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How is Physics related to Other Sciences?

  • Last Updated : 30 Jun, 2021

The word science comes from a Latin verb, Scientia. All the natural phenomena in the universe are governed by a systematic understanding known as Science. Natural phenomena can be predicted, controlled, modified as well as eradicated using the concepts of Science. It can be considered to be a global human endeavor. Science is concerned with physical nature and its aspects. It includes imagination, experimentation, and deduction.  Knowledge about Science has been gained by humans through experiments, observations, and trials conducted on the surrounding objects. Therefore, it is both knowledge and a process. The systematic and organized knowledge collected through various sources has formed a large pool, which is so vast today that it has been divided into many branches and sub-sections : 

  • Physical Science- The science about the study of inanimate natural objects is referred to as the physical sciences. It majorly includes the following branches:   
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Geology
    • Geography etc
  • Biological Science- The scientific study of life is referred to as the biological sciences.
    • Botany- Concerned with the study of plants.
    • Zoology- Concerned with the study of animals.
    • Ornithology etc

Scientific Method and Scientific Theory

The scientific method is a way to gain knowledge in a systematic and organized way. The process in the scientific method involves creating conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions out of these, and then carrying out empirical observations to validate those formulated and stipulated conjectures. 

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The scientific method goes through the formation of a sequence of steps to reach from the knowledge pool to well-formulated derivations and formulae. It consists of the following crucial steps : 



  1. Systematic Observations
  2. Controlled Experiments
  3. Qualitative and Quantitative reasoning
  4. Mathematical Modelings
  5. Prediction and verification of theories.
  6. Speculation or Prediction

Physics and its scope

Physics is the branch of science related to the study of basic laws of nature and their manifestations concerned with the different natural phenomena. It is also referred to as the “fundamental science” because it constrains all the other significant branches of the sciences. It can be considered to be the study of the physical world and matter along with its motion through space and time. It also pertains to the concepts of energy and force as well. 

Physics consist of two principal types of approaches : 

  1. Unification- Different constraints are applied to all the phenomena occurring together as a collection of universal laws in different domains in the world. It is an attempt to unify various laws and combine to carry out an activity. It is based on trial and process. For instance, both electric and magnetic phenomena are governed by electromagnetic laws. 
  2. Reduction- This approach is based on the principle of deriving the properties of complex systems from the interactions, dependencies, and properties of their constituent parts. It can be used to understand the working of complex systems. For instance, the temperature of a system is reduced to average kinetic.

Scope of Physics

The scope of physics spreads over both massive objects like the universe and its surroundings, as well as to negligibly small-sized particles, like electrons, protons, etc., It is vast as it converts quantities with varying lengths stretching over a magnitude as high as 1060 m (study of the universe) or as low as 10-12 m (study of electrons, protons, etc). It also encompasses a wide range of masses from minutely small, like protons, neutrons etc., 10-10 kg, to highly massive galaxies, 1080 kg. Physics considers both the microscopic and macroscopic domains. 

Physics is divided into two major categories based on its scope:

  1. Classical Physics: Deals with the macroscopic phenomena (mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism). It can be considered to be a sub-branch of applied mathematics. The laws of motion framed by Isaac Newton were designed and developed keeping in mind the principles of classical physics.
  2. Modern Physics: Deals with microscopic phenomena (Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics).

Some Branch of Physics

  1. Mechanics- The branch of physics dealing with the movement of physical objects, more specifically the relationships between force, matter, and motion associated between them. It takes into consideration the objects both at rest and in motion. 
  2. Electrodynamics- The branch of physics dealing with rapidly changing electric and magnetic fields. It also pertains to the understanding of the particle motion and interactions produced within the variable fields. Maxwell devised numerous laws that are concerned with the motion of electric fields and their attributes.  
  3. Optics- The branch of physics dealing with the behavior and the interactions of light with each other. It can be used to simulate the construction of devices used to visualize and detect the aspects and components of light. It takes into account both ray and wave optics. It involves concepts related to the formation of images and the working of topics of reflection, refraction as well as diffraction. 
  4. Thermodynamics- The branch of physics related to heat and energy and its involved concepts. It also described the relationship with radiation along with the physical properties of matter. It also includes the conversion of heat into different types of energy; mechanical or electrical energy.

Physics in Relation to Other Sciences

Physics is a very significant branch of science that plays a crucial role in understanding the developments pertaining to the other branches of science, such as Chemistry, Biology, etc.

