The curiosity of human beings towards nature is responsible for the modern advancement of Science and Technology. The word Science originated from the Latin word `Scientia’ which means ‘to know. In Sanskrit the meaning of Science is ‘Vijnana’ and in Arabic, it is called Ilm.
What is Science?
Science is a systematic attempt to understand natural phenomena in as much detail and depth as possible and use the knowledge so gained to predict, modify and control phenomena.
What is the Scientific method?
The Scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of Science which involves several interconnected steps, systematic observations, controlled experiments, qualitative and quantitative reasoning, Mathematical modeling, Prediction, and verification or falsification of theories.
Features of Science
In Science, there is no ultimate or final theory which means all the theories are questionable. If the theory is not experimentally proved all the theoretical predictions then the theory is said to be failed theory. So Science is ever Dynamic in its nature.
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- The steady-state theory of the universe is replaced by the Big bang theory, the reason is steady state theory there is no observation evidence but in the case of the Big bang theory, we can find many observation shreds of evidence.
- The circular orbital theory of Nicolas Copernicus was replaced by Johannes Kepler’s elliptical orbital theory on the solar system.
- Newtonian mechanics is replaced by quantum mechanics to understand the motion of microscopic objects.
Natural Science is broadly classified into three more branches of studies they are as follows.
Physics Chemistry Biology
The meaning of the word Physics originates from the Greek language which means nature. In Sanskrit, the meaning is Bhautiki– the study of the physical world.
Note: Precise and concisely defining Physics is not possible.
What is Physics?
Physics is a study of the Basic laws of nature and their manifestation of different natural Phenomena.
The Basic thrust of Physics
Few concepts/ laws Reducing complex systems (simplifying)
The same law of gravity can explain the falling of an apple on the ground (terrestrial phenomena) and also explain the force which binds the planets and sun (astronomical phenomena).
While studying Kepler’s laws of planetary motion we are neglecting rotation motion and negligible spin of the planets for the sake of simplifying the complexity of motion.
Scope of Physics
The scope of Physics explains the extent to which the Physics subject operates in various scales and domains of science.
Scope of Physics
Microscopic Mesoscopic Macroscopic
The microscopic domain is related to smaller particles such as Atoms, Nucleus, and elementary particles (proton, neutron, electron, neutrino, etc…). In the microscopic domain, quantum mechanics predominate.
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This new intermediate domain between microscopic and macroscopic domains in Physics deals with few tens to hundreds of atoms.
Macroscopic domains study larger physical objects like stars, galaxies, clusters, Planets, etc. Classical mechanics is more suitable to study the macroscopic domain in Physics, this includes Classical electrodynamics, Mechanics, Optics, thermodynamics, etc. In the Macroscopic domain, we depend on three types of study they are Laboratory, terrestrial, and astronomical scale.
Note: From the above-mentioned domains, we infer that Physics is truly a vast subject.
The scale of study in Physics:
The excitement of Physics
Scientists and researchers are excited to work in Physics due to its elegance and universalities of basic theories. The Physicists are exploring the secrets of nature through experiments or observation.
When fundamental laws of Physics are well defined, those fundamental laws are applied to develop new devices or Instruments which are useful for specific purposes, this application of Physics is known as applied Physics.
For example acceleration due to gravity ’g’ (9.8 m/s2) is independent of mass, This generalization can be derived from the experimental observation of feather and ball dropped in an evacuated chamber. The observation shows that the feather and ball reach the ground at the same time. This experiment confirms acceleration due to gravity does not depend on mass.
Physics, Technology, and Society
Physics and Technology are two interdependent domains. If new Physics is discovered that leads to new technology. In certain cases technology leads to an exploration of new Physics.
For example, the Industrial revolutions in European countries are due to the discovery of the steam engine. To increase the efficiency of the steam engine a new branch of Physics is developed called thermodynamics. Due to industrialization rapid growth of the economy in western countries leads to colonization of other countries.
