1.1 The Scope and Scale of Physics - University Physics Volume 1 _ OpenStax.pdf

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5/21/20201.1 The Scope and Scale of Physics - University Physics Volume 1 | OpenStax1/11Learning ObjectivesBy the end of this section, you will be able to:Describe the scope of physics.Calculate the order of magnitude of a quantity.Compare measurable length, mass, and timescales quantitatively.Describe the relationships among models, theories, and laws.Physics is devoted to the understanding of all natural phenomena. In physics, we try to understand physical phenomena at all scales—from theworld of subatomic particles to the entire universe. Despite the breadth of the subject, the various subfields of physics share a common core. Thesame basic training in physics will prepare you to work in any area of physics and the related areas of science and engineering. In this section, weinvestigate the scope of physics; the scales of length, mass, and time over which the laws of physics have been shown to be applicable; and theprocess by which science in general, and physics in particular, operates.The Scope of PhysicsTake another look at the chapter-opening image. The Whirlpool Galaxy contains billions of individual stars as well as huge clouds of gas and dust.Its companion galaxy is also visible to the right. This pair of galaxies lies a staggering billion trillion milesfrom our own galaxy(which is called theMilky Way). The stars and planets that make up the Whirlpool Galaxy might seem to be the furthest thing from most people’severyday lives, but the Whirlpool is a great starting point to think about the forces that hold the universe together. The forces that cause theWhirlpool Galaxy to act as it does are thought to be the same forces we contend with here on Earth, whether we are planning to send a rocket intospace or simply planning to raise the walls for a new home. The gravity that causes the stars of the Whirlpool Galaxy to rotate and revolve isthought to be the same as what causes water to flow over hydroelectric dams here on Earth. When you look up at the stars, realize the forces outthere are the same as the ones here on Earth. Through a study of physics, you may gain a greater understanding of the interconnectedness ofeverything we can see and know in this universe.Think, now, about all the technological devices you use on a regular basis. Computers, smartphones, global positioning systems (GPSs), MP3players, and satellite radio might come to mind. Then, think about the most exciting modern technologies you have heard about in the news, suchas trains that levitate above tracks, “invisibility cloaks” that bend light around them, and microscopic robots that fight cancer cells in our bodies.All these groundbreaking advances, commonplace or unbelievable, rely on the principles of physics. Aside from playing a significant role intechnology, professionals such as engineers, pilots, physicians, physical therapists, electricians, and computer programmers apply physics

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Physics, Science, General Relativity, University Physics Volume

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