Chapter 1 – Physical World

Definition of Physics: The branch of science which deals with study of nature and properties of matter and energy and of interaction between the two groups in traditional fields such as acoustic, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics and plasma physics.

Origin of Physics: The word “physics” comes from Greek knowledge. It is derived from Latin “Physica” from Greek(ta) “Phusika” which means the natural things and in general the field aims to analyse and understand the natural phenomena of universe.

Discussions: When we talk about physics, one thing comes to our mind is the many scientific laws which are statement describing phenomena that have been repeatedly tested and confirmed. Most people hear the word “Physics” and run for cover. But it’s not just for rocket scientist! We are surrounded by physics all the time and whether we realize it or not we use physics everyday.

It explains natural phenomenon in the universe. It is often considered to be the most fundamental science. It provides the basis of all other sciences. Without physics, we could not have biology, chemistry or anything else!

Scope and excitement of Physics
Scope : Physics has a very wide scope. There are three domains of interest which are given as below:
Domain of Physics

Macroscopic Domain

Mesoscopic Domain

Microscopic Domain

The macroscopic domain or scale is the length scale on which objects of processes are of a size that is measurable and observable by the naked eye.

This domain covers between the macroscopic and microscopic domains. It deals with the few tens or hundreds of atoms and several groups of atoms. Now a days, this is an exciting field of research.

This scale is the scale of size or length used to describe objects smaller than those that are easily be seen by naked eye and which required a lens or microscope to see them clearly.

Physics has it’s scope in classical physics and modern physics

Classification of Physics

Classical Physics

Modern Physics

  •  Mechanics
  •  Acoustics
  •  Optics
  •  Thermodynamics
  •  Electromagnetism
  •  Electrostatic
  •  Electro Dynamics
  •  Magnetitics
  •  Special Theory of Relativity
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  •  Quantum Physics
  •  Relativistic Physics
  •  Solid State Physics
  •  Astro Physics
  •  Biophysics
  •  Chemical Physics
  •  Econophysics
  •  Geophysics
  •  Medical physics
  •  Plasma physics
  •  Low temperature Physics
Classical Physics

1. Mechanics :
 Study of motion of various objects and particles
 Study of force that acts on bodies whether it is at static or in motion
Sub Branches
i.  Static Mechanics : It deals with the force on the bodies at rest.
ii.  Dynamics Mechanics : It deals with the force that affects the bodies in motion.
iii.  Kinematics : It deals with the description and analysis on the cause of force.

2. Acoustics Physics :
 It concerned with the study of the production of sound wave

3. Optics :
 It refers to the study of light
Sub Branches
i.  Physical Optics : It is the study on the production, nature and properties of light
ii.  Physiological Optics : It refers on the part that is played by light with vision
iii.  Geometrical Optics : It deals with the refraction and reflection of light as experienced in the study of mirrors and lenses

4. Thermodynamics :
 It is the study of connection between heat and other form of energies.
 The effects of changes in temperature, pressure and volume on physical system and their relation to energy and work will be covered under thermodynamics.
 The kinetic theory of gases is based upon classical thermodynamics.
 It was also possible to increase efficiency of steam engine by thermodynamics in early days.
 It mention the existence of quantity called entropy.

5. Electromagnetism :
 It deals with the study of the properties of the electric current and magnetism and their relationship.

6. Electrostatics :
 It refers to the electric charges at rest.

7. Electrodynamics :
 It is the study of moving charges.

8. Magnetostatics :
 It is the study of magnetic poles at rest.

9. Special Theory of Relativity :
 It is the study of relationship between electromagnetism and mechanics.

Modern Physics ( Behavior of Matter and Energy Under Extreme Conditions)

1. Atomic physics and nuclear physics :
 It is the study of components ,structure and behavior of the nucleus of an atom

2. Quantum physics :
  It is concerned with the study of the individual nature of the phenomena at the atomic levels.It comprises the atomic and sub-atomic systems and also their interaction with radiation

3. Solid state physics :
 It is the study of all the properties of solid materials. It comprise of things like electrical conduction in crystals of semiconductors and metals ,superconductivity photoconductivity etc.

4. Relativistic physics :
 It is the study of the phenomena that takes place in the frame of reference that is in motion with respect to an observer

5. Astrophysics :
 It is the physics in the universe that deals with the nature of stars and celestial bodies in astronomy

6. Bio-physics :
 It is the study of physical behavior of biological process

7. Chemical physics :
 It is the science of physical relation in the chemistry

8. Econo-physics :
 It deals with the physical process and their relation in the science of economy

9. Geo-physics :
 It is the science of physical relations that happen in our planet

10. Medical physics or Bio -medical physics :
 It is the application,prevention , diagnosis and treatment in the medical field

11. Plasma physics :
 It is the plasma ,fourth state of matter

12. Low temperature physics :
 It is the study of production and maintenance of the temperaturer down to almost absolute zero and the various phenomenon which occur only at that temperature

Excitement :
The excitement of physics comes in conducting new experiments , discovery of the different of the secrets of the nature and the applying the laws of physics for practical purposes

Basic Forces in Nature :

1. Gravitational forces :
 Force of attraction between point masses

2. Electrostatic force :
  Force of attraction or repulsion between point charges at the rest

3. Magnetic force :
 Force of attraction or repulsion between magnets or magnetic substances

4. Electromagnetic force :
 Force between moving charges

5. Nuclear force :
 Strong Force between nucleons

6. Weak force :
 It is not well understood as yet . the range of this force is even less than that of the other

( NOTE: All the above forces will discussed in details in respective chapters of class 11 & 12 )

Conservation laws :

In any physical phenomenon governed by different forces, several quantities may change with time , however some physical quantities remain constant in time . These quantities are conserved quantities in nature . These remarkable facts are the basis of many laws called conservation laws.

