Physics: Definition and Branches

Updated on June 23, 2017
What is Physics?
What is Physics? | Source

What is Physics

The word physics has been derived from the Latin word physica, which means natural thing. Though, there are many definitions of physics, yet it can be defined as “The study of the properties of matter, energy and their mutual relationship is called physics.” According to Microsoft Encarta, “Physics, major science, dealing with the fundamental constituents of the universe, the forces they exert on one another, and the results produced by these forces. Sometimes in modern physics a more sophisticated approach is taken that incorporates elements of the three areas listed above; it relates to the laws of symmetry and conservation, such as those pertaining to energy, momentum, charge, and parity.” It means that physics is the branch of science, which deals with the properties of matter and emery and the relationship between them. It also tries to explain the material world and the natural phenomena of the universe. The scope of physics is very wide and vast. It deals with not only the tinniest particles of atoms, but it also dwells upon natural phenomenon like galaxy, milky way, solar and lunar eclipse etc.

Branches of Physics

Classical Physics

A branch of physics, which is mainly concerned with the laws of motion and gravitation of Sir Isaac Newton and James Clark Maxwell’s Kinetic theory and thermodynamics, is called classical physics. Classical physics is mainly concerned with matter and energy. In classical physics energy and matter are considered as separate entities. Acoustics, Optics, Classical mechanics and electromagnetics are the traditional branches of classical physics. Moreover, any theory of physics, which is considered null and void in the modern physics, automatically falls under the realm of classical physics.

Classical Physics vs Quantum Physics
Classical Physics vs Quantum Physics | Source

Modern Physics

Modern physics is the branch of physics, which is mainly concerned with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Albert Einstein and Max Plank were the pioneers of modern of physics. They were the first scientists who laid down the foundations of modern physics by introducing the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics respectively. In modern physics energy and matter are not considered as separate entities; rather they are considered as different forms of each other.

Nuclear Physics

Nuclear physics is the branch of physics which deals with constituents, structure, behaviour and interactions of atomic nuclei. Encarta dictionary defines the nuclear physics as “the branch of physics in which the structure, forces, and behavior of the atomic nucleus are studied.” In the modern age, nuclear physics has got a very wide scope. It is used in power generation, nuclear weapons, medicines etc.

Nuclear Physics Definition
Nuclear Physics Definition | Source

Atomic Physics

Atomic physics is the branch of physics which deals with the composition of atom apart from nucleus. It is mainly concerned with the arrangement and behaviour of electrons in the shells around the nucleus.

Geophysics

Geophysics is the branch of physics which deals with the study of earth. It is mainly concerned with the shape, structure and composition of earth. It also studies the gravitational force, magnetic fields, earthquakes, magmas, eruption of volcanoes etc.

Geophysics Definition
Geophysics Definition | Source

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Biophysics

Encarta Encyclopedia defines biophysics as “Biophysics, interdisciplinary study of biological phenomena and problems, using the principles and techniques of physics.” Biophysics studies only the biological problems and structure of molecules in living organism in light of the techniques derived from physics. One of the best achievements of biophysics is the structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).

Mechanics

Mechanics is the branch of physics which deals with the motion of material objects under the influence of forces. Mechanics has been divided into two main branches: Classical mechanics and Quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics deals with the laws of motion of physical objects and the forces that cause the motion, while quantum mechanics is the branch of physics which deals with the behaviour of smallest particles i.e., electrons, neutrons and protons. According to Encarta dictionary, “Quantum mechanics is the study evolved in an effort to explain the behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles, which do not obey the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics.”

Flowchart of Mechanics
Flowchart of Mechanics | Source

Acoustics

The word acoustics has been derived from a Greek word akouen, meaning to hear. Hence, we can define acoustics as a branch of physics, which studies how sound is produced, transmitted, received and controlled, is called acoustics. It also deals with the effects of sounds in various mediums i.e., gases, liquids and solids.

Optics

Optics is the branch of physics, which deals with the propagation, behaviour and properties of light. Encarta Encyclopedia defines Optics as “a branch of physical science dealing with the propagation and behavior of light. In a general sense, light is that part of the electromagnetic spectrum that extends from X rays to microwaves and includes the radiant energy that produces the sensation of vision.”

