Chapter 1: The Science of Physics (Page 3 - 37)
1-1 What is Physics?
The Topics of Physics
- Physics is simply the study of the physical world.
- Goal of physics is to use a small number of basic concepts, equations, and assumptions to describe the physical world.
Physics is Everywhere
Areas within Physics (Name / Subjects / Examples)
- Mechanics - Motion and its causes - Falling Objects, Friction, Weight, Spinning Objects
- Thermodynamics - Heat and temperature - Melting and freezing processes, engines, refrigerators
- Vibrations and Wave Phenomena - Specific types of repetitive motions - Springs, pendulums, sound
- Optics - light - Mirrors, lenses, color, astronomy
- Electromagnetism - electricity, magnetism, and light - Electrical charge, circuitry, permanent magnets, electromagnets
- Relativity - Particles moving at any speed, including very high speeds - particle collisions, particle accelerators, nuclear energy
- Quantum mechanics - behavior of submicroscopic particles - the atom and its parts
The Scientific Method
Scientific Method Steps
- Make observations and collect data that lead to a question.
- Formulate and objectively test hypotheses by experiments.
- Interpret results, and revise the hypothesis if necessary.
- State conclusions in a form that can be evaluated by others.
Physics uses models that describe only part of reality.
- Physicists use models to explain the most fundamental features of various phenomena.
- Usually impossible to describe all aspects of a phenomenon at the same time.
- Break into different parts to determine which to analyze/disregard.
- 1st step: Decide what to study (system)
- System: A set of items or interactions considered a distinct physical entity for the purpose of study.
- A single object and the items that immediately affect it are the focus of attention.
- A model can be summarized with a...