Physics is a very interesting branch of science dealing with the forces that act upon everything in the universe. The word physics comes from a Latin phrase which means knowledge of how things work and refers to the knowledge of why the universe behaves the way it does, according to objective evidence derived through experiment and observation. It also includes information about the nature of time and space as well as the structure of the universe.
One of the most well-known branches of physics is solid state physics, which studies the behavior of solids at various temperatures. Other areas of physics are condensed mechanics, including those which study matter and energy in condensed states, such as gases and fluids, and optics, which studies the properties of light and how it is produced and perceived. Another branch of physics that is of interest to students of all ages is cosmology, which studies the details of the universe and the laws that govern its existence. Space science deals mainly with outer space, while the solar physics area studies the behavior of the planets and their respective satellites. The subspecialty of particle physics is probably the one that interests the majority of students, since it studies the smallest of subatomic particles.
Students of physics take many levels in their studies, from first year undergraduate courses to graduate programs at graduate schools. The first year of a degree program will introduce students to both classical and modern theories of the natural world, including such familiar authors as Einstein, Pasteur, and Planck. Classical theory deals primarily with matter and energy, with special relativity treating space and time as well. The leading textbooks for graduate students in this theory are Topics in Modern Physics and Foundations of Theoretical Physics. Topics in Physics deals particularly with the laws of electromagnetism and the weak force, explaining the behaviour of magnets, atoms, and molecules.
After working with classical mechanics and the natural laws that describe it, students move on to the field of quantum mechanics, which deals with the behaviour of sub-atomic particles using a different approach compared to classical mechanics. Quantum mechanics unifies the entire science of the atom, dating back to the birth of matter, through its study of highly unusual physical properties of atomic nuclei. Subatomic particles can be studied using techniques such as x-rays, lasers, and Electron Beam Scattering experiments. After mastering the theory and the basic concepts of quantum mechanics, students can pursue advanced courses in applied physics, working towards a master’s degree in physics.
One branch of the study of physics that directly influences all other branches is that of nuclear physics. Nuclear physics looks into the behaviour of atoms and their nuclear structures, looking for the emergence of new atomic elements and the role that natural processes and nuclear waste play in their growth. Two distinct areas of the science are experimental physics and study of the nuclear structure at the atomic level. Both these branches of physics interact with each other, using methods such as nuclear energy and fission and fusion.
The study of matter that is below the atomic level is known as condensed physics. It looks into the behaviour of extremely high temperature states, those in which elementary particles behave much like in a dynamic molecular real world. Two different areas of condensed physics that are closely related to each other are superconductivity and superfluidity. Superconductor and superfluid both relate to the laws of nuclear Physics, with the former relating to the collective properties of the atoms and the latter relating to the solid state properties of certain solids. Another important area of condensed physics deals with the strong force, which acts on empty space to bring particles together and to form atoms.
The study of the natural world, or the physical sciences, encompasses a wide variety of different subdisciplines. One of the most famous ones is Mathematics, which includes such areas as General Chemistry, Physics, Chemistry, and biology. A major part of the curriculum of any graduate program in physics is mathematics, which is an integral part of all disciplines. Students will learn to analyze phenomena, develop calculus skills, use algebra, and develop a working knowledge of algebra and geometry.
Students will also need to have good knowledge of Science, which is closely tied to the field of physics. If you wish to specialise in any particular branch of physics then you will need to understand the methods of this science, for instance, in order to find out how science can tell us about the behaviour of subatomic particles. To this end, students will also need to have a working knowledge of Physics and the laws of thermodynamics, since these are the two key forces in Nature. As well as the core principles of classical mechanics (which is one of the most important branches of physics) modern physics incorporates many different concepts from the natural world, including quantum mechanics and the field of general relativity. These concepts play a key role in the understanding of many physical phenomena.