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 Science means organized knowledge.

 It is human nature to observe things and happenings round in the nature and then to relate
them. This knowledge is organized so that it becomes well connected and logical. Then it
is known as Science. It is a systematic attempt to understand natural phenomenon and
use this knowledge to predict, modify and control phenomena.
 Scientific methods are used to observe things and natural phenomena. It includes several
steps :
 Observations
 Controlled experiments,
 Qualitative and quantitative reasoning,
 Mathematical modeling,
 Prediction and
 Verification or falsification of theories.
 There is no ‘final’ theory in science and no unquestioned authority in science.
 Observations and experiments need theories to support them. Sometimes the existing
theory is unable to explain the new observations, hence either new theory is formed or
modification is done in the existing theories.
 For example to explain different phenomena in light, theories are changed. To explain
bending of light a new Wave-theory was formed, and then to explain photoelectric effect
help of quantum mechanics was taken.
 Natural Sciences can be broadly divided in three branches namely Physics, Chemistry
and biology:
 Physics is a study of basic laws of nature and their manifestation in different
phenomenas.
 Principal thrusts in Physics
 There are two principal thrusts in Physics;
o Unification
o Reduction
 Efforts are made to explain different phenomena in nature on the basis of one or
minimum laws. This is principle of Unification. For example, the same law of
gravitation (given by Newton) describes the fall of an apple to the ground, the motion of
the moon around the earth and the motion of planets around the sun. Similarly, the basic
laws of electromagnetism (Maxwell’s equations) govern all electric and magnetic
phenomena.

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 To understand or to derive the properties of a bigger or more complex system the
properties of its simpler constituents are taken into account. This approach is called
reductionism. For example a complex thermo dynamical system can be understood by
the properties of its constituent like kinetic energy of molecules and atoms.
 Scope of Physics
 Macroscopic
 Microscopic
 Macroscopic domain includes phenomena at the level of Laboratory, terrestrial and
astronomical scales.
 Microscopic domain includes atomic, molecular and nuclear phenomena. It deals with
the interaction between matter at microscopic level (atom, nuclei, etc.) with elementary
particles such as electrons, photons, etc.
 Recently third domain in between is also thought of with name Mesoscopic Physics.
This deals with group of Hundreds of atoms.
 Physics requires an initial accepting and understanding of the basic law and then
modifying it include the complexities involved. For e.g. theoretically feather and stone
dropped from the same height should reach the ground at the same time due to the law of
free fall under the gravity. But air resistance does not allow the law of free gravity,
therefore it must be included and the original law should be modified.
 Scope of physics is very wide and exciting because it deals with objects of size as large
as Universe (1025m) and as small as 10-14 m, the size of a nucleus.
 Classical Physics deals mainly with macroscopic phenomena and includes
 Mechanics: Founded on Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravitation is
concerned with the motion (or equilibrium) of particles and even larger bodies.
For e.g. The propulsion of a rocket by a jet of ejecting gases, propagation of
water waves or sound waves in air.
 Electrodynamics: Electrodynamics deals with electric and magnetic phenomena
associated with charged and magnetic bodies.
 Thermodynamics: This branch of physical science deals with the relations
between heat and other forms of energy (such as mechanical, electrical, or
chemical energy). it deals with systems in macroscopic equilibrium and is
concerned with changes in internal energy, temperature, entropy, etc., of the
system through external work and transfer of heat.
 Excitement of physics can be seen through a number of factors:
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 Live television transmission
 Latest high speed computers
 Robots
 Lasers and their applications
 A hypothesis or axiom is just a statement and a scientist or observer just need to assume
that the statement is true to fit in all the possible theories. A model on the other hand is
designed to explain a phenomenon.
 There is a great connection between physics and technology. Sometimes physics is
responsible for the formation of new technology and sometimes technology is
responsible for new physics laws
 During industrial revolution, the need for the improvement of steam engine
caused the formation of law of thermodynamics.
 The discovery of basic laws of electricity and magnetism were responsible for the
discovery of wireless communication technology.
Table 1: Some of the physicists and their major contributions
S. No. Physicists Major Contributions
1 Archimedes Principle of buoyancy; Principle of the lever
2 Galileo Galilei Law of inertia
3 Christiaan Huygens Wave theory of light
Universal law of gravitation; Laws of motion;
4 Isaac Newton
Reflecting telescope
5 Michael Faraday Laws of electromagnetic induction
James Clerk
6 Electromagnetic theory; Light-an electromagnetic wave
Maxwell
Heinrich Rudolf
7 Generation of electromagnetic waves
Hertz
8 J.C. Bose Ultra short radio waves
9 W.K. Roentgen X-rays
10 J.J. Thomson Electron
Marie Sklodowska Discovery of radium and polonium; Studies on natural
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Curie radioactivity
12 Albert Einstein Explanation of photoelectric effect; Theory of relativity
13 Ernest Rutherford Nuclear model of atom