  • Physics in relation to Mathematics. The study of physical variables involved in the study of mathematics has led to the discovery of ideas of differentiation, integration, and differential equations involved in the estimation of quantities. Theories in physics and derivations in mathematics coexist with each other. Math is considered to be a deterministic tool for the development of modern theoretical physics. It provides a way to formulate and evaluate experimental results.
 

Mathematics 

Physics



GraphRepresents a single object.Represents a relationship between two quantities. 
AxesDimensionless numbers are represented by linear scalingValues of quantities are expressed in some units. Scaling may be linear or non-linear.
Origin(0,0)Any arbitrary position. 
Plot rangeinfiniteThe ranges of the quantities.
Slope GradientDimensionless numbers have a geometric interpretation only.Change of one quantity with respect to another.
  • Physics in relation to Biology. Physics form the essence of the field of biology. The concepts and illustrations of space, time, and matter have induced a better understanding of the existence of living organisms and the study of the laws of conversation of energy. Many diseases and ailments have been better diagnosed over the years due to developments in physics and vice versa. Disease diagnosis has been very efficient due to X-ray invention and practices. 
  • Physics in relation to Chemistry. Chemistry is basically an extension of Physics. The concepts associated with X-ray diffraction and radioactivity have revolutionized the study of the periodic table. The intra-particle forces, as well as internal interactions, can also be used to get a better insight into the bonding and the chemical structure of substances. The structure, behavior, and properties of matter are both easily understood with both the branches existing together.
  • Physics in relation to Meteorology. Meteorology holds an explicit part in the discipline of physics. It tends to explain nature’s observed behavior through estimated hypotheses and conjectures while taking into consideration the various relativistic repercussions. Atmospheric physics and meteorology use both mathematical and physical models to understand the weather and climatic conditions. It also relates to the descriptive mathematical and computer modeling of atmospheric dynamics.   
  • Physics in relation to Astronomy. The branch of astronomy is considered to be applied physics since it applies the scientific hypotheses and basic rules of physics to further the understanding of the celestial bodies and universe.For instance, the discovery and usage of radio telescopes, as well as optical telescopes, have stipulated an easy way to explore the universe.

Type of forces

Governs 

Gravitational force

All objects in the universe

Weak nuclear force

Particularly electrons and neutrinos.

Electromagnetic force

Charged particles

Strong nuclear force

Nucleons, heavier elementary particles



The other sciences, like geology, oceanology, seismology, etc, also use some laws of physics.

Sample Problems

Problem 1: What is “high-energy” physics? 

Solution: 

High-energy physics, which is also termed particle physics, refers to the study of the elementary constituents of matter and energy along with their corresponding interactions. Particle physics is concerned with the design and development of high-energy accelerators and detectors. 

Problem 2: Explain the relation of physics to seismology. 

Solution

Seismology is also referred to as the scientific study concerned with earthquakes and their related phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions. The movement of the earth’s crust, that is, the tectonic shifts and the types of waves emitting energy helps us in studying the earthquake and its repercussions.

Problem 3: Differentiate between weak and strong nuclear forces. 

Solution:



The difference between weak and strong nuclear forces are as follows:

Weak nuclear forces

Strong nuclear forces

It makes the radioactive particles decay.It keeps the protons and neutrons of a nucleus together.
Weak and very short-ranged.Strong and short ranged.
Example: Conversion of a proton to a neutron.Example: fusion process between stars and the sun.

Problem 4: What is the difference between classical and modern physics? 

Solution

Classical physics deals with the study of objects on a macroscopic scale, which can be studied with the largely unaided five human senses. This is in comparison to modern physics, which is concerned with the nature and behavior of particles and energy at the sub-microscopic level. The laws of one branch of physics remain inapplicable to the other branch and vice versa. Also, most of the laws of classical physics are deterministic. 

Problem 5: Define astrophysics. 

Solution

Astrophysics is a branch of science dealing with the methods and principles deployed in the study of astronomical objects and phenomena of the universe. 

Problem 6: Explain the reasons behind the durability of scientific knowledge. 

Solution

  • It is easily corroborated by multiple scientists working independently.
  • Consistent and accurate with different scientists.
  • Vast knowledge accumulating over many years.

Problem 7: Is it possible to modify a scientific theory? 

Solution

A scientific theory can be revised if required to accommodate new phenomena or data. It is not fixed and can be reformulated. 




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