Since no one was willing to share my idea of creating a educational (wiki) site here on Pinoy Teens at one sub domain, I will make use of the main blog and place all lessons under the Educational Aid Category, wherein I’ll be sharing about this and that what I am reading/studying about so that other people like you may make use of it, who knows, you could really make use of it :p

To start of, my first lesson will be a bit boring, but it’s always like that when you start with things (mostly) don’t you agree? Ok, here’s lesson #1, introduction to Physics

What is Physics?

Physics comes from the Greek word physike, meaning “nature”. Physics is the discipline of science that is directly concerned with fundamental law of nature. It aims to explain as many things as possible in nature, from the simplest to the most complicated one using simple laws. It is for this reason that physics was once called natural philosophy.

  • Physics has been referred to as “the pioneer science“. In terms of history, this is justified.
  • The elements of physics, began to appear long before other sciences, like chemistry or biology, were thought of.
  • It is the most fundamental of all sciences; other sciences build upon physics.
  • Physics is defined as the study of matter and energy and their interaction.
  • Physics is divided into classical and modern physics.
  • The year 1900 is a convenient boundary between classical physics and modern physics. Events, discoveries, and principles formulated prior to 1900 were under classical physics.
  • The main branches of classical physics are mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, optics, electricity and magnetism, and sound. Mechanics, is the oldest branch of physics, deals with ideas, such as inertia, forces, motion, engery, and properties of matter. The area of heat includes temperature measurements, effects of heat, methods of heat transfer. Thermodynamics is the study of transformation involving heat and work. Optics is the study of light and its properties.
  • The area of sound covers vibrations and waves and their properties, transmission and preception as in music and speech. Electricity and magnetism deal with origin of charge, the phenomena associated with chareged particles at rest and in motion, the effects of electric current, phenomena associated with magnetism, and the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
  • Classical physics deals with objects that are neither too large nor too small and that move with speed very small compared to the speed of light in vacuum.
  • Modern physics deals with x-rays, nuclear physics and radioactivity, atmoic physics and theory of relativity, to name a few. Relativity deals with objects moving at a speed very close to the speed of light in vacuum.

Physics and Technology

Technology comes from the Greek words teckhne meaning “art or craft” and logos meaning “articulate speech or discourse”. The United Nation Educational and Social Cultural Organization defines technology as know-how and creative process that may assist people to utilize tools, resources, and systems to solve problems and enhance control over the natural man-made environment in an endeavor to improve human conditions.”

Physic and technology are very much related. Physics deals with understanding of the natural world, while technology aims to apply this understanding into the man made world. Technology might even be considered as the offspring of physics. The world wide web, laser, superconductors, semiconductors that form the foundations of our modern technology, were all invented by physicists.

Fundamental and Derived Quantities

Quantities in physics may either be fundamental or derived. Fundamental quantities include length, mass, time, temperature, electric charge, luminous intensity, and amount of substance. Derived quantities are combinations of fundamental quantities. For example, speed may be defined as in length of space traveled divided by time. Other familiar examples of derived quantities are acceleration, density, work and energy.

Measurements and Units

Lord Kevin (born William Thomson), a British physicist, emphasized the importance of measurement when he said, “when you can measure what you are speaking about and expressed it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of a science.” The Greek philosopher Plato pointed out that “if arithmetic, measurement, weighing is taken away from any art, that which remains will not be much.”

Physics begins with measurements. Measurements is simply a comparison with a standard. To carry out accurate measurements, it is necessary to establish a system of standards and a system of units in which to express the standards.

Units have been defined for each fundamental quantity. These units are called base or fundamental units. The combination of base units is called a derived unit.

Two systems of units have evolved: the metric system and the English system. The metric system has two variations: the mks and cgs system. Each system is represented by the abbreviation of its three basic units: mks stands for meter, kilogram, and second; cgs stands for centimeter, gram, and second; fps stands for foot, pound, and second. The fps system considers force as a fundamental quantity instead of mass.

The international system of Untis, abbreviated SI from the French Le Systeme International d; Unites, s the modern form of the metric system. It is the system of units that the general conference on weights and measures has agreed upon and is legally enforced in almost all parts of the world.

And this has been Lesson Number 1 for 4th Year Physics
Written by: Kevin Paquet of Pinoy Teens Online