Unless you’re a trained physicist or an engineering program graduate, chances are you don’t realize how much this important science impacts our everyday life. Even reading this article wouldn’t be possible without the physics-based ideas that played a huge role in the creation of computers and the internet. Every time you get in your car, you’re taking advantage of yet another benefit of what is often considered the most fundamental of all science fields.
We’re going to go in-depth on these subjects and more to help you understand just how amazing and interesting physics truly is. Really understanding a science like physics will require some math skills in the long run, so make sure to brush up on your algebra with this course if it’s something you’d like to continue learning about.
Maintaining Our Health
Ever gotten your blood pressure checked at the doctor’s office or local pharmacy? Chances are you have. Blood pressure is one of the most basic measures of good health and when it’s high, it serves as a warning for some pretty serious medical problems. But did you realize that physics is what made that test possible? There’s even a distinct branch of the science that deals specifically with medicine, known as medical physics.
Broken bones are found with x-rays, which are also a product of physics. If you’re ever seen or gotten an ultrasound that shows a developing child in the womb, you were actually watching physics in action. Ultrasounds are crucial for getting an idea of a newborn baby’s health and diagnosing any complications before birth.
One of physics’s other creations, the defibrillator, can literally be the difference between life and death for a patient suffering from cardiac arrest. The science is very important in anything radiation related, including radiation therapy, one of the more viable cancer treatments available. And physics also deals heavily with lasers, which includes things like laser eye surgery. And these are just a handful of the tons of incredibly important developments physics has contributed to medicine.
Physics is absolutely huge when it comes to any and everything that we use for energy. Oil for fuel is extracted and processed largely through physics-based ideas. It’s key for mining coal and using it power massive factories.
It’s also essential in the research and implementation of cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy sources. Everything from nuclear power plants to solar powered cars require physics. Even windmills.
Not to mention the electricity in homes that is considered a basic necessity in our current day and age. Physics is largely responsible for the systems that allow it to be harnessed, controlled, and used to power everything from your laptop to the little light in your refrigerator.
Helping Us Communicate
Did you know that physicists are largely credited with the creation of the internet? So not only would your laptop not have power without physics, you wouldn’t be able to access this article, Udemy, e-mail, or any of the other sites you browse daily – and neither could anyone else. Imagine how much different life would be without the ability to communicate information across the world within seconds.
I supposed we’d have to go back to phones. Unfortunately, your smartphone would not be possible without physics. And actually, neither would your basic land line – not even the old rotary dial in your grandma’s dining room.
From electromagnetism to quantum optics, physics is simply indispensable to nearly every aspect of the way we currently communicate. Without it, we’d probably still be stuck with horse messengers delivering our mail and news.
Transporting People and Goods
We already talked about physics’s importance in mining and using fuel, which powers our planes, trains, and automobiles. Without it, they simply wouldn’t move. But the role of physics in both our personal transportation and shipping goes even deeper than that.
It’s our understanding of the science that allows us to build planes that can fly in the first place. This is something that people figured was impossible until not so long ago in history because of the many factors and forces that come into play when trying to master flight. Today, we sometimes forget what an amazing accomplishment it is that there are thousands of huge hunks of metal carrying people through the sky and around the globe every day.
Not only does it make all our different vehicles possible, we’re continually improving how fast, efficient, and safe they are. Engineers in all fields rely largely upon physics when creating the contours of a sports car or designing a bullet train. And don’t even get us started on the complicated but fascinating field of space travel.
Developing Consumer Electronics
Remember when we talked about how physics gave us the power and internet to use our computers? We’re just getting started. Many of the main components of desktops and laptops needed an understanding of physics to be created. This includes the screen, the processor, and the hard drive or solid state drive – the things that make a computer a computer, basically. If you find yourself a little confused about what these parts actually do in the first place, this course on building your own computer will help fill you in on what they are and how they work.
Now, if this is true for your laptop, you can also assume that the screen on your TV was created with the same technology. And the processor in your smart phone. And the memory in your tablet.
If you were paying attention, you’ll also recall our comments about lasers and how they relate to physics. In electronics, that means CDs, DVDs, and BluRay players, which use lasers to read the media from the disc they’re written on. Lasers are also used to print, copy, and fax documents, among other things.
How does physics apply to building design and architecture? Let’s see. First of all, it helps determine the entire basic structure of a building. The best ways to support weight and keep everything stable and standing.
It helps us understand which materials are most affected by heat, light, and water. By studying how vibrations affect different structures, we’re able to design buildings that can withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. Imagine a city full of skyscrapers collapsing from a minor earthquake – then take a second to thank physics that they don’t.
The science is largely responsible for our ability to push the limits and create the magnificent structures we see all around us today while keeping them safe to live and work in.
Stimulating the Economy
As you can probably already from all of the things we just told you, physics helps create a lot of jobs for a lot of people. Engineers, electricians, pilots, physicists, and the like land jobs directly based on the science. Just check out this blog post on all the different types of engineers. And that doesn’t even include all the careers made easier by physics, like doctors.
Beyond job creation, physics helps the economy grow in so many other ways. Oil is obviously a very big and valuable commodity around the world, not only as an export but to help fuel our own industries and keep costs low. Energy from coal and nuclear plants is also critical in providing power for the many other sectors that make up our economy.
Speaking of exports, you can’t trade without transportation. And as we’ve covered, we wouldn’t have the same fast and efficient options for getting from point A to B without physics.
How effective would today’s businesses be without cell phones, conference calls, and e-mail? Plus, consider how much the internet has shaped our economy. Some of our biggest companies are based entirely online and nearly every business relies on it for a good chunk of their marketing and sales. Many of the most famous entrepreneurs and businessmen of our time – Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg – might not even exist without the technology made possible by physics.
For a better understanding on how these things fit into the bigger picture of the economy, check out this course on economics.
Physics is Amazing
I think by now you probably get the picture on just how crazy important physics is for the things we use everyday. From the house you live in to your fancy smartphone or a jumbo jet, the influences of physics can be seen literally everywhere you look. And there’s still plenty of things we missed – like cooking! Our life would certainly be a lot harder and less comfortable without all the great things we’ve gotten from its study.
If you’re interested in learning more about physics by traveling even deeper down the rabbit hole into quantum physics, this course will serve as an excellent introduction into some of it’s more basic concepts.