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- 1. Introduction to Physics Unit 1 Class 1 E. Alexander Burt Potomac School
- 2. What is Physics? <ul><li>Start with the root of the word: Physics – physical – think bodies. </li><ul><li>Not human bodies! Bodies in the old sense of the word – think objects.
- 3. Objects of all sizes – from subatomic particles all the way up to galactic superclusters! </li></ul><li>So physics is the science of the nature and interaction of objects. </li><ul><li>What are the objects like?
- 4. What happens when multiple objects “interact” </li><ul><li>Could be collisions
- 5. Could be other forces. </li></ul></ul></ul>
- 6. An analogy to sports <ul><li>Suppose you're watching a sport that you have never seen before: </li><ul><li>The book uses a baseball analogy
- 7. My own experience is Lacrosse </li></ul><li>As you watch, some things are “legal moves” and some are not. </li><ul><li>So you develop a “theory” about what's a legal move.
- 8. And you confirm or change your theory by watching more moves. </li></ul></ul>
- 9. So... <ul><li>The job of physics is to figure out the rules to an unknown game called “nature” </li><ul><li>We have a pretty good set of rules so far, thanks to about 2000 years worth of work. (Most of that work is in the last 400 years.) </li><ul><li>For example, we can predict the next solar eclipse. See http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/future.html </li></ul><li>But our rules do not cover all situations. There are areas where physics does not have the answers! </li><ul><li>For example, we still do not understand how gravity actually works! </li></ul></ul></ul>
- 10. Branches of Physics <ul><li>Motion and Forces – known by their Greek names “Kinematics and Dynamics”
- 11. Electricity and Magnetism
- 12. Light and Optics
- 13. Heat and Thermodynamics
- 14. “Modern Physics” (meaning, roughly, since 1900) </li><ul><li>Relativity
- 15. Quantum Mechanics </li></ul></ul>
- 16. Mathematics Spoken Here <ul><li>Love it or hate it, the language of physics is math. </li><ul><li>The “rules of the game” we were talking about earlier are expressed most concisely in mathematical form.
- 17. These rules take the form of equations, and the equations can be used to predict future events. </li></ul><li>That's really important, so I'm going to repeat it: The “laws of physics” are mathematical expressions which can be used to make predictions. </li></ul>
- 18. The Basic Vocabulary: Units <ul><li>Math is all about measured quantities
- 19. Quantities of what? </li><ul><li>A gallon of gasoline is different than a pound of hamburger, and they're both different than 45 minutes of physics class </li></ul><li>Fundamental units: (The big three. There are others) </li><ul><li>Length
- 20. Mass
- 21. Time </li></ul></ul>
- 22. Le Systeme Internationale (vive la France!) <ul><li>Meters – supposedly 1/10,000,000 the distance from the north pole to the equator... NOT!
- 23. Kilograms – supposedly the mass of one cubic decimeter of water
- 24. Seconds – the usual. Decimal time never really did catch on.
- 25. Prefixes – to make the basic stuff bigger or smaller. See p. 7 in the text. </li></ul>

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