What are the 7 Branches of Physics?

Physics is a branch of science that deals with matter and energy. Physics is divided into several fields, each of which focuses on different topics related to physics. This article answers the question “what are the 7 branches of physics

What are the 7 Branches of Physics?

The 7 branches of physics are the following:

  • Classical Physics
  • Geophysics
  • Biophysics
  • Mechanics
  • Modern Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Atomic Physics

What is Physics?

Physics is the science of matter; its structure, and its interaction with the foundational component of the observable universe in relation to heat and energy. 

Physics takes a look at the universe and investigates everything in physical existence. It tries to answer why and how it works from subatomic particles to atoms, and matter, up until our galaxy and the entire universe.

Physics is one of the main branches of natural science. Key inventions and discoveries like resonance imaging and nuclear energy, quantum phenomenon, and Newton’s law of motion had changed the way we perceive our natural universe.

Some of the most famous Physicists in History are the following:

  • Galileo Galilei
  • Robert Hooke
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • James Watt
  • Thomas Young
  • Wilhelm E. Weber
  • Sir William Hamilton
  • Rudolf Clausius
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • Pierre Curie
  • Marie Curie
  • Albert Einstein
  • Wolfgang Pauli
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer

Classical Physics

Classical physics is the oldest and most established branch of physics. It studies matter, energy, and their interactions via mechanics, acoustics, optics, and thermodynamics. 

The central characteristic of classical physics is the concept of force: there is no action at a distance forces in nature. Classical physics is also used to understand all other branches of physics such as quantum mechanics or relativity. 

The laws of classical physics are expressed as differential equations including Newton’s laws for gravity and motion; Coulomb’s law for electrostatics; Ohm’s Law for electrical circuits; Kirchhoff’s circuit laws; along with Maxwell’s equations that describe electromagnetism as well as quantum mechanics which describes subatomic particles. 

Geophysics

Geophysics is the study of the Earth and other planets. It involves the study of the Earth’s interior and surface, as well as its atmosphere, magnetic field, gravity, and tectonic plates through measurement, analysis, and interpretation of surface physical fields.

Geophysics is the branch of science dealing with physical processes on Earth in relation to its structure and composition; also concerned with planetary structure, composition, and evolution.

Geophysics is an interdisciplinary of earth sciences and physics as it applies the latter methods and principles to study the Earth and its environment in space.

Geophysics also discusses the characteristics below the earth’s surface in view of the parallel and vertical planning of actual property varieties of the geography, groundwater, tainting, land construction, and human curios underneath the Earth’s surface, which are somewhat detected utilizing advances that are non-invasive. 

A large number of these innovations are generally utilized for the investigation of monetary materials like hydrocarbons, groundwater, and metals.

Biophysics

Biophysics is the study of the relationship between physics and biology. Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that uses methods from physics, engineering, chemistry, cell biology, mathematics, and computer science to investigate topics in biology (including cells and tissues), medicine, neuroscience, and physiological systems. 

The term “biophysics” was coined by J.D. Bernal in 1929 at King’s College London as a word for “theoretical biology”. The word biophysics can be used in two senses. Firstly it denotes a subdiscipline of physics.

Secondly, it may mean the entire spectrum of physical phenomena associated with living systems. In other words, biophysics could be defined as “the study of how living systems interact with or affect their environment” while also describing how they themselves are affected by this environment

Biophysical research encompasses all fields of physical sciences from quantum mechanics (for example) to statistical mechanics (etc.)

Mechanics

Mechanics is the study of the motion of bodies under the action of forces. It includes:

  • The application of physics to the study of motion, force, energy, and work.
  • The study of the motion of objects and the forces that cause the motion. 

Topics such as acoustics (the science dealing with sound), fluid mechanics (the study of liquids), solid mechanics (the branch of physics concerned with solids), thermodynamics (a branch that deals with heat), etc. are also included.

Modern Physics

Modern physics describes the laws of physics that are based on quantum mechanics. It describes the behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic levels, at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. 

This branch of physics incorporates both classical mechanics and special relativity with quantum theory to explain the behavior of matter in different domains.

Nuclear Physics

Nuclear physics is the study of the nucleus of an atom. It focuses on how protons, neutrons, and electrons interact with each other. The nucleus is the smallest particle in an atom that has a positive electric charge and contains most of its mass.

Nuclear physics can be broken into two branches: nuclear astrophysics, which deals with energy production in stars; and nuclear medicine or medical imaging technology, which uses radioactive compounds to diagnose diseases in living tissues (such as cancer).

Atomic Physics

Atomic Physics is the study of the internal structure of atoms, and their interactions with each other. Atomic physics is a branch of physics that studies the structure of an atom and its interactions with other atoms. Atomic physics is concerned with the properties of electrons, protons, and neutrons which make up atoms.

Conclusion

The 7 branches of physics are Classical Physics, mechanics, atomic physics, modern physics, nuclear physics, geophysics, and biophysics. Each branch has its own focus and area of expertise. While some branches might overlap, each one has its own unique perspective on how the world works.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): what are the 7 branches of physics?

Who is the father of physics?

Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest mathematicians and scientists of all time, is considered the Father of Physics. Many important postulations and formulas in Physics are founded on his principles. He is most famous for his three laws of motion and the law of gravitation. 

Who was the first person to discover the atom?

Democritus first introduced the idea of the atom almost 2500 years ago and called these “uncuttable” pieces atoms. This is the beginning of the modern term atom.

Why is physics important in everyday life?

Physics is perhaps one of the most important science that contribute directly to the advancement of science and the improvement of new innovations. We use physics in our day-to-day activities such as watching, cooking, strolling, cutting, and opening and shutting things.

Reference

Heisenberg, W. (1971). Physics and beyond (p. 129). London: Allen & Unwin.

Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2013). Fundamentals of physics. John Wiley & Sons.

Cutnell, J. D., & Johnson, K. W. (2009). Physics. John Wiley & Sons.

Varvoglis, H. (2014). The Major Branches of Physics. In History and Evolution of Concepts in Physics (pp. 29-103). Springer, Cham.

Branches Of Physics – Learn all about various Physics Branches. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://byjus.com/physics/branches-of-physics/

Branches Of Physics – Learn all about various Physics Branches. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://byjus.com/physics/branches-of-physics/

Branches of Physics and Their Examples Definitions with Types. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://examplespedia.com/branches-of-physics/

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