scope of physics

physics in the world around you

Physics can help you understand just about everything in the world around you. Thats because everything around you consists of matter and energy. Several examples of matter and energy interacting are pictured in the Figure 1.1. Read how physics explains each example. Examples of how matter and energy interact. Q: Based on the examples in Figure 1.1, what might be other examples of energy and matter interacting? A: Like the strings of cello, anything that vibrates produces waves of energy that travel through matter. For example, when you throw a pebble into a pond, waves of energy travel from the pebble through the water in all directions. Like an incandescent light bulb, anything that glows consists of matter that produces light energy. For example, fireflies use chemicals to produce light energy. Like a moving tennis racket, anything that moves has energy because it is moving, including your eyes as they read this sentence.

textbook_image

the scope of physics

Physics is the study of energy, matter, and their interactions. Its a very broad field because it is concerned with matter and energy at all levelsfrom the most fundamental particles of matter to the entire universe. Some people would even argue that physics is the study of everything! Important concepts in physics include motion, forces such as magnetism and gravity, and forms of energy such as light, sound, and electrical energy. Q: How do you think physics explains the distorted images formed by a funhouse mirror? A: Physics explains how energy interacts with matter. In this case, for example, physics explains how visible light reflects from mirrors to form images. Most mirrors, such as bathroom mirrors, have a flat surface. Light reflected from a flat mirror forms an image that looks the same as the object in front of it. Funhouse mirrors, like the one pictured above, are different. They have a curved surface that reflects light at different angles. This explains why the images they form are distorted.

instructional diagrams

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questions

important physics concepts include

a) motion.

b) forces.

c) energy.

-->  d) all of the above

which of the following is an example of a force?

-->  a) magnetism

b) motion

c) light

d) none of the above

which of the following is a form of energy?

a) gravity

-->  b) sound

c) matter

d) two of the above

diagram questions

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