What is Physics?

Physics is pure science that deals with the behavior of matter and energy and how it relates to other physical properties. Physics is also part of our everyday life, and people call it a natural philosophy for a reason. Therefore, this article aims to help you understand ss1 lesson note: introduction to physics for first term.

Note that, Physics plays a role in understanding and explaining the structure of the natural world and it is phenomena. We have always applied the principles of physics in our daily activities. For example, the airplane we use, an x-ray machine in the hospital, the television we watch, and even the phone we make a call.

Introduction to physics - plane take off
Introduction to physics – plane take off

These are a few examples that originated from the knowledge of physics. Also, Physics is vast and very important to us.

Just as earlier stated, physics is the study of the behavior of matter and energy. However, we will like to know what is matter.

What is Matter? | SS1 Lesson Note: Introduction to Physics For First Term

Definition: Matter is anything that has mass or weight and can occupy space. A human body is matter, rain is matter, and the air we breathe also matters.

The matter is classified into three states:

  • Solid: A form of matter with a definite shape because its molecules are closely packed together. They have the same volume and you cannot pour them. When you apply heat to solids, the molecules vibrate about their fixed positions. When heated to a certain temperature, the molecules of a solid melt into liquid. 
  • Liquids: This form of matter does not have a definite shape and its molecules are loosely occupying the vessel’s size. In the case of drinks, they have volume and you can pour their molecules. When you apply heat to liquids, they gain kinetic energy and escape into the gaseous state. The process is called boiling to evaporation. 
  • Gas: The molecules of gases are not packed together, and they have no definite shape. When heat is applied to gases, they move at high speeds and collide with one another and the walls of their containing vessel. Gases undergo Brownian motion, which is a type of motion at random.

Now that we understand what matter is, we need more light about energy to be able to interpret the full meaning of physics.

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What is Energy? | SS1 Lesson Note: Introduction to Physics For First Term

Energy is the capacity to do work. It’s the ability to carry out a specific task. Just as we mentioned work, we need to shed more light on work to comprehend the concept of energy.

Work is the product of mass and distance. Therefore, this is to say when an object with a mass moves a certain distance, work is done.

Thus, the movement of that object from one place to another carries out a work which is in turn a result of the release of energy. Without energy, you cannot move. 

Energy helps to do work. This means, when we eat, we feel stronger to do our work.

As such, we can simply define energy as the ability to do work.

Now that we know about energy, we can easily interpret the definition of physics as the study of everything in the universe.

What are the Classifications of Physics?

The study of physics is evolving every day. However, for now, it is classified into two (2) branches:

  1. Classical Physics: This is concerned with the motion of objects under the influence of forces. Examples of classical physics are mechanics, heat, optics, wave and sound, electricity, and magnetism
  2. Modern Physics: This involves the aspects of matter, energy, and their relations at an atomic and subatomic level.

Other aspects of physics include Astrophysics, Biophysics, Geophysics, Nuclear Physics, and Engineering physics.

Why Would You Study Physics?

  1. By Studying physics, we will expand our knowledge of science which would help us to be innovative.
  2. Studying physics will help us to be actively involved in the critical decision-making of society.
  3. The knowledge of Physics would help us to create a modern and far better society and the world at large.
  4. Studying physics would help us to secure good jobs in both government agencies (NASA) and many companies around the world.
  5. It is as a result of physics we have x-ray machines, phones (from electromagnetism), television, satellites, and rockets.
  6. You cannot become an engineer or a doctor without knowledge of physics.  

What is the Best Way to Learn Physics?

I have heard many people complain about physics. Some students develop a fear of studying physics before starting it, what they usually failed to understand is that the fear has already made them lose interest in the subject. Thus, it becomes very difficult for them to accommodate physics into their learning pattern. 

