Scope & Excitement in Physics


Physics is arguably the most important of all natural sciences. It primarily deals with the study of matter and how it moves. Physicists use their intuition, laws of physics and mathematical tools to develop models depicting movement of objects, such as revolution of earth around sun or motion of an electron in an atom.

Small-Scale Physics

  • The small-scale physics deals with atomic and subatomic particles. How these particles behave in certain situations is modeled and studied in this field. The scope of physics in this area is fairly broad ranging from studies at atomic level to deep at the fundamental particle level. The fundamental particles, such as electrons and quarks, are the ones that make up all matter. It is worth mentioning that the macroscopic or large-scale behavior of matter is linked to the small-scale behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. For example, the electrical current flowing through a wire depends on how electrons move through it.

Large-Scale Physics

  • The large-scale or macroscopic physics deals with motion and behavior of large bodies. The scope of physics at large scales spans areas such as astrophysics, mechanics and thermodynamics. The study of heavenly bodies, such as motion of our solar system with respect to the center of our galaxy, is done by astrophysicists who use laws of physics and experimental evidence to develop models that describe such movements. The movement of terrestrial masses, such as a swinging baseball bat, is researched in the field of mechanics. The mechanics of large scale is primarily studies through the laws devised by Newton, while the mechanics at small scale is studied through another tool, called quantum mechanics. Thermodynamics deals with the motion of mass and its dependence on temperature.

Electromagnetism and Optics

  • Electromagnetism is the study of propagation of electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, through matter and space. All wireless communications are performed over electromagnetic waves. In fact, light is also an electromagnetic wave, and its study falls into this area of physics. With understanding of how these waves can be produced, transmitted and received, the field of telecommunication has taken huge leaps over the past few decades. The field of optics deals with the study of light emission, propagation and collection. All camera lenses are developed according to the laws of optics discovered by optical physicists. The Hubble telescope that has enabled scientists to look deep into space was designed and developed with the help of these laws.

Excitement in Physics

  • Physics is an immensely exciting field of study. For example, in astrophysicists study planets, solar system, galaxies and their interaction with each other. In particle physicists study how subatomic particles behave in different situations and how their ensemble defines matter and its properties. In semiconductor physics, the movement of electrons semiconductors and how they can be used to develop electronic components are explored. The radiation physicists determine how radiation moves through matter and how it can be used in a controlled fashion for the benefit of mankind. The laws of physics are used to calculate the trajectories of space shuttles and satellites in orbits around the earth. Going deeper, physics provides tools to study the fundamental questions such as how the universe came into being.


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