WHAT IS PHYSICS?
When we get up in the morning, most of us take the laws of physics for granted, but they are the most important thing in our lives. Without them, we would fly off this ball we call Earth and float endless in space. But what exactly is the field of physics, and how did it come to be?
Up to now, I’ve been avoiding a series on the subject because it can become quite intricate and complicated; and I have a very basic knowledge of it. Although my Dimension Lapse series deals with defying the law of physics, it is explained according to the laws of physics through research I did for the novels. Each theory is based on real probabilities that haven’t came to pass yet, and probably won’t be for at least 1000 years, if at all.
We know a lot of about physics, but there’s a lot we don’t know. So, first we’ll look at exactly what it is. A very basic definition is that it is the study of matter, energy and the interaction between them, but this is very broad, and covers just about every area in mathematics you could imagine. Many of the everyday inventions we now take for granted resulted from the discovery of physics.
The early Greeks were the first established the first physical laws, such as the inventions of levers, pumps, and hand drills, and the idea of the water buoyancy. Galileo Galilei and Issac Newton established the use of mathematics as a tool for physics, which led to the theories of the motions of the planets, the laws of gravity, and the three laws of motions. Today, we know that gravity is why an apple hits the ground. Before Newton, they knew that an apple could hit the ground, but couldn’t explain why it did.
Modern physics can be traced back to the turn of the 20th century, with the discovery of radioactivity, the quantum hypothesis, the theory of relativity, and atomic theory. Early physicists such as Max Planck and Albert Einstein, revolutionized the world of physics by applying theories to everything in our universe, creating the fields of astrophysics and cosmology. It is one of the oldest academic principles, and is divided into several fields:
Particle Physics is used in nuclear applications, including astrophysics and particle accelerations to create new elements and particles.
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics involves quantum optics, chemistry, and information science.
Condensed Matter Physics involves gases and their reaction to electrical charges, such as lasers; Bose-Einstein condensate, electrical conductors, semiconductors, superconductors, and magnetism.
Astrophysics is the area that deals with the universe and its theories involving black holes, cosmic background radiation, cosmic strings, dark energy and matter, gravity, radiation, planets, and solar systems.
Applied Physics is the theories that we use everyday, such as fluid dynamics, fulcrums and just about every type of math you can think of to make devices work. Pick up any electric, mechanical, or levered device, and it probably uses some theory from this area. Something such as modern day plumbing uses simple theories of gravity and pressure.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at Issac Newton’s ideas and theories and how they have developed over the centuries. Dubbed “The Father of Physics”, he was also into some strange areas of study, such as mysticism and the occult. Until then, here is today’s links:
FOR EVERY ACTION………..
Sir Issac Newton is perhaps one of the most important men in the history of mankind. He lived from 1642 until 1726, was an English physicist and mathematician. and laid down the foundations for classical mathematics, and helped to develop calculus.
He also built the first partial reflecting telescope and developed a theory of color, based on the effects of prism which decomposed white light into many colors of the visible spectrum.
Although he was a devoted but unorthodox Christian, he privately rejected the trinity, and dedicated much of his time studying biblical chronology, alchemy, and even the occult. He made a prediction based on biblical prophecy that the world will meet its end in 2060.
He was the first to develop the laws of motion and gravity. The laws of motion state:
- Inertia-An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted o by an unbalanced force.
Ex.- Car hitting a brick wall.
2. Acceleration– Produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass, the greater amount of force needed. Einstein’s theory of relativity is an extension on this idea.
F=M x A Force=Mass(weight) x Acceleration(speed)
Ex. Moving a brick wall takes more force, than moving a soccer ball.
3. For every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Ex. When a rocket pushes against the stable ground, the force of the moving rocket lifts it in the air.
Newton’s law of a gravity states:
F= Force between masses.
( 6.674 x 10¹¹ N x(m/kg)²
M 1=First mass
r=distance between the center of the masses
Newton’s theory doesn’t fully explain the precession of the perhelion of the orbits of planets, however. He was at a loss to explain this unusual phenomenon, which Eintein later explained in his theories, which is tomorrow’s lesson-The theory of relativity. Until then, here are today’s links:
THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY(AND EVERYTHING ELSE)
Newton theories didn’t explain anomalies of the universe, and even within our own solar system. When Einstein created the theory of relativity in 1915, he attempted to explain this, and why our Earth reacted under the confines of gravity the way it did.
Essentially, he broke it down to a fairly easy equation E=MC², which simply means energy=the mass of an object X the speed of light². He developed a whole theory to explain how gravity affects motion, and how motion effects time. Einstein struggled for ten years to include acceleration in his theory. These principles can be broken down into several points that effect everything in the universe:
- He predicted that the space-time around Earth would not only be warped, but also twisted by the planet’s rotation. This basically means that because the world rotates, the gravitational pull on us is stronger.
- The laws are the same for all non-accelerating observers. If one person sees an object moving in the sky, and someone else sees the same object 10 miles away, the timing will be different, but the speed of the object will remain unchanged.
- The speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers.
4. He discovered that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which we feel as gravity. The bigger the object, the stronger the gravitational pull. This is why the planets orbit the sun, which earlier astronomers had trouble discerning. light around a massive object, such as a black hole, is bent, causing it to act as a lens for the things that lie behind it. This basically means when you shine a flashlight at an object, even if the object is massive, some degree of light particles pass through it because the light bends around it.
5. Time doesn’t pass at the same rate for everyone. The faster a person moves, the slower time is for that person. This is called time dilation.
6. Nothing can move faster than light, and gravity bends light.
There have been issues with the last part of these principles. Neutrinos, which are developed in particle accelerators, have been found to move faster than light, and can even be in two locations at the same time. This implication, however how small, has a detrimental effect on how we see space travel in the future, and that a warp drive capability may not be science fiction one day after all.
That type of technology, however, is at least 1000 years away, if at all. Just because the theory makes sense doesn’t mean it will work. There is no way to control a warp field without using dark energy or foreign matter of some kind. And even if you could, how would you shut it off?
In my book, I deal with many of these concepts, offering simple explanations for them, but in reality, they are much more complex. Faster than light travel, and in my next book time travel, are concepts still in their infancy. Perhaps one day many eons from now, we will find the solutions. Unless, somebody else beats us to it, and visits us first? Until next time, the links are below. Have a great weekend, and if you’re in the Brockport, NY area, please stop in at Liftbridge Books for my book signing from 2-4PM. It is right on RT. 19.