I have always encouraged my students to give physics a chance. Here are some tips on how to understand Physics:

  1. Understand Mathematics or Further Mathematics
  2. Ensure to have a good teacher
  3. Always draft your data from the question given to you and avoid the long grammar
  4. Devote yourself to deriving equations
  5. Try and solve as many examples as possible. This will broaden your knowledge of the topic.
  6. Create a conducive environment for yourself
  7. Your physics teacher must teach with calmness
  8. Create an open mind to accept physics and think clearly
  9. Always observe with precision
  10. Deduce the right data from your experiments
  11. Organize a study plan that will help you to understand things clearly

What are the Career Opportunities after Physics?

Studying physics exposes you to many opportunities; it gives you the chance to catch up with your dreams. Here are some of the golden opportunities you stand to grab after studying physics:

  1. Acoustics: It is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound, and infrasound. Additionally, an acoustician is someone that works in the field of acoustics while an acoustical engineer is someone that works in the field of acoustics technology. 
  2. Biophysics: It is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the application of the theory of physics in the field of biology.
  3. Agro Physics: This is also a branch of physics that deals with the application of physics in the field of agriculture.
  4. Accelerator Physics: This part of physics is concerned with designing, building, and operating particle accelerators. But the particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. 
  5. Chemical physics: This part of physics deals with the application of physics and chemistry to investigate physiochemical phenomena using techniques from atomic and molecular physics. Additionally, It deals with the study of chemical processes from the physics point of view.
  6. Communication Physics: Communication encompasses many fields of physics. The knowledge of physics is applied in this field to make things easier. For example, we use the internet to communicate, we use television to watch the news, and we also use phones to pass information to one another.
  7. Econo-Physics: This is an interdisciplinary research field, applying theories and methods originally developed by physicians to help solve problems in economics. 
  8. Engineering Physics: This is the study of engineering, physics, and mathematics together.
  9. Laser Physics: It is the application of physics (optics) that describes the theory and practice of lasers. Therefore, It involves quantum electronics, laser construction, optical cavity design, the physics of producing a population inversion in laser medicine, and the temporary evolution of the light field in laser. 
  10. Material Physics: The application of physics to describe materials in many different ways such as force, heat, light, and mechanics.
  11. Medical Physics: In this field, the methodologies, theories, and principles, of physics are applied to the area of medicine. 
  12. Nano Technology 

Other Fields (SS1 Lesson Note: Introduction to Physics For First Term)

Additionally, you cannot study the following courses without the knowledge of physics:

  1. Soldering: This is also another branch of physics that focuses on the joining of metals by applying solder alloys due to the mixing of lead and tin in different proportions.
  2. Broadcasting: This is also a child of the study of physics which deals with the dissemination of information in form of video, audio, telephone, internet, and other relevant tools to a wide target audience by amplifying electromagnetic radiation.
  3. Technology:  
  4. Radio and Television technology
  5. Radiography: This method involves the application of electromagnetic radiation to view the internal structure of a non-uniformly opaque object (especially human beings by using X-ray).
  6. Automobile technology
  7. Metallurgy: Metallurgy involves materials science and materials engineering. It is the study of the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, intermetallic compounds, and also alloys. The technology of metals is called metallurgy, and it is the application of science in the production of metals.
  8. Metrology: Application of physics in the field of measurement.
  9. Telecommunication
  10. Electronicergonomics or Biotechnology
  11. Ophthalmology
  12. Air traffic controllers: They apply the knowledge of physics to control and guide pilots.
  13. Medicine: Application of science to treat, prevent, and diagnose any sort of illness.
  14. Diary Technology
  15. Dentistry: Application of physics in the field of the oral cavity to treat and prevent diseases.
  16. Quantity Survey: This part of physics deals with the cost of construction and contracts in a project.
  17. System engineering
  18. Pharmacy and Pharmacology: The application of physics in the field of creating drugs and medicine for healing the sick.
  19. Computer programming
  20. Pharmacy 

Therefore, this article was written to guide both teachers and students to understand ss1 lesson note: introduction to physics for the first term.

Reference:

  1. Wikipedia