Physics involves sub-disciplines such as the concepts and study of energy, forces, electricity, radioactivity, astronomy, heat and thermodynamics, sound, light and other waves.
Astronomy is probably the oldest academic discipline, the ancients used the position of the sun, moon, planets and stars to measure the passage of time and for navigation. Modern astronomy deals with the origin of the universe and the very nature of matter as well as the positions and life cycles of celestial bodies (moons, planets, stars, galaxies, comets etc.). Astronomy (science) should not be confused with astrology (woo woo).
Electricity is the movement of charged particles, usually electrons. This can cause a flow or current of electricity, the more everyday sort that we use to power our world, or it can be a build up of electrons in one place which we call static electricity (it is static and isn’t going anywhere, for the time being at least.
Energy is the ability of something to do work. The essential thing about energy is that it cannot be created or destroyed, it can just be converted from one form to another or often from one form to a few other forms. There are several forms of energy such as kinetic (movement), potential (stored, heat, light etc.
Forces make things move or stop or speed up or slow down, they occur as a result of some kind of interaction with another object, in contact with it, a direct push or pull for instance, or non-contact forces such as gravity or magnetism.
Light or rather visible light is a small region of a whole spectrum of electromagnetic waves that stretch from very long low energy radio waves through visible to very short high energy x-rays and gamma waves.
Radioactivity is the process whereby (usually relatively large) nuclei of unstable atoms decay (fall to bits) to make more stable atoms emitting energy of various types in the process. Radioactivity is a natural process though can be enhanced by concentrating the material or inducing it artificially.
Sound is produced when waves of vibration pass through a medium that can carry the vibrating waves. We usually think of this medium as being the air, though sound waves can carry through liquids or solids, there is no sound in space as the vacuum cannot carry the waves.
Thermodynamics is often treated as a separate topic as heat and temperature is such an important factor in our everyday lives and in the generation and transfer of energy.
Fundamental and applied research in physics has led to many inventions, breakthroughs and developments of the modern world. Flight (including spaceflight) electricity generation and distribution, telecommunications, medical scanner technology, computing and the internet are just a few things that have resulted from physics.
Physics is often thought of as being the most fundamental or basic science because it is the laws of physics that determine how atoms and molecules act together that results in chemistry. It is in turn the manner in which chemicals act and react together that results in life and the science of biology. On the same continuum however, you will find mathematicians who claim that physics is just applied maths as all energy and matter obeys mathematical principles and rules.
These pages will explore these topics at a level suitable for school and homework tasks and to help you understand what you have covered in lessons or homeschooling.
Biology is the study of life.
Of how living things came about, of their variety, of how they build themselves, reproduce and pass on traits to the next generation and how they maintain and power themselves throughout changing conditions.
Chemistry is the study of matter.
The way that matter and energy interact with each other. Along with Physics it is a branch of physical science. How different substances interact with one another, and make new materials, their properties and uses.
Physics is the study of energy and matter.
The way that matter interacts and is influenced by energy. A branch of physical science along with Chemistry. It studies the smallest sub atomic particles right up to stars and galaxies in an attempt to explain how the universe behaves.