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14 Niels Bohr Quantum model of hydrogen atom
15 C.V. Raman Inelastic scattering of light by molecules
16 S.N. Bose Quantum statistics
17 Edwin Hubble Expanding universe
Homi Jehangir
18 Cascade process of cosmic radiation
Bhabha

Table 2: Established link between technology and physics


S. No. Technology Scientific Principle
1 Steam engine Laws of thermodynamics
2 Nuclear reactor Controlled nuclear fission
3 Radio and Television Generation, propagation and detection of electromagnetic
waves
4 Computers Digital logic
5 Lasers Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
6 Production of ultra high Superconductivity
magnetic fields
7 Rocket propulsion Newton’s laws of motion
8 Electric generator Faraday’s laws of electromagnetic induction
9 Hydroelectric power Conversion of gravitational potential energy into
electrical energy
10 Aeroplane Bernoulli’s principle in fluid dynamics
11 Particle accelerators Motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields
12 Sonar Reflection of ultrasonic waves
13 Optical fibres Total internal reflection of light
14 Non-reflecting coatings Thin film optical interference
15 Electron microscope Wave nature of electrons
16 Photocell Photoelectric effect
17 Giant Metrewave Radio Detection of cosmic radio waves
Telescope
18 Bose-Einstein Trapping and cooling of atoms by laser beams and
condensate magnetic fields

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Physics correlated with chemistry
 Physics phenomenon of electrostatic forces with the help of x-ray diffraction explains
atomic number and chemical bonding

Physics correlated with biology


 Biology can be studied with the help of physics for e.g. electron microscope and x-ray.

Fundamental forces of nature


Gravitational force
It’s a weak force. 10-38 times compared to strong Nuclear force
 It is due to Mass of the two bodies.
 It is always attractive.
 It operates in all objects of universe.
 Its range is infinite

Electromagnetic Forces:
• It’s due to stationery or moving Electrical charge
• It may be attractive or repulsive.
• It operates on charged particles
• Its range is infinite
• Its stronger 1036 times than gravitational force but 10-2 times of strong Nuclear force.

Strong nuclear force:


• Operate between Nucleons
• It may be attractive or repulsive
• Its range is very short, within nuclear size (10-15 m).
• Its strongest force in nature

Weak Nuclear force:


• Operate within nucleons i.e. elementary particles like electron and neutrino.
• It appears during radioactive b decay.
• Has very short range 10-15m.
• 10-13 times than Strong nuclear force.

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Conservation Laws
• In any physical phenomenon governed by different forces, several quantities do not change
with time. These special quantities are conserved quantities of nature.

1. For motion under conservative force, the total mechanical Energy of a body is constant.
2. Total energy of a system is conserved, and it is valid across all domains of nature from
microscopic to macroscopic. Total energy of the universe is believed to be constant.
3. Conservation of Mass was considered another conservation law, till advent of Einstein.
Then it was converted to law of conservation of mass plus energy. Because mass is converted
into energy and vice-versa according to equation E = mc2. The examples are annihilation and
pair production.
4. Momentum is another quantity which is preserved. Similar is angular momentum of an
isolated system.
5. Conservation of Electric charge is a fundamental law of nature.
6. Later there was development of law of conservation of attributes called baryon number,
lepton number and so on.

