Many argue that physics is really the fundamental science on which all other sciences depend on. Even processes which we don’t fully understand, such as biological ones, still occur due to minute physical interactions at levels we just haven’t figured out yet. Arguments aside, physics is certainly one of the largest and oldest sciences. It includes vast topics such as astronomy and mathematics, spanning the space between atoms, galaxies, and maybe even universes. Read about modern discoveries and classic principles in this fundamental category of physics articles on Direct Knowledge.
Physics Articles Covering History and Background
Physics started out with astronomy, as humans looked up to the stars in an attempt to understand the world around them. They noticed patterns that led to predictive knowledge about the planet, seasons, tides, and more. Soon, these patterns became obvious in all parts of the natural world, emphasizing the power of observation. But experimentation and testing theories is where things really changed. Experiments and quantitative methods allowed testing of observations to confirm predictions, advancing the entire scientific discipline. The laws of physics came to being, the theory of gravity emerged, and calculus was developed. Advances in physics led to advances in chemistry, thermodynamics, and electromagnetics. Those in turn lead to the Industrial Revolution, as well as other great theories that persist today such as quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. You can find more information on the history of the subject through the physics articles in this category.
Articles on Core Theories of Physics Today
The types of physics used in calculations and predictions is often dependent on the scale of time and space we’re looking at. Classically, the scale was everyday objects and phenomena that are easily observable: cue classical physics. Classical physics includes the topics that have been around for a while, like classical mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, acoustics, and electromagnetism. To put it simply, these are the studies of objects interacting with one another, light, heat, sound, and electricity and magnetism. Each of them is pretty easily observable without highly specialized tools, explaining why they were the first areas of study before the rise of more modern physics.
As physics advanced, we started looking at the extremely small and the extremely large. The very slow, and the very fast. Modern physics uses advanced mathematics and tools to branch out to energy and matter that is less easily observable. It concerns itself with the extremes, from the scale of atoms to that of the entire universe. There are two main theories within the modern field that cover these two areas, and they’re somewhat at odds with one another. Quantum theory studies the atomic and subatomic scale with a discrete perspective. The theory of relativity, on the other hand, looks at phenomena in relation to their motion with respect to an observer. Both appear to give generally good approximations of certain physical phenomena, but eventually clash and contradict one another if both applied to either extreme. Both of these fields, while at odds with one another, are extremely useful for modern physics. They each play their role in certain areas, and scientists work tirelessly to try to figure out how to make them work together. To see how they apply to modern science and the progress being made, check out the physics articles here on current events and developments.
Relation to Other Sciences
Over time, the boundaries of physics have become increasingly blurred. New fields emerged such as biophysics or quantum chemistry, merging physics with other previously unique fields. Now, physics is commonly one of the core subjects that students in other sciences study as a foundation. Even philosophy feels the effects of new ideas and discoveries in physics that explain fundamental mechanisms of life and the universe. One day, physics might truly be all we need. But for now it’s only a part of the whole.
Applied Physics: Tech and Engineering
Physics can be pretty theoretical and abstract sometimes. But, other times, it is very practical in helping to create useful technology or science. This requires the merging of the field with other sciences in order to get the best of both worlds (or all three, or four, and so on…). It can even make a full circle in which engineering technology created by the use of physics is then used in further advancing physics research. Well-known examples of applied physics and technology include radar, electronics, geophysics, and lasers. You can also find physics articles in this category that further describe the various interdisciplinary topics related to physics.
Today, research consists primarily of: condensed matter physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; and astrophysics. Each of these has a number of sub fields, and most physicists specialize in very specific areas within them because of the increasing level of intricacy involved in making any headway. Physicists are creating models of the universe, and models of atomic interactions. They apply physics to the study of space and stellar structures, as well as to living things. Unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity, mentioned above, has been an area of interest for decades. But actually accomplishing it is still yet to been accomplished. There’s not quite room here, but there are dozens more areas that all deserve a mention.
