Branches of Physics
Physics as a fundamental science helps to uncover the laws of nature. The language of its expression is mathematics. In ancient times, humans lived with nature - their lifestyles were integrated with nature. They could understand the signals from the movement of the Stars and other celestial bodies. They could determine the time to sow and reap by watching the sky. Thus, astronomy and mathematics were the first disciplines to be developed. The chronological development of various branches of physics is presented in Appendix A1.1. The various branches of physics are schematically shown in figure 1.1. The essential focus of different areas is given in Table 1.1.
Some of the fundamental concepts of basic areas of physics are discussed in higher secondary first year physics books volume 1 and 2. Mechanics is covered in unit 1 to 6. Unit 1 gives an idea of the development of physics along with discussion on basic elements such as measurement, units etc. Unit 2 gives the basic mathematics needed to express the impact of physical principles and their governing laws. The impact of forces acting on objects in terms of the fundamental laws of motion of Newton are very systematically covered in unit 3. Work and energy which are the basic parameters of investigation of the mechanical world are presented in unit 4. Unit 5 deals with the mechanics of rigid bodies (in contrast, objects are viewed as point objects in units 3 and 4).
The basics of gravitation and its consequences are discussed in unit 6. Older branches of physics such as different properties of matter are discussed in unit 7.
The impact of heat and investigations of its consequences are covered in units 8 and 9. Important features of oscillations and wave motion are covered in units 10 and 11.