What is physics?

What is physics

Everyone has to deal with physics at school. But what is it? And what do physicists do? Read this blog for all the answers!

Physicists investigate everything to do with inanimate nature: matter, radiation and energy. They formulate hypotheses and with the help of experiments they check whether their hypotheses are correct. You can read in this blog how this science has developed into what it is today. We also tell you everything about physics at school.

How Physics Began

Physics , also known as physics, has actually been around since ancient times. Scientists were then occupied with all kinds of questions. Inanimate nature was a popular subject, as was living nature (biology).

Questions posed by physicists at the time included:

  • How do thunderstorms form?
  • Why does an apple fall down?
  • What does the universe consist of?

For many such questions, theories have been devised that refer to gods. At that time, the gods were the most logical explanation for phenomena that could not (yet) be explained.

Also in antiquity a lot of explanations arose that were more in line with the explanations of today. However, that does not mean that the explanation at the time was also correct.

Physics, like other sciences, has always been based on theories. They are assumed to be true until proven otherwise.

In ancient times, however, little use was made of experiments. That only happened much later.

Even in the Middle Ages, experiments did not play such a big role in physics. Then it was religion that dominated this science. The Church exerted great pressure on the scientists through censorship and even violence.

It was not until the beginning of the 17th century that ratio was given more space and religion faded more into the background. It was only from that time that scientists could really do free research.

That is not to say that physicists before the 17th century were stupid. With their knowledge pyramids were built and shipping started.

Physics now

Modern physics arose around the year 1900. Before that, a number of phenomena had still remained unexplained. The list of all unresolved issues was still long. So it called for new theories and research.

Topics still being studied by physicists today include:

  • Power and movement
  • Radiation
  • Warmth
  • Light
  • Magnetism and electricity

For all these subjects in the physics textbook pdf, the composition of the substances may not change. If that is the case, that research belongs to chemistry . You can read more about this in our blog about the difference between physics and chemistry .

Physics is a combination of theories and experiments. That makes the subject part of science.

A physicist begins the research process with a theory. He conducts an experiment based on that theory. The results are the basis for new theories, and so on.

Physicists strive for simplicity and correctness. Albert Einstein once said that an explanation should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. By that he meant that the statement must also be true.

Physics has some similarities with other exact sciences, such as mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and biology.

Physics at school

Every secondary school pupil has to deal with the subject of physics for at least one year.

Theory and experiments are also linked at school. But what about the theory you get at high school?

Physics upper secondary education is divided into a number of subcategories:

  • Image and sound technology
  • Movement and energy
  • Materials
  • Earth and Universe
  • Measure and control
  • Human body
  • Physics and Technology

During the high school physics exam you will be asked open questions about the above subjects. You not only have to do calculations, but you also have to know concepts, be able to explain and apply the topics in a different context.

Physics pre-university education

Other subcategories apply to physics vwo superstructure:

  • Waves
  • Movement and Interaction
  • Load and field
  • Radiation and matter
  • Quantum world and relativity
  • Natural Laws and Models
  • Life and Earth

The high school physics exam also consists entirely of open questions. Again, it is not just about doing calculations, but you also have to know concepts and theories, be able to explain them and apply the topics in a different context.

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