Articles and Information on Careers in Physics
Being a physicist typically requires a doctoral or professional degree involving large amounts of research. This allows you to work in very technical fields involving complicated topics. It also allows you to continue in academia as a professor or researcher. These types of positions often lead to high pay at about 119,000 dollars per year, with the number of positions in the field growing at a faster than average. In today’s world, physicists are also becoming increasingly popular in culture and news. They can even become famous for their discoveries and contributions to the field. For example: the household name of the late Stephen Hawking. This is good news, as spreading the word about physics helps bring more minds to the scene. Whether you want to join their ranks or just keep up to date on their incredible work, the physics articles in this category have you covered.
Physics is a unique blend of science, math, and philosophy that many people are drawn to for a variety of reasons. Besides scientists and researchers in the field, plenty of regular people like to read up on the latest developments, too. This popularization of the field is a great step in keeping society informed and aware of the importance of science. The Physics books on Direct knowledge are here to encourage the trend and help you at whatever level of learning you’re looking for.
The Science of Everything
Within the natural sciences, physics studies the motion and behavior of matter throughout space and time. This makes it one of the most fundamental sciences. In fact, some argue it is the most fundamental science because it can, in theory, explain everything in existence. But, it has yet to be able to do so. Or at least humans have yet to figure out enough of it to do so. Either way, understanding how the universe behaves is the ultimate goal of the field. Here you can find physics books exploring everything from the biggest ideas and advancements to the most fundamental methods and theories. First, it’s important to get a grasp on the history of physics. This helps you know what topics are central to the field and how methods have changed over time. The biggest changes concern the use of the scientific method and new technologies. These both gave physics a new level of reliability as well as the ability to explore new topics that were previously unreachable. Speaking of technology, physics now contributes a huge amount to advances in technology. This would be the applied side of things, giving us more practical uses for everyday life. Some examples of the technologies given to us by the field include TVs, computers, various common appliances, and even weapons. On the less practical side of things, physics aims to just understand the universe. This search for understanding even coincides with many goals of areas like philosophy. So reading physics books can help you become part of the next big technology, or just fulfill your own desire to understand the world around you.
The Main Topics in Physics Books
Today, the core theories you should read about are classical physics and modern physics. Classical physics was well-developed by the beginning of the 20th century, but is still in frequent use today. It includes areas like classical mechanics, thermodynamic, electromagnetism, and acoustics and optics. It mostly looks at regular objects in motion and the forces that act on them. Modern physics, on the other hand, looks at more extreme conditions. While classic physics looks at objects that we could observe normally, like beach balls and trains, modern physics would look at things more like enormous galaxies or tiny sub-atomic particles. But don’t worry, the professionals at Direct Knowledge can help you grasp these advanced areas with physics books that include topics like atomic and nuclear physics, quantum theory, and the theory of relativity.
If you’re studying physics in school, some great books to look into are the University Physics series. University Physics Volume 1 sets a foundation in topics like mechanics, sound, oscillation, and waves. Like the other books in the University Physics series, it clearly presents information, formulas, and many examples. These help keep students engaged by having an active hand in learning. It also makes the knowledge stick as they practice is more and more. Volume 2 of the series then builds off what was learned in Volume 1. It is also split into two units of “Thermodynamics” and “Electricity and Magnetism”. Within these units you’ll find topics such as temperature, heat, kinetic theory of gases, laws of thermodynamic, charges, fields, capacitance, magnetism, and more. This book is a good match for students in their second semester of physics as well as more advanced students wanting a refresher. Volume 3 of this series will continue with more advanced topics that university students find as they continue with physics courses. So stay tuned to get it and other physics books soon!
Professional technical writer specializing in material relating to Earth sciences, environmental economics, and developmental economics. Megan has a B.S. in Geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin, as well a M.S. in Environment and Sustainable Development from the University of Glasgow. She has worked in the government sector for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and currently lives in Mexico City where she works as a freelancer.