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is the branch of physics, which deals with the study of heat and its relation with energy and work. According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, “Thermodynamics is the study of effects of work, heat and energy on a system. Thermodynamics is only concerned with large scale observations.”

Astrophysics

The word astrophysics is a combination of two words astro which means star, while the word phisis means nature. Thus, astrophysics can be defined as a branch of astronomy which is concerned with the study of universe i.e., stars, galaxies and planets using the laws of physics.

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    • profile image

      Evelyn 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      oyebanji Gbohunmi 

      2 weeks ago

      The author tried he is so enlightened to impact knowledge ,but pls add many quiz to answer and scores .,prizes should also be awarded .thanks am so enlightened and grateful sir/ma

    • profile image

      itsme_alexandrea 

      5 weeks ago

      Is classical physics is one of the branches of physics?

      if yes, my ghod! i thought that physics has only 10 branches.. and now? it's 11?

      please anyone answer me..

    • profile image

      Anshu 

      6 weeks ago

      Nice introduction to physics

    • profile image

      Raashid Rashid 

      7 weeks ago

      This all was good but their should be a flow chart to understand much better

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      8 weeks ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad you liked it.

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      hareem Malik 

      8 weeks ago

      Really all the definition and branches of physics explain vry well I am impressed love it......

    • profile image

      thanks. 

      2 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Leomel 

      2 months ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      peter 

      2 months ago

      where is the classical and modern physics?

    • profile image

      Jasmine 

      2 months ago

      Not nice but intresting

    • profile image

      Jasmine 

      2 months ago

      Please add many quiz

    • profile image

      Silver 

      2 months ago

      Tanks

    • profile image

      Anna 

      2 months ago

      Thanks , it helped me a lot,

      As a student these answers made me more satisfied

      Keep going like this!!

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      3 months ago from Pakistan

      Rafiq, M (05.04.2014). Physics: Definition & Branches, Retrieved from https://owlcation.com

    • profile image

      Michael 

      3 months ago

      please how do reference this article please it's urgent

    • profile image

      Eram 

      3 months ago

      Thanx for your kind help.....

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      shabnam 

      3 months ago

      thnx sir. i find the right answer from here.

    • profile image

      Aurangzaib meo 

      4 months ago

      So nice thanks Sir wo ri8 this for help us

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      mbah Joseph nnaemeka 

      4 months ago

      Thanks their

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      Elvis o gbor 

      4 months ago

      I finally see what i was looking for. (THANKS)

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      4 months ago from Pakistan

      Fine dear!

    • profile image

      shams 

      4 months ago

      Thankssssss!

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      4 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Tuba for your comments and prayers. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      tuba 

      4 months ago

      osm thanks may allah prosper u in every field of life

    • profile image

      Tighana 

      4 months ago

      Physics is a science that studies measurable magnitudes and the phenomena that transform them without changing their natures.

    • profile image

      Hello 

      5 months ago

      Hard but thx foe this

    • profile image

      elithabeth 

      5 months ago

      i hate it just kinding ilove it

    • profile image

      Geoffrey kimani 

      6 months ago

      Well summarised notes kudos

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      Filipino 

      7 months ago

      It really Help me in my projects and Assignments in Science and Chemistry

    • profile image

      Reeti 

      7 months ago

      Thanks

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      Amini Abubakar 

      7 months ago

      Masha Allah, that is nice

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      khan 

      8 months ago

      Trll about laws of motion

    • profile image

      amna saleem 

      8 months ago

      Yes guys it really awesome

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      abeb 

      8 months ago

      nice

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      Abdikarim 

      8 months ago

      Thank you a lot

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      romel 

      9 months ago

      thank you so much because its a big help to me as a student and also to the other :)

    • profile image

      Kc burgess 

      9 months ago

      I finally see the answer

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      Dara 

      9 months ago

      Thank you

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      Mark wheaton 

      9 months ago

      Good for research

    • profile image

      buba barrow 

      10 months ago

      i like the arrangment

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      10 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Topsy for your comments.

