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The science of everyday life

In a field such as science, there are scientists that are trained in the world of science. They affect us in our daily lives with things such as new theories, powerful ideas and instruments that they create.

The scientific methods used to do physics

  • A laboratory is a building designed for scientific work and may have many pieces of apparatus used in it.
  • A hypothesis is an educated guess or unproven statement of truth.
  • A law or principle is something that has been proven and tested to be true for all conditions.
  • A theorem must be true and proven, but can only be said to be applicable under specific conditions.

What is physics and what are the responsibilities of physicists?

Physics is the study of external forces and matter, their relationships, and potential effects. In general, physicists try to understand components of atoms and their interactions with other objects. A physicist will try to find general explanations for dispersive properties of matter.

Branches of Physics

  1. Mechanics – the study of motion of bodies under the influence of force.

  2. Electricity – this deals with the movement of charge from one point to another through a


  3. Magnetism – the study of magnets and magnetic fields and their extensive applications.

  4. Thermodynamics / heat – this is the study of the transformation of heat from one form to


  5. Optics –the study of light as it travels from one media to another

  6. Waves – the study of disturbances which travel through mediums or a vacuum.

  7. Particle physics – Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation.

  8. Nuclear physics – Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies atomic nuclei and their constituents and interactions, in addition to the study of other forms of nuclear matter. 

  9. Plasma physics – Plasma physics is the study of charged particles and fluids interacting with self-consistent electric and magnetic fields.

Relation of physics to other subjects

Since physics enables us to understand basic components of matter and their mutual interactions it forms the base of natural science. Biology and chemistry borrow from physics in explaining processes occurring in living things and organisms. Physics also provides techniques which are applied almost every area of pure and applied science i.e. meteorology, astronomy etc.

Chemistry: The science which is the most deeply affected by physics is chemistry. many branches of chemistry such as electrochemistry are based on laws in physics.
Biology: Biology is study of living beings. If we look at the processes of biology of living animals, we see many physical phenomena. eg: circulation of blood, transportation of stimulus, working of heart, etc.

Career opportunities in physics

1. Engineering: civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Agricultural, Environmental, Chemical, Computer

2. Meteorology

3. Surveying

4. Geology

5. Astronomy

NOTE: – all science based careers i.e. doctors, nurses, technologists, engineers, pharmacists etc. need physics as a true foundation.

Basic laboratory safety rules

LABORATORY- This is a room containing facilities, apparatus and equipment that aid the investigative study of physics

Proper dressing must be observed, no loose clothing, hair and closed shoes must be worn. Identify the location of electricity switches, fire-fighting equipment, first aid kit, gas and water supply systems.
Keep all windows open whenever working in the laboratory.

Follow all instructions carefully and never attempt anything in doubt.

  1. No eating or drinking allowed in the laboratory.
  2. Ensure that all electrical switches, gas and water taps are turned off when not in use.
  3. Keep floors and working surfaces dry. Any spillage must be wiped off immediately.
  4. All apparatus must be cleaned and returned in the correct location of storage after use.
  5. Hands must be washed before leaving the laboratory.
  6. Any accidents must be reported to the teacher immediately.
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