1. Law of conservation of linear momentum :
 “ The total linear momentum of the objects , in a given direction , before collision is equal to the total linear momentum of the objects in the same direction after collision if and only if there is no external force acting on a system of colliding objects”

2. Law of conservation of mass-energy :
  “The sum total of mass and energy remains constant in the universe”

3. Law of conservation angular momentum :
 “If there is no external torque acting upon a system , the total angular momentum remains constant”

4. Law of conservation of charges :
 “The total electric charges of an isolated system remains constant”

5. Law of conservation of energy :
 “The total energy of any system remains constant”

( NOTE: There are nearly 14 conservation laws based on symmetry principles in the physics , like law of conservation of baryons , law of conservation of leptons ,law of conservation of isotopic spin , law of conservation of strangeness etc. but they are beyond the syllabus of class 11 & 12 and some conservation laws will be described in details in the coming chapters.)

Physics technology and society :

Technology is the application of various laws, doctrines of physics for practical purpose. Practical application of physics and other branches of science have played very important role in the development of industry and in improving the standard of living of man.

The understanding of electromagnetic waves in the longer wavelength domain has found application in radio, televisions and wireless communication.

Televisions programme from the distant countries ‘live’ via satellites. The satellite communication has resulted in bringing the world to the table top. These satellites also help in forecasting weather and in geophysical survey such as exploration of oil wells. The electricity that we use in our homes and industry is generated at power plant by the conversion of some other form of energies into electrical energy.

Nuclear energy released in fission process is the source of energy in a nuclear reactor which produces electricity.

A host of other applications of the physics have contributed a great deal to the technical advancement of the society. Our society, today is coming more and more science oriented. Thus physics plays a very significant role in technology and our daily lives.

LIST OF IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES

S No

Name of Discoverer

Nationality

Discovery

Year

1

Copernicus

Poland

Sun as center of solar

1543

2

Galileo

Italy

Law of falling bodies

1590

3

Hans Lipper Shey

Netherland

Telescope

1608

4

Johannes Kepler

Germany

Laws of Planetary-Motion

1609-1619

5

John Napier

Scotland

Logarithm

1614

6

E.Torricelli

Italy

Barometer

1643

7

Dennis Papin

France

Pressure Cooker

1675

8

Isaac Newton

England

Law of Gravitation and Motion

1687

9

Thomas Newcomen

England

Steam Engine

1712

10

G.Fahrenheit

Germany

Mercury Thermometer

1714

11

Benjamin Franklin

USA

Lightning Conductor

1752

12

James Watt

Scotland

Condensing Steam Engine

1765

13

C.A. Vatta

Italy

Electric Battery

1800

14

K.V.Savervronn

Germany

Bicycle

1816

15

William Sturgeon

England

Electromagnet

1825

16

Michael Faraday

England

Dynamo and Law of Electromagnetic Induction

1831

17

Elisha otis

USA

Passenger Lift

1853

18

F.Carree

France

Refrigerator

1858

19

E.Linoir

France

Internal Combustion Engine

1859

20

Graham Bell

Scotland

Telephone

1876

21

David Edward Hughes

England / USA

Microphone

1878

22

James Diwar

Scotland

Vacuum Flask

1885

23

William Stanley

USA

Electric Transformer

1885

24

H.Hertz

Germany

Electromagnetic Waves

1886

25

G.Marconi

Italy

Wireless

1895

26

W.Rontgen

Germany

X-rays

1895

27

Antoine Becquerel

France

Radio Activity

1896

28

Rudolf Diesel

Germany

Diesel Engine

1897

29

Pierre and Marie Curie

France

Radium

1898

30

Max Planck

Germany

Quantum Theory

1900

31

Wilbur Orville Wright

USA

Aeroplane

1903

32

John Fleming

England

Diode

1904

33

Lee De Forest

USA

Triod

1906

34

Albert Einstein

Switzerland

General Theory of Relativity

1915

35

H.C. Oersted

Denmark

Electromagnetism

1920

36

John Baird

Scotland

Television

1925

37

Robert H.Goddard

USA

Rocket (Liquid Fuel)

1926

38

James Chadwick

England

Neutron

1932

39

J.Presper Eckert And John W. Mauchly

USA

Electronic Computer

1946

40

John Barden W, Brattain,W. Shockley

USA

Transistor

1948

41

Thoclory Menmann

USA

Laser

1960