The second example is Maxwell introduced Electromagnetic laws to unify electricity and magnetism this unification leads to a new way of communication by using Electromagnetic radiation. It revolutionizes modern communication using mobile phones and it directly affects society in both positive and negative ways.
Finally, we can conclude, Physics Is the study of nature and natural phenomena, Physicists try to discover the rules that are operating in nature, on the basis of observation, experimentation, and analysis.
Fundamental forces in Nature
In nature, we can observe many types of forces such as spring force, muscular force, tension force, etc all these forces are derived from the Fundamental forces in nature. Until now there are four fundamental forces are observed in nature, they are Strong nuclear force, Electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force, and Gravitational force.
The fundamental forces govern all the objects in the universe. The exact definition of force is given by sir Isaac Newton in his second law of motion the relation is F=ma. Where ‘F’ stands for force, ‘m’ stands for mass, ‘a’ stands for acceleration.
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Strong nuclear force
- The strong nuclear force is the strongest force among all the remaining three forces.
- The strong nuclear force is responsible for the binding of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom which helps to maintain the stability of the nucleus.
- A strong nuclear force also exists between Proton-Proton and neutron-neutron nucleons.
- The range of a strong nuclear force is a very short distance of ~ 10-15.
- The nucleons are also made up of some other elementary particles called `Quarks’.
- The Electromagnetic force can be observed in only charged particles.
- When charged particles are at rest they are governed by coulomb’s law.
- There are two types of charges namely one is a positive charge (+) and a negative charge (-).
- The like charges repel each other and unlike charges attract each other.
- When charges in motion through a conductor create a magnetic field around the conductor this is called the magnetic effect of electric current.
- The electromagnetic force is weaker than the strong nuclear force and stronger than the weak nuclear force.
- The range of Electromagnetic force is infinite distance and it does not require any material media.
- The intermediate particles in electromagnetic force are photons.
- The electromagnetic force between two protons is greater than 1036times the gravitational force between them.
- Electromagnetic force dominates at the atomic and molecular levels.
- Structures of atoms, molecules, chemical reactions, mechanical (tension force, frictional force, spring force), and thermal properties are governed by Electromagnetic force.
- The ordinary matter is usually neutral.
Weak nuclear force
- Weak nuclear force can be observed in the β (beta) decay process.
- In beta decay neutron is converted to proton along with the emission of an electron and antineutrino.
n p + e– + γ
- The weak nuclear force is stronger than gravitational force and weaker than the electromagnetic and strong nuclear force.
- The range of a weak nuclear force is 10-16m.
- The strength of the weak nuclear force is 10—13 times lesser than the strong nuclear force.
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- Gravitational force is the weakest among all the four fundamental forces in nature.
- Gravitation force is always an attractive force.
- Gravitation force exists due to the virtue of object mass.
- Macroscopic objects are governed by gravitational force.
Unification of forces
Unification is the basic quest of Physics from the advancement of physics leads to the unification into single concepts or theories. Sir Isaac Newton unified the Terrestrial and celestial domain from the universal law of gravitation. Oersted and Faraday unified Electric and magnetic domains before unification they are considered individual entities.
In the same way, Maxwell unified Electromagnetism and Optics (light is an electromagnetic wave). Albert Einstein attempted to unify electromagnetism and gravity but he does not succeed. The unification of forces is also a long-standing challenge at present three fundamental forces (Strong, weak, and Electromagnetic) are unified.
Nature of Physics Law
- All the laws of Physics are Conserved in their nature(symmetric properties).
- Conservation of energy.
- Conservation of momentum.
- Conservation of charge.
- All the laws of Physics are time-invariant with the same object under identical conditions.
Note: Earlier mass is assumed to be a conserved quantity but From the special theory of relativity energy and mass are two interconvertible entities by the relation E=mc2, so mass is not a conserved quantity. Where ‘E’ stands for energy, ‘m’ stands for mass, and ‘c’ stands for velocity of light.
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