A quantity which can be measured and by which various physical happenings can be
explained and expressed in form of laws is called a physical quantity. For example length,
mass, time, force etc.
A physical quantity is represented completely by its magnitude and unit. For example, 10
metre means a length which is ten times the unit of length 1 kg. Here 10 represent the
numerical value of the given quantity and metre represents the unit of quantity under
consideration. Thus in expressing a physical quantity we choose a unit and then find that how
many times that unit is contained in the given physical quantity, i.e. Physical quantity (Q) =
Magnitude × Unit = n × u
Where, n represents the numerical value and u represents the unit. Thus while expressing
definite amount of physical quantity, it is clear that as the unit(u) changes, the magnitude(n)
will also change but product ‘nu’ will remain same. i.e. magnitude of a physical quantity and
units are inversely proportional to each other. Larger the unit, smaller will be the magnitude.

Types of physical quantities


(1) Ratio (numerical value only): When a physical quantity is a ratio of two similar
quantities, it has no unit.

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e.g. Relative density = Density of object/Density of water at 4oC
Refractive index = Velocity of light in air/Velocity of light in medium
Strain = Change in dimension/Original dimension
Angle is exceptional physical quantity, which though is a ratio of two similar physical
quantities (angle = arc / radius) but still requires a unit (degrees or radians) to specify it along
with its numerical value.

Scalar (Magnitude only): These quantities do not have any direction e.g. Length, time,
work, energy etc. Magnitude of a physical quantity can be negative. In that case negative sign
indicates that the numerical value of the quantity under consideration is negative. It does not
specify the direction. Scalar quantities can be added or subtracted with the help of following
ordinary laws of addition or subtraction.

Vector (magnitude and direction): e.g. displacement, velocity, acceleration, force etc.
Vector physical quantities can be added or subtracted according to vector laws of addition.
These laws are different from laws of ordinary addition.

There are certain physical quantities which behave neither as scalar nor as vector. For
example, moment of inertia is not a vector as by changing the sense of rotation its value is not
changed. It is also not a scalar as it has different values in different directions (i.e. about
different axes). Such physical quantities are called Tensors.

Normally each physical quantity requires a unit or standard for its specification so it appears
that there must be as many units as there are physical quantities. However, it is not so. It has
been found that if in mechanics we choose arbitrarily units of any three physical quantities
we can express the units of all other physical quantities in mechanics in terms of these.
Arbitrarily the physical quantities mass, length and time are choosen for this purpose. So any
unit of mass, length and time in mechanics is called a fundamental, absolute or base unit.
Other units which can be expressed in terms of fundamental units, are called derived units.
For example light year or km is a fundamental units as it is a unit of length while s–1, m2 or
kg/m are derived units as these are derived from units of time, mass and length respectively.

System of units : A complete set of units, both fundamental and derived for all kinds of
physical quantities is called system of units. The common systems are given below –

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(1) CGS system: The system is also called Gaussian system of units. In it length, mass and
time have been chosen as the fundamental quantities and corresponding fundamental units are
centimetre (cm), gram (g) and second (s) respectively.
(2) MKS system: The system is also called Giorgi system. In this system also length, mass
and time have been taken as fundamental quantities, and the corresponding fundamental units
are metre, kilogram and second.
(3) FPS system: In this system foot, pound and second are used respectively for
measurements of length, mass and time. In this system force is a derived quantity with unit
poundal.
(4) S. I. system: It is known as International system of units, and is infact extended system of
units applied to whole physics. There are seven fundamental quantities in this system. These
quantities and their units are given in the following table.

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In physics we have to deal from very small (micro) to very large (macro) magnitudes as one
side we talk about the atom while on the other side of universe, e.g., the mass of an electron
is 9.1 X 10–31 kg while that of the sun is 2 X 1030 kg. To express such large or small
magnitudes simultaneously we use the following prefixes:

(1) Length: Standard metre is defined in terms of wavelength of light and is called atomic
standard of length. The metre is the distance containing 1650763.73 wavelength in vacuum of
the radiation corresponding to orange red light emitted by an atom of krypton-86. Now a days
metre is defined as length of the path travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299,7792, 458 part of
a second.

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(2) Mass: The mass of a cylinder made of platinum-iridium alloy kept at International Bureau
of Weights and Measures is defined as 1 kg. On atomic scale, 1 kilogram is equivalent to the
mass of 5.0188 X 1025 atoms of 6C12 (an isotope of carbon).
(3) Time: 1 second is defined as the time interval of 9192631770 vibrations of radiation in
Cs-133 atom. This radiation corresponds to the transition between two hyperfine level of the
ground state of Cs- 133.

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