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0-INTRODUCTION

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What is Physics?

Ancient Greek: “knowledge of nature” (Aristotle)

XIXth century:

Physics = Mechanics + optics + acoustics + electricity + heat + material

properties

Forces occurring in nature are related.

Nowadays: The study of energy and matter.

The analysis of measurable phenomena leads to general laws.

Basis of Engineering and Technology.

Basis: Two arbitrary bodies can influence/affect each other. Physical properties

can be examined taking into account the interactions of a set of bodies.

Set: system

Physical systems: small (Particle Physics) or large (Astrophysics).

HOW IS AN ANALYSIS DONE?

simplified

systems (with similar properties as those of the original one). Models.

2. Experiments: to observe physical phenomena.

3. Use mathematical relationships to express the relations emerging from the

analyses of physical systems.

Therefore, Physics is the science that

1. Analyse individually the factors that influence the system. Use

studies the interactions between systems

on the basis of experiments.

Mathematics is used to express the laws

of Physics.

(See 1st topic)

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STRUCTURE OF THE LAWS OF PHYSICS, SYMMETRY

AND CONSERVATION LAWS

As a consequence of symmetries occurring in Nature, some

conservation laws may be defined.

These laws express that the total value of a magnitude in an

isolated system is constant as the system evolves over time.

For example, conservation laws for momentum and energy.

Conservation laws are very important in Physics.

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AGGREGATION STATES OF MATTER

T

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Periodically

homogeneous 1

Anisotropic 3

STATE

Does it keep

the shape?

Does it keep

the volume?

Molecular

distribution

Physical

properties

GAS

No

Statistically

homogeneous 1

Isotropic 2

LIQUID

SOLID

1 The same physical properties along parallel directions.

2 The same physical properties in all directions.

3 Different physical properties along different directions.

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