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Physics 20


Physics 20 Introduction to Physics What is Physics? a branch of Science What are some other branches we know? Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Astronomy, Environmental ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Physics 20

Physics 20
  • Introduction to Physics

What is Physics?
  • a branch of Science
  • What are some other branches we know?
  • Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Astronomy,
    Environmental Science, Social Sciences..

What is Physics?
  • Physics comes from the Greek word Physis which
    means nature
  • So is Physics the Science of Nature?
  • Wait a sec! What is Biology?
  • Bios-life
  • logos- the study of.
  • So biology is the Science of Life.
  • If we use the word nature to refer to the whole
    external universe, then we are getting close.

What is Physics?
  • It is the science of matter, its motion, as well
    as space and time.
  • Physics can be thought of as humanitys attempts
    to describe and explain our universe.

What is Physics?
  • Physics has many different branches within it
  • http//
  • Some of the topics commonly
  • covered in Physics 20
  • Waves, Light, and Heat
  • Physics 30 Kinematics and Dynamics, Electricity,
    Mechanical Energy, Nuclear Physics

What is Physics?
  • Is this all of Physics?
  • Not by a long shot! But all of the topics that
    we discuss here are relevant and used everyday by

What is Physics?
  • One interesting way to look at Physics is the
    scale which it encompasses.
  • Physicists are concerned with the most elementary
    of particles that make up matter in the quantum
    realm the pieces that make up atoms!
  • They are also concerned with the stars and other
    heavenly bodies that are amazingly large and far,
    far away.

What is Physics?
  • Here we have a number of galaxies, each contains
    somewhere between ten million and one trillion
  • The universe itself is estimated to have 9 1021
    stars (9 billion trillion stars)

What is Physics?
  • When we really start to look for Physics, we can
    find that it is everywhere!
  • Medicine, Cell-phones, cars, TVs, sports,
    thats right sports! (think of the sweet spot
    on a bat, thats Physics)

Is Physics only for Physicists?
  • A Physics education is a key to understanding
    science, and can only help to open doors for the
  • The lines between Physics and other science areas
    like Biology become blurred in many areas of
    study. For example Medical Physicists and
    Ultrasound Technichians have a great amount of
    knowledge of both Biology and Physics (they also
    make lots of money).
  • The point is, many of the disciplines of science
    (if not all) are interrelated.

The Nature of Science
  • Physics relies upon empiricism.
  • Empiricism the practice of relying on
    observation and experiment especially in the
    natural sciences.
  • In Science, we make observations, and from these
    observations questions are often raised.
  • These questions can lead to experimentation with
    more observations, which can then lead to more
    questions. Its an ongoing cycle!!

Where Did Physics Start?(by no means is this
  • Since Astronomy is a sub-field of Physics, we can
    say that our earliest records of Physics come
    from Babylonia (modern day Iraq) around 2000 B.C.
    Here astronomers looked up and recorded what
    they saw on stone tablets.
  • Later came the Greeks.
  • 384 B.C. Aristotle tried to write laws which
    governed the motion of objects. Although they
    were wrong, they were an attempt. He also
    believed in a geocentric universe.

Where Did Physics Start?
Where Did Physics Start?
  • Nicolaus Copernicus receives his copy of his book
    De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the
    Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) on his
    death bed.
  • It set forth the notion that the Earth rotates
    around the sun. (Heliocentric model). Note that
    he wasnt the first to suggest this, he was just
    the first person that anyone listened to.
  • His book sparked the Scientific Revolution, a
    great leap forward in scientific discoveries and

Where Did Physics Start?
Where Did Physics Start?
  • Galileo The Father of Modern Physics
  • Creates the telescope to further support the
    heliocentric model.
  • Threw things off of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to
    show that all things accelerate downwards at the
    same rate regardless of their mass.
  • In trouble with the church who supported the
    geocentric model.

Where Did Physics Start?
Where Did Physics Start?
Where Did Physics Start?
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Widely regarded as the most influential scientist
    of all time.
  • Three laws governing motion (Physics 30) which
    are the groundwork for classical mechanics.
  • Developed a theory of colour when he noticed that
    white sunlight could be split into spectra using
    a prism
  • Mathematical genius, he created calculus (at the
    same time as someone else Leibniz)
  • Jerk, often people would be working on things
    that he had discovered earlier and he refused to
  • He also developed the milled-edge coin to prevent
  • What do you think of when you think of Newton?

Where Did Physics Start?
Where did physics start?
  • Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist
  • she was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity,
  • the only person honoured with Nobel Prizes in two
    different sciences
  • the first female professor at the University of

(No Transcript)
Where Did Physics Start?
  • Am I missing someone?
  • Who is the most famous scientist of all time?
  • I will give you a hint, Time magazine declared
    him the person of the century in 1999

Where Did Physics Start?
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
  • The Miracle Year of Physics occurred in 1905
    when Einstein published four papers.
  • His paper on Special Relativity gave us some
    amazing implications for mechanics, For example,
    now we knew that moving clocks (very fast)
    actually registered a slower passage of time.
  • Finally, Einstein gave us the famous equation
    Emc2 which tells us that mass and energy are

Where Did Physics Start?
  • Genius

Is Physics Done?
  • No! There are still many, many questions that we
    dont know the answer to. Some people argue if
    Physics will ever be complete.
  • Perhaps the greatest goal of Physics is a Theory
    of Everything, a single set of equations that
    describe all the forces and matter in the
  • It hasnt been easy weve been looking for over
    150 years!!

So What Can You Do As a Future Physicist?
  • Ask questions!
  • Try new things!
  • Try to remember the questions you wanted the
    answer to when you were a child, Why is the sky
    blue?, Where do people come from (note, Im
    talking about the human race) etc.