Fields of Physics

This article is specifically for Class 11 students

Physics is the physical science which deals with matter, energy and their transformations. Knowledge of physics will help you understand both natural phenomena and technologies that increasingly pervade out lives. There are numberers problems that physics fears.

Yet we can describe and understand any problem with the help of the following five fields of physics.

1. Classical Mechanics

It deals with objects from molecules to galaxies that are moving at speeds small compared with speed of light.

It deals with such ideas as inertia, motion, force and energy. Mechanics also includes the properties and laws of both solids and fluids. You use laws of classical mechanics when you drive a car, ride a skateboard, build a sky scrapper etc.

Indeed many physics problems can be solved through application of laws of classical mechanics. You will see that classical mechanics is but an approximation to a more comprehensive set of physical laws that includes Einstein’s theory of relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics.

2. Thermodynamics

It deals with study of heat and its interaction with matter.

It includes effects of temperature on properties of materials, heat flow and transformations involving heat and work.

3. Electromagnetism

It deals with electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic radiation.

Today electromagnetic technology dominates out civilisation as evidenced by radio, television, tape recorders, microwave ovens and computers.

4. Relativity

In 1905, Albert Einstein gave the theory of relativity. This theory has changed out notions of space, time and mass, energy. Space and time are seen to be intimately connected with time being fourth dimension in addition to space’s three dimensions. Although theory of relativity provides a more correct description of physical reality than does classical mechanics, the two theories differ significantly only at speed approaching that of light. In our everyday existences, we need not worry about relativity.

5. Quantum Mechanics

It deals with behaviour of objects on the extremely small scale of atomic dimensions.

Indeed classical physics fails to explain behaviour of such microscopic particles. The quantum mechanics touches every aspect of modern physics and most of classical physics. Indeed one requires an understanding and application of quantum mechanics for a satisfactory explanation of most of phenomena.

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