What Is Physics? Basic Concepts and Definition

What is Physics? Basic concepts and definition

Physics is the science that studies the properties and structure of matter, the forms of its movement as well as their mutual transformations. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines and its main objective is to understand how the universe behaves.

Physics is perhaps the most important fundamental science of nature because with its help any other physical phenomenon found in other natural sciences such as chemistry or biology can be explained in principle.

Classical Physics

Classical physics includes traditional branches and subjects that were well developed before the early 20th century: classical mechanics, acoustics, optics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism.

What Does Classical Mechanics Study?

Classical mechanics deals with bodies driven by forces and bodies in motion and can be divided into:

  • Static: the study of the forces that act on a body without movement.

  • Kinematics: it is the study of movement without taking into account what causes it.

  • Dynamics: it is the study of movement and the forces that affect it.

Mechanics can also be divided into: solid mechanics and fluid mechanics, the latter includes branches such as: hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and pneumatics.

In this field, the importance of Newton's three laws developed by Sir should be emphasized. Isaac Newton based on the works of Galileo Galilei. With these laws together with universal gravitation they transformed the way of seeing the physical world.

What Is Acoustics?

The acoustics is the study of how it is produced, controlled, transmits and receives sound.

Important branches of acoustics include:

  • Ultrasound, the study of very high frequency sound waves beyond the realm of human hearing

  • Bioacoustics, called animal and auditory physics

  • Electroacoustics, manipulating auditory sound waves using electronics.

What Does Optics Study?

Optics is the study of light referring not only to visible light, but also to infrared and ultraviolet radiation.

What Is Thermodynamics?

The Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy.

What Is Electromagnetism?

An electric current generates a magnetic field and a magnetic field induces an electric current. Electrostatics deals with electric charges at rest, electrodynamics with charges in motion, and magnetostatics with magnetic poles at rest.

Modern Physics

Much of modern physics deals with the behavior of matter and energy under extreme conditions or on a very large or very small scale (for example, the study of atomic and nuclear physics)

Elementary particle physics (or high-energy physics) is even smaller in scale because it refers to the basic units of matter. At this scale, the usual notions of space, time, matter, and energy are no longer valid.

Quantum mechanics (or quantum physics) deals with phenomena at the atomic and subatomic levels and the complementary aspects of particles and waves when describing these phenomena.

What Is the Theory of Relativity?

The theory of relativity refers to the description of phenomena that take place in a frame of reference that moves relative to an observer.

Albert Einstein formulated this theory and agreed with Isaac Newton in stating that Newton's laws could only be applied to phenomena that develop at low speeds compared to the speed of light.

Later would appear the quantum theory developed by Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, among others.

What Is the Scientific Method?

The scientific method is a method of testing the validity of a physical theory.

This method uses a methodical approach to compare the implications of a theory with the conclusions drawn from the associated experiments and observations. In this way, physicists can better test the validity of a theory in a logical and repeatable way.

For this, experiments and observations are carried out to determine the validity or invalidity of the theory.


Published: November 17, 2021
Last review: November 17, 2021