Physics is the study of matter and
energy produced by the interaction of matter. Physics is the root of every field of
science because it underlies the
understanding of all phenomena. Specifically as a science, physics is
simply an explanation of motion, force, sound,
electricity, magnetism, light, and the atom and nucleus. Physics is can
help explain chemical, geological, and even biological
sciences. Physics is the present day equivalent of what used to be
called natural philosophy from which most of present day science arose.
The study of these topics makes up that which is called physics.
The field of physics is generally divided into the study of how matter
interacts. Physicists or scientists that study physics are trying
to find a unified field theory. They have not succeeded yet.
The interaction of matter can be divided into four groups
1. Strong force within the atomic
2. Weak force amongst different atoms.
3. Electromagnetic forces causing radio waves, light,
x-rays and more.
4. Gravitational forces that produce motion throughout the
When these forces interacts it produces energy
such as sound, heat, sound, magnetism, electricity,
and light. The energy produced can then create work by
combined them with principles of mechanics. These traditional topics reflect the historical development
of physics throughout the years in search for a unified field theory. A
unified theory which can explain how all these forces and energy, in the
Universe, work together. The search of a grand unified theory of all
matter, sometimes border on science fiction. The search to
understand the Universe and how it works is is still not understood, but
it is sure fun trying to figure it out!
Throughout this program, students are
exposed to different components of the physical world. Point out that
physics is all around us. We see, feel, touch, and perform physics
everyday. We just don't think about it! Physics explains what is being
done. The more a child observes, the more that child understands what is
happening. For example, children throw balls which seems a natural act,
but explaining why the ball doesn't go into outer space requires a
physical explanation. The Earth's gravity pulls the ball back to Earth.
Physics develops explanations why the world works the way it does.
Even if we don't know why something happens, it will still happen.
Getting a child to think about it will create a natural curiosity
throughout their lives.
- Ask students if they have heard the word
"physics?" Instruct them to attempt to give a definition
before you explain.
- Show students examples of physics in everyday life.
Listed below are some examples. Be a little dramatic by making a book
smash on the floor and ask students why? (Gravity.) In many cases,
answers are not as important as having the students ask questions about
their physical surroundings. Below are a few words and examples you can
use. In later grades, students will have developed the tools necessary
to put together all the pieces of physics and develop a "unified
MOTION - cars moving, flight, sailing
FORCE - throwing a baseball, hitting a home run, shooting a bullet
ENERGY - solar energy, heat, wind
MATTER - solids, liquids, gases
SOUND - bells with different sounds, telephones, talking
MAGNETISM - motors, magnets
ELECTRICITY - light, switches, batteries
LIGHT - rainbows, television
ATOM - elements (sulfur, oxygen, hydrogen)