    • profile image

      Topsy adrewson 

      10 months ago

      I actually liked the way u broke down the definition and branches it really helped

    • profile image

      Ehab Ahmad 

      10 months ago

      I'd Like To Know,If There is A Direct Relation Between Physics And Psychology ?

      (Mechanism of Depression,Nerves Disorder And How The Feelings Work) ?

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      10 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Hena for your feedback. I am glad it helped you.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      10 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Adi Jones for stopping by and commenting.

    • profile image

      Adi Jones 

      10 months ago

      I love love your comment, I really do love this page ,good work

    • profile image

      Hena Palay 

      10 months ago

      I actually love this page. I've been searching a very long time now, but couldn't find what I wanted so easily. Now that this page displays everything exact as I wanted it. Am from Liberia and I love Physics. But find it difficult to understand by improper teaching.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      11 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments!

    • profile image

      Digvijay singh 

      11 months ago

      It is useful for me and for my study

    • profile image

      Sana 

      11 months ago

      I like this so nice.

    • profile image

      songith 

      11 months ago

      what are 2 main branches of astroscience

    • profile image

      kamal 

      12 months ago

      That's so great

    • profile image

      Ayodele Olufowoke 

      12 months ago

      Thanks and God bless sir. It helped me in finding answer to my assignment.

    • profile image

      PKAL5225 

      12 months ago

      Tnx very much for this. It was really helpful and it was very specific.

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      Student Belinia 

      12 months ago

      You save me hahahaha thanks a lot

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      Yudhishtir bhangale 

      12 months ago

      Good post thanks for this.

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      manu 

      12 months ago

      Than you

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      anjali 

      13 months ago

      sir thanks so muchhh

    • profile image

      Shaswat 

      13 months ago

      It is interesting to read about phy.

    • profile image

      Student 

      13 months ago

      What are the topics that included in physics 2?

    • profile image

      iLay 

      13 months ago

      Thank you sir, it helped me so much! :)

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

    • profile image

      Jake 

      14 months ago

      Thank you!

      Also, I appreciate the effort you are exerting just by replying to each comment :D

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

    • profile image

      justMe 

      14 months ago

      Thank you :)

    • profile image

      umar 

      14 months ago

      Sir what about sound

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

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      Yaseen 

      14 months ago

      Thank u very much sir

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome, Dipika. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      Dipika 

      14 months ago

      Thank u Sir, for ur dedication towards Physics. It helped me to understand the concept as well as its branches. Could submit the assignment, all thanks to u Sir.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome. I am glad it helped you.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      Alaisa 

      14 months ago

      Super thank you !! It really helps me.

    • profile image

      mahina from tjk 

      14 months ago

      thanks for you it helped to me pass an exam

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      shalini 

      14 months ago

      helped me a lot for projects

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      14 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome Lennie. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      Lennie 

      14 months ago

      Thank you so much! This has been very helpful.

    • profile image

      padma 

      14 months ago

      Which branch is more helpful for better jobs

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      15 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad it helped you.

    • profile image

      Aasia 

      15 months ago

      It helped me so much

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      15 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      15 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      15 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Ali Shah for your comments.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      16 months ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image

      Piyush raj 

      16 months ago

      THANKS

      TO

      YOU

      SIR

      It so useful for finding most appropriate way to get the answers

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      16 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome!

    • profile image

      Abdurrehman 

      16 months ago

      Thanks sir

    • profile image

      HAJI CHORA 

      17 months ago

      haji chora is branch of physics.

    • profile image

      shaheer 

      17 months ago

      physics is ................?

    • profile image

      Joe 

      17 months ago

      What does the sun come under

    • profile image

      Ahsan khan 

      19 months ago

      Thanks a lot

    • profile image

      jackson 

      19 months ago

      this helps

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      20 months ago from Pakistan

      What's lacking in?

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      20 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome!

    • profile image

      thankful 

      20 months ago

      thank you for this one.

    • Rafiq23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      21 months ago from Pakistan

      You are welcome!

    • profile image

      Needs answer for Homework 

      21 months ago

      Thanks you help me finish my homework

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