What Is Physics and What Are Its Uses?
Physics, a branch of science, is traditionally defined as the study of
matter, energy, and the relation between them. The interaction between matter
and energy is found everywhere. In order for matter to move, it requires some
form of energy.
Sports show many good examples of the relationship between matter and
energy. For instance, a pitcher requires energy to throw a baseball at the
incredible speed and accuracy that is needed to keep the batter from using his
energy to try and hit the ball. The batter exhibits the need for a certain
trajectory because he/she needs to hit the ball hard enough and keep it high
enough to sail over the outfield wall. On the other hand, the batter must be
certain to keep the trajectory low enough so that the ball will reach the fence.
Trajectory is also seen in basketball, where players must shoot the ball with
enough arch to get over the front of the rim, and go through the hoop. The
energy required to do this comes from not only the arms, but the legs as well.
The medical field has seen enormous breakthroughs because of principles
of physics. Doctors are now able to use lasers for surgery. Lasers are based
on the physical principle of light, and are devices for the creation and
amplification of a narrow, intense beam of coherent light. New laser
microsurgery can actually alter the shape of the cornea in the eye so the
patient’s eyesight can return to normal, and he/she will no longer need those
bothersome glasses. Ultrasound is used in the medical field for destroying
various unwanted substances in the body such as kidney stones. Ultrasound uses
sound waves to dissolve these foreign bodies. If not for physics, ultrasounds
would never have been discovered and utilized. MRI scans, another new
discovery, are able to show a complete three dimensional picture of the
interior structure of the body, and are extremely valuable in hospitals. These
scans are based on the principles of electromagnetism, and the phenomenon that
nuclei of some atoms line up in the presence of an electromagnetic field.
Understanding the dark matter of the universe, which has remained a
mystery for quite some time, is based primarily on theories of physics. We have
yet to see a black hole, but physics has explained what one is, and why we
cannot see it. Otherwise we would have never known that it is an extremely
small region of space-time with a gravitational field so intense that nothing
can escape, not even light. Physics help to understand the dark matter of the
universe, because it applies theories to what the dark matter is. We are also
able to look at distant spots in the universe with new telescopes because of
the principles of magnification and amplification of light.
Not only can physics better your baseball game and explain the dark
matter of the universe, but it can save lives. It remains a very important
part of us and our world.