Form 1 Physics Notes Physics Study Notes


Physics is often described as the study of matter and energy. It is concerned with how matter and energy relate to each other, and how they affect each other over time and through space. Physicists ask the fundamental questions how did the universe begin? how and of what is it made? how does it change? what rules govern its behavior?

Concepts of Physics

The Concepts of Physics

Explain the concepts of physics

Physics is described as the general scientific study of nature that aims to understand the behavior of the universe. Physics, therefore tries to explain how things happen around us or why they happen the way they do. For example, how a car moves from one point to another? Why unlike poles of magnets attract? Why does a mango fall? How is a rainbow formed? And so on.

Physics as a subject uses concepts like force, energy, mass, power among others to explain different phenomena. Energy, for example, may take the form of motion, light or electricity. In so doing, students of Physics get to learn more about matter and energy and how they interact with each other.

Therefore, Physics is the study of the relationship between matter and energy.

The people who study and work professionally in this field are called physicists.

Physics is an experimental science subject, which creates theories that are tested against observations of the natural world. Theories are used to explain why things behave the way they do. This is why physicists always insist on accurate measurements and a record of results during each experiment.

Once these results are in precise mathematical forms, technologists make use of such data when designing devices such as radios, televisions, mobile phones, computers, and artificial satellites. All these things are for the betterment of human life.

The Relationship between Physics and other Subjects

Establish the relationship between physics and other subjects

Knowledge of physics is also applied in other subjects. The principles of electrostatics and particulate nature, for example, are used to explain reactions in chemistry. The tools, implements and farm machinery learnt in agriculture as well as the process of dating historical remains are applications of physics.

Physics provides the basis for biology. Without space, matter, energy and time — components that make up the universe — living organisms would not exist. Physicist Richard Feynman said that everything on earth is made of atoms, basic units of matter, that constantly move. Since biology has its foundation in physics, it applies physical natural laws to the study of living organisms, according to Muskegon Community College. For instance, physics helps explain how bats use sound waves to navigate in the dark and how wings give insects the ability to move through the air. The American Physical Society shares that many flowers arrange their seeds or petals in a Fibonacci-like sequence to maximize exposure to light and nutrients. In some cases, biology helps prove physical laws and theories. Feynman states that biology helped scientists come up with the law of conservation of energy.

Importance of Studying Physics

State the importance of studying physics

Why Study Physics?

  1. Physics helps us tounderstand how the world around us works, from can openers, light bulbs and cell phones to muscles, lungs and brains; from paints, piccolos and pirouettes to cameras, cars and cathedrals; from earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes to quarks, DNA and black holes. From the prosaic . . . to the profound . . . to the poetic. . .
  2. Physics helps us toorganize the universe.It deals with fundamentals, and helps us tosee the connectionsbetween seemly disparate phenomena.Physics gives us powerful tools to help us toexpress our creativity, to see the world in new ways and then to change it.
  3. Physics providesquantitative and analytic skillsneeded foranalyzing data and solving problemsin the sciences, engineering and medicine, as well as in economics, finance, management, law and public policy.
  4. Physics is the basis for most modern technology, and for the tools and instruments used in scientific, engineering and medical research and development. Manufacturing is dominated by physics-based technology.
  5. Physics helps you to help others.Doctors that don’t understand physics can be dangerous. Medicine without physics technology would be barbaric. Schools without qualified physics teachers cut their students off from a host of well-respected, well paying careers.

Applications of Physics in Real Life

Discoveries in Physics have led to various inventions that influence our lives.

  1. At home;All tools and machinery that we use in our homes to make work easier are made in accordance with the laws of Physics. They include crowbars, hammers, door handles, cutlery, hinges, car jack, pulleys, tillage implements, and so many other things. For example, it would be difficult for us to try to lift a car so as to change its tyres. However, using a car jack makes this task easy. Electrical appliances such as cooker, iron, heater, electric lamps, washing machine and so on are a result of the application of the knowledge of physics.
  2. Medical field; A variety of medical processes and machinery rely on the application of the knowledge of Physics. Some of these machines are used in diagnosis and treatment of various ailments as well as sustaining the lives of patients through certain forms of therapy. Examples of machines used in hospitals include laser, x-ray, incubators, ultrasound and infrared machines. The knowledge used in handling and even actual use of these machines is based on the knowledge and skills acquired in Physics.
  3. Source of energy; Some processes and machines help us to obtain energy for our daily use. These machines make use of various laws of physics to give us different forms of energy. For example, batteries and generators provide electrical energy that is readily used in radios and televisions. A car battery provides energy needed to drive a car. When devices like bulbs are connected to these sources, they provide light energy for daily use.
  4. Transport; Application of laws of Physics governing concepts such as friction and frictional forces ensures that human beings and animals can walk, run and stop without falling over. Vessels used in transportation such as cars, ships, aeroplanes and trains are also able to move, brake and stop when necessary. This is all because the laws related to friction; flotation and balance are observed and applied accordingly. When these laws are disobeyed, ships sink and trains derail.
  5. Communication; Devices used in communication systems such as telephones, modems for accessing the internet and television, use cables, telecommunication transmitters and receivers to relay information. The knowledge of Physics is essential, because these instruments make use of fiber optics and radio waves in order to relay messages. Newspapers, letters, electronic mails (email), fax massages from fax machines and short messages (SMS) through mobile phones are reliable means of communication. All these things require the knowledge of Physics.
  6. Entertainment; Physics enables people to enjoy a variety of leisure activities as is evident in photography, digital appliances, exercise machines and other sport equipment.
  7. Industry; Physicists have been able to come up with tools and process that have resulted in advanced technological equipment and new discoveries. These include highly accurate skills such as computer assembly and computer programs used in design; and instruments like binoculars and telescopes; the ability to land on the moon and measure the temperature of bodies are a few examples.
  8. In schools;The instruments and apparatus used in school laboratories are made through the application of the knowledge and skill acquired in a Physics class. These apparatus have to meet certain specifications or standards that are universally accepted.

Physics in Daily Life

Apply physics in daily life

Driving a car requires a basic understanding of the principles of physics, whether the driver is conscious of them or not. For instance, the balance of a car changes as the car accelerates, decelerates or turns. To keep the car on the road, the driver must anticipate these forces acting on the car and make adjustments.

Having an understanding of physics may also help an individual to lift something heavy. For example, by using a simple machine such as an inclined plane or a lever, an individual can make the load easier to lift. Physicists study simple machines extensively and use the lessons they learn to make increasingly efficient tools.

To stay warm in the winter, people up turn the heat up or use the principles of physics to understand how to make better use of the heat that is already in their homes. Heat flows via conductive, radiant and convective means; understanding the differences between the three forms will allow an individual to insulate a house better. For example, by using ceiling fans intelligently, someone can make the convective heat flow in a house work to their advantage.