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1.1: The Scope of Physics

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The Scope of Physics

1.1: The Scope of Physics

Physics is concerned with the interactions of energy, matter, space, and time, in order to discover the underlying mechanisms that underpin all phenomena. The word "physics" comes from the Greek word "phúsis", which means nature. Physics seeks to comprehend the natural world around us at its most fundamental level. It emphasizes the use of quantitative laws to do this, which could be valuable in other fields that want to push the performance boundaries of present technologies.

Physics knowledge is vital, not only in scientific careers, but in everyday settings too. For instance, physics can help us understand how microwave ovens work, and why they might affect pacemakers. Many disciplines rely on physics, and it contributes directly to several more. For example, chemistry deals with the interactions of atoms and molecules, and so it has close ties to atomic and molecular physics. Similarly, most branches of engineering are concerned with designing new technologies, processes, or structures within the constraints set by the laws of physics.

It is not necessary to formally learn all applications of physics. Knowing the fundamental rules and having the analytical skills to apply them is the most valuable thing you can do. Physics can also help you enhance your problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, because physics preserves the most fundamental components of science, it is used by all sciences.

This text is adapted from Openstax, University Physics Volume 1, Chapter 1: Units and Measurements.


Physics Energy Matter Space Time Mechanisms Phenomena Nature Quantitative Laws Technologies Scientific Careers Everyday Settings Microwave Ovens Pacemakers Chemistry Atoms Molecules Engineering New Technologies Processes Structures Fundamental Rules Analytical Skills Problem-solving Abilities Sciences

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