What is Physics?
Physics is a branch of science which studies physical and natural phenomena
Examples of natural phenomena are formation of rainbow, solar eclipse, the fall of
things from up to down, the cause of sunset and sunrise, formation of shadow and
Physics mostly answers whys rather than what and it gives scientific, systematic
and consistent explanation based on the concepts of physics.
Physics knowledge will increase as the flow of time; new concepts will replace old
concepts if proven to be accurate.
The word physics evolved from ‘physikos’ a Greek word for nature.
There are two main divisions of physics which are:
a. Classical physics: motion and energy, mechanics, force and motion, heat, sound,
electricity, magnetism and light.
b. Modern physics: atomic, molecular and electron physics, nuclear physics,
relativity, origin of universe, astrophysics.
Several discoveries and contributions
based on the knowledge of physics:
1911 –New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford
(UK, New Zealand), proposed that an atom has a positively
charged nucleus called Proton.
1957 –Sputnik I, first satellite to orbit the earth (Soviet
1969 –Man landed on the moon – Neil Armstrong became
the first human being to set foot on the moon (US).
1989 –www was launched by British Engineer Tim BernersLee and his colleague (UK).
1990 –The Hubble Space Telescope was built and launched
into orbit by NASA (US).
Among the important figures in
Charles Augustin de Coulomb
Stephen William Hawking
Study of Physics
1. As the other branches of science, scientific skills is necessary in the process of undertaking
research and analysis in physics.
2. Research or Experiments are done systematically and step by step based on scientific method.
3. Scientific method
Identifying Problem ---- Making Hypothesis -----Planning investigation ------Identifying and
controlling variables ----conducting experiment ----collecting data ----recording data----making
Careers in Physics included (examples)
2. Computer Science
6. Medicine – X ray
7. Environmental Science
8. Basic Research