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Concepts of physics | An overview of the subject
Simply put, physics is a science that tries to quantify reality, and scientists and philosophers have used the concepts for at least 1800 years. The concepts of physics include factors like heat, light, motion, energy, matter, and electricity. In addition to this, it also talks about the relation between matter and energy with the help of mathematics.
Concepts of physics | Eight important ones for you
As a matter of fact, to understand physics, it is quintessential to understand some basic concepts of the subject. While the subject is quite profound and challenging, some basic concepts like matter, gravity, and relativity are easy to understand.
Motion means the movement of an object- how it moves, which direction it moves in, and the speed. Basic units like speed, velocity, and acceleration help characterize and quantify motion. Acceleration measures velocity and how it changes, while velocity is motion in any specific direction.
One of the easier concepts, gravity is a force of attraction and is simply the pull of the Earth. Gravity is why things fall! The Earth’s gravitational force is also what gives objects weight. Sir Isaac Newton discovered the concept when an apple fell on his head while he was sitting under the tree. Had it not been for gravity, the apple would not have fallen and stayed suspended in the air for an eternity.
3. Newton’s first law
Also called the law of inertia, Newton’s first law states that if an object is at a constant speed or stationary, it will continue to be that way unless you apply an external force. For example, if a car moves at a speed of 60 km/hr, it will continue to do so unless the driver applies the brake or accelerates to increase the speed.
The most popular use of the theory is to explain that when a rocket launches into space, which is a vacuum, it keeps traveling in a straight line for infinity, as there is no resistance from the air and other forces.
4. Newton’s second law
The second law is called the law of mass and acceleration, and it states that a body’s acceleration is directly proportional to the force exerted on it and is in the same direction. All in all, this law states that any object needs force to move. For example, a door will only open when you push it. If the force applied to open the door is higher, the door will open faster and with more power.
5. Newton’s third law
Newton’s third law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. To simplify, an equal and opposite force counters every force applied to the body. If one body applies force on the second, the second exerts an equal and opposite force on the first. The simplest example in nature that explains Newton’s third law is the birds flying. A bird flaps its wings to push air down and then brings it back to create a lift and fly forward.
The concept of physics about work is an essential concept that you need to understand. Work is a measure of energy transfer, like moving a chair across a floor. When a force is used to move something, that force is known as work. Work done on anybody is always equal to the increase in the energy of that body.
In the concepts of physics, general relativity is a concept developed by Albert Einstein and is related to the idea of gravity. All in all, the concept describes how space and time are measured differently by observers moving relative to each other. The simple way to explain relativity is that if an object like a ball is being thrown around in another moving object like a train, there are different perspectives on what happens to the ball. As a matter of fact, for people inside the train, the ball is moving at the speed at which it is thrown; for someone watching from the outside, the ball is moving at the train’s speed. The speed of the ball is relative to the position of the person observing the motion.
The law of thermodynamics is another essential concept of physics as it explains the relationship between heat, temperature, energy, and work. Heat is a form of energy and can only be transferred from one state to another, not created. Heat transfers from a hot area to a cooler area via convection or from a hot object to a cooler one via radiation.
Thermodynamics studies the transfer of heat between objects as the temperature measures the speed of the movement of atoms, while heat measures the energy transferred due to the difference in the temperature.
Best universities to study physics
Although there are many universities that offer courses related to physics, some of the most renowned universities are –
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- University of California
- California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
- Harvard University
- Cambridge University
- University of Tokyo
- Stanford University
- Princeton University
- Physics is in a constant state of evolution, with new laws either corroborating or disproving older laws.
- As a matter of fact, physics tries to understand how the world and universe function quantifiably.
- Sir Isaac Newton laid the foundation of modern physics.
- The 20th century was the most significant era for the concept of physics.
- As a matter of fact, a career in Physics will never be outdated.
- All the finest universities around the globe offer prestigious degrees in Physics.
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Q1: Is physics an easy subject?
Answer- It is hard to comment on the difficulty level of physics as it depends on the grasp and understanding that the student has on the subject. All in all, physics is one of the most exciting subjects that aims to explain the universe’s existence and everything else within.
Q2: Does physics require mathematics?
Answer- As a matter of fact, yes. Pursuing a course or a career in physics will require you to understand mathematics and have a penchant for numbers.
Q3: Is there any good university for physics in Singapore?
Answer- Yes, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of the most popular global universities based in Singapore for physics.