinetics, not kinematics. For further details, see analytical dynamics.
Kinematics is used in astrophysics to describe the motion of celestial bodies and collections of such bodies. In mechanical engineering, robotics, and biomechanics kinematics is used to describe the motion of systems composed of joined parts (multi-link systems) such as an engine, a robotic arm or the human skeleton.
Geometric transformations, also called rigid transformations, are used to describe the movement of components in a mechanical system, simplifying the derivation of the equations of motion. They are also central to dynamic analysis.
Kinematic analysis is the process of measuring the kinematic quantities used to describe motion. In engineering, for instance, kinematic analysis may be used to find the range of movement for a given mechanism and working in reverse, using kinematic synthesis to design a mechanism for a desired range of motion. In addition, kinematics applies algebraic geometry to the study of the mechanical advantage of a mechanical system or mechanism.
Dynamics is the branch of physics developed in classical mechanics concerned with the study of forces and their effects on motion. Isaac Newton was the first to formulate the fundamental physical laws that govern dynamics in classical non-relativistic physics, especially his second law of motion.
Generally speaking, researchers involved in dynamics study how a physical system might develop or alter over time and study the causes of those changes. In addition, Newton established the fundamental physical laws which govern dynamics in physics. By studying his system of mechanics, dynamics can be understood. In particular, dynamics is mostly related to Newton's second law of motion. However, all three laws of motion are taken into account because these are interrelated in any given observation or experiment.
Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.
Optics includes study of dispersion of light.
Most optical phenomena can be accounted for by using the classical electromagnetic description of light. Complete electromagnetic descriptions of light are, however, often difficult to apply in practice. Practical optics is usually done using simplified models. The most common of these, geometric optics, treats light as a collection of rays that travel in straight lines and bend when they pass through or reflect from surfaces. Physical optics is a more comprehensive model of light, which includes wave effects such as diffraction and interference that cannot be accounted for in geometric optics. Historically, the ray-based model of light was developed first, followed by the wave model of light. Progress in electromagnetic theory in the 19th century led to the discovery that light waves were in fact electromagnetic radiation.
Some phenomena depend on the fact that light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. Explanation of these effects requires quantum mechanics. When considering light's particle-like properties, the light is modelled as a collection of particles called "photons". Quantum optics deals with the application of quantum mechanics to optical systems.
Physical Quantities and measurements :
A physical quantity is any phenomenon that can be measured with an instrument or be calculated for. A physical quantity can be expressed as the combination of a numerical value and a unit. For example, the physical quantity mass can be quantified as n kg, where n is the numerical value and kg is the unit. A physical quantity possesses at least two characteristics in common, one is the numerical magnitude and the other is the unit in which it is measured. There are two main types of physical quantity, they are 1. Fundamental or basic quantity 2. Derived quantity Other types of physical quantity include;the vector quantity and scalar quantity.
When forces are used to open doors, steer and pedal bicycles or turn a tap they are causing turning. The effect that a force has in turning an object round depends on:
the size of the force
the perpendicular (shortest) distance between the force line and the pivot (the axis of rotation).
Both of these factors are taken into account when measuring the turning effect, or moment, of a force.
Moment of a force = force × perpendicular distance from line of action of force to pivot.
The moment of a force, also known as torque, is measured in N m.
The ‘line of action’ of a force is the line drawn along the direction in which the force acts.
The moment of a force is a vector that can only have one of two directions; either clockwise or
When turning on a tap or steering a bicycle, two forces are normally used. The forces act in opposite directions, but they each produce a moment in the same direction. A pair of forces acting like this is called a couple. The combined moment is equal to the sum of the moments of the individual forces.
If the forces that make the couple are equal in size, the moment of the couple = size of one force × shortest (perpendicular) distance between the force lines.
Matter is physical substance that occupies space, has mass, is composed of atoms—or, in the case of subatomic particles, is part of an atom—and is convertible to energy. On Earth, matter appears in three clearly defined forms—solid, liquid, and gas—whose varying structural characteristics are a function of the speeds at which its molecules move in relation to one another. A single substance may exist in any of the three phases: liquid water, for instance, can be heated to become steam, a vapor; or, when sufficient heat is removed from it, it becomes ice, a solid. These are merely physical changes, which do not affect the basic composition of the substance itself: it is still water. Matter, however, can and does undergo chemical changes, which (as with the various states or phases of matter) are an outcome of activity at the atomic and molecular level.
HOW IT WORKS
Matter and Energy
One of the characteristics of matter noted in its definition above is that it is convertible to energy. We rarely witness this conversion, though as Albert Einstein (1879-1955) showed with his Theory of Relativity, it occurs in a massive way at speeds approaching that of light.
Einstein's famous formula, E = mc2, means that every item possesses a quantity of energy equal to its mass multiplied by the squared speed of light. Given the fact that light travels at 186,000 mi (299,339 km) per second, the quantities of energy available from even a tiny object traveling at that speed are enormous indeed. This is the basis for both nuclear power and nuclear weaponry, each of which uses some of the smallest particles in the known universe to produce results that are both amazing and terrifying.