What is physics? Many people claim that it is the study of the laws of nature. Well, it is.
Here are the 3 amazing examples to support the statement above.
We all are living in colorful and diverse surroundings. It has varieties of physical phenomena. We often clash with these physical events & objects such as the winds, the sands, the water, the planet, the rainbow, heating of objects on rubbing, the energy coming from the sun and the nucleus…… there are a large number of objects and events taking place around us.
Getting in touch with these phenomena and activities and understanding them is a crucial part of the development of humanity and the livings. There is only one way to understand these physical events and it is Physics. Physics is the study of the laws of nature.
We expect that all these different events in nature take place according to some basic laws and revealing these laws of nature from the observed events is physics.
For example, the orbiting of the moon around the earth, falling off an apple from a tree, and tides in a sea on a full moon night can all be explained if we know Newton’s law of gravitation and Newton’s laws of motion.
Physics is concerned with the basic rules which are applicable to all domains of life. Understanding of physics, therefore, leads to applications in many fields including bio and medical sciences.
A Game of Chess
The great physicist Dr. R. P. Feynman has given a wonderful description of what is “understanding nature” and “the study of the laws of nature”. Suppose we do not know the rules of chess but are allowed to watch the moves of the players.
If we watch the game for a long time, we may make out some of the rules. With the knowledge of these rules, we may try to understand why a player played a particular move. However, this may be a very difficult task.
Even if we know all the rules of chess, it is not so simple to understand all the complications of a game in a given situation and predict the correct move. Knowing the basic rules is, however, the minimum requirement if any progress is to be made.
One may guess at a wrong rule by partially watching the game. The experienced player may make use of a rule for the first time and the observer of the game may get surprised. Because of the new move, some of the rules guessed at may prove to be wrong and the observer will frame new rules.
Physics is Like a Game
Physics goes the same way. The nature around us is like a big chess game played by Nature. The events in nature are like the moves of the great game. We are allowed to watch the events of nature and guess at the basic rules according to which the events take place.
We may come across new events which do not follow the rules guessed earlier and we may have to declare the old rules inapplicable or wrong and discover new rules. Since physics is the study of nature, it is real. No one has been given the authority to frame the rules of physics. We only discover the rules that are operating in nature.
Aryabhata, Newton, Einstein, or Feynman are great physicists because, from the observations available at that time, they could guess and frame the laws of physics which explained these observations in a convincing way.
But there can be a new phenomenon any day and if the rules discovered by the great scientists are not able to explain this phenomenon, no one will hesitate to change these rules.
2 Excellent Examples to Justify the Statement
Earlier, we have been studying the laws of nature and claimed that physics is the study of the laws of nature. My dear friend, this is not a false claim, I am gonna tell you 2 amazing examples to justify my claim.
These examples are set and explained in a way that it will open a clear path of physics being the study of the laws of nature.
Why smokes always tend to fly up?
Do you smoke?
If no, that is awesome.
If yes, quit it today, it kills.
Preaches apart, you must have seen smokes whether you smoke or not. Smokes from your burning cigars or cigarettes, or from the buildings blowing tons of smokes by burning coal and gas and oil too.
I am sure you have noticed and observed the tendency of smokes and found it to go up towards the sky.
Why this happens? Why smokes behave like this?
My dear friends, smokes do nothing. They are helpless and bound by the laws of nature.
What are the laws of nature working here?
Very first, we all know that smokes are created due to the effect of heat. This heat raises the temperature of the smokes and in result the molecular bonds of the smoke breaks. Now, this relatively high temperature smoke is lot lighter than the ambient air.
These smokes are so light that even gravity fails to pull them towards the earth. Well, this is not true. Here works the theory of relativity, gravity is relatively stronger for the heavier air and weaker for the smokes. Isn’t it considered in physics; the study of the laws of nature. There are many other laws within this, but I don’t want to go deep here.
That is it for this topic. Moving to our next example that is related to gravity and other laws.
Why don’t we fly like birds?
Have you ever seen a bird flying?
Haven’t you ever thought about flying like a bird?
Can you fly?
Very first, you can’t fly. Not without any aid. Why you can’t fly but birds can?
You are lot heavier than the birds. But is it the weight that differentiate you from the birds and stops you from flying? No. not at all. If weight would have the reason behind it then the giant birds in the ancient world would never have flown neither the planes we travel today.
Then what is the exact reason behind the flight theory? Well, A bird is very light in weight and its wings exert a force that is lot greater than its own weight. But, you with your hands can’t exert a force greater than your weight. This is the reason you can’t fly.
What do you think? What were the status of these phenomena before the discovery of physics? They were exactly same back then as they are today. After the discovery of physics, we study nothing but the study of the laws of nature.
Using Coal Tar to build roads instead of Marbles.
Have you ever thought that why road engineers suggest building roads with coal Tar instead of using Marbles? We all know marble can give a good finish, still, it is not recommended to build roads with Marble. Why?
The reason is friction. Coal tar has more friction in comparison of marbles. if we build roads with marbles then there would be more chances of accident because the vehicles would not have better grip at road and they will start slipping on the road and cause an accident.
On the other hand, roads build with coal tar would have better grip with the tires of the vehicle. This would result in a safer ride.
How we came to know that coal tar has more friction and marble has less?
All this became possible with the study of the laws of nature. And that law is Friction a part of physics. By the study of material science and its friction properties, we came to know that coal tar is a better substance than marble in the case of road building.
My dear friends, till now we were discussing about physics; the study of the laws of nature. And I believe you would have understood my point on claiming the same. Please let me know if anything better comes to your mind or I missed here. Your contributions will be highly appreciated.