Basic physics for the uninitiated

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Studying the laws of physics begins at a very young age. Many young students begin the study asking questions why it is important to study certain topics in school. Students believe that many of the things they study in school are irrelevant to their lives. Studying the laws of physics falls into this category.

Physics, simply put, is the study of measurements of phenomena that occur daily in life. Scientists or physicists measure everything. To the scientist, everything has a logical reason for its occurrence. Therefore, everything in society must deal with the scientific method, before its acceptance as being true.

Physics is a higher order science. It requires the ability to follow the scientific method of investigation to establish acceptable truth. Following the steps of the scientific method a student will ask a question, do research, develop a hypothesis, do experiments, analyze the data, draw conclusions and communicate the results. The results however, must be repeatable in-order to establish the validity of the experiment. Facts, facts, facts, are the only thing in science that establishes truth.

Early physicists left some basic theories upon which the present and future generations can build. The basic laws upon which physics rest, that many people are vaguely familiar with, deals with motion, gravity and energy. Learning the basic laws of physics is necessary for entrance into engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, medicine and other fields that include science.

The basic laws of physics reveal that the law of motion, the law of resultant force, and the law of reciprocal reactions are seldom apparent to youth although they use them daily. Each of these three laws of physics, are a part of the daily activity of living.

The law of motion is easily observable daily to the astute. Cars traveling down the road, planes flying in the air, and trees swaying in the wind are all examples of the law of motion. The car moving, the plane flying, and the swaying of the trees have an acceleration of zero when no force causes them to move. When a car, plane or tree movement begins, these objects will continue in motion until something stops them. This constant movement of these objects will follow the law of inertia until meeting with a force that slows them down or stop them.

The law of resultant force is another law of Physics that is easily observable to the natural eye. Resultant force is mass times acceleration. This law is about two objects acting upon each. The law of resultant comes into place when things are moving in the opposite direction. The resultant that the one with the greater mass will have greater bearing what happens to the objects. One of these examples could be a tractor-trailer colliding with a compact car. The truck will cause the greater amount of damage.

The last of the three laws mentioned is the law of reciprocal reactions. This law simply put is that every action equals and equal opposite reaction. The everyday occurrence is easily detectable when comments arise between students in a classroom. When a student makes a negative comment about one student's parent, the other student usually responds with a negative comment about the speaker's parents. This exchange, if it continues unabated, usually ends in a fight. In the case of a fight the other laws of Physics comes into play.

The laws of Physics study the natural occurrences of things in the world. Through mathematical computation's scientists are able to calculate the time that elapse between the application of brakes and the eventual crash of a car. They can calculate the time that elapses from the time a student starts to run in a race and when he finishes. It all seems simple when observing the natural events of life. Physics gets complicated when the scientists begins to analyze a runners movements and determine if the runner would lean forward at the start and swing his or her arms in a certain way they can increase their forward momentum. Doing this the scientist is able to improve the runner's start and finish times. These examples help explain how understanding simple laws of Physics can improve people abilities in life.

More about this author: Ronald Claiborne

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