Have you ever asked yourself: ‘Why is physics important?’ If you have, then check out our article, where we are going to tell you about the importance of physics in our daily life. Learn how the laws of physics are incorporated in everything you do.
In case you did not know, physics is a natural science. This means that it is concerned with the subjects of force, motion, energy, matter and other things that happen in nature. It studies the Earth’s movements around the Sun, determines how lightning works and even concerns itself with the inner workings of your refrigerator.
Almost everything we do and experience in our daily life is happening because of physics. Today, we will share some basic examples of why physics is important for all of us.
Physics and walking
Walking is one of the simplest things that many of us are able to do without extra thought. However, it is actually a very complex thing that involves several principles of physics at once. For instance, in order for us to walk, we use the laws and principles of gravity, friction, inertia, as well as kinetic and potential energy.
When our feet step on the ground, we experience gravity pulling us towards the earth. We also apply some force to the ground, and it responds by pushing back. As we begin to move, we alternate between kinetic and potential energy: kinetic energy is used when we are in motion, while potential energy is stored to take a next step. A person walking could be compared to an inverted pendulum that bounces from one type of energy to another.
But that is not all:
Walking also involves three Newtonian laws of motion. According to the first law, also known as the law of inertia, the body remains at rest until a force is applied to it. Thus, when we are standing still, our inertia reaches its maximum levels. As soon as we apply force (i.e. lift a foot to move), it decreases, but when we set our foot on the ground, it increases again.
The second law states that acceleration is proportionate to the force exerted. This means that the more effort we apply, the faster we will be able to walk.
The third law says that every action has an equal reaction. This means that when we walk, we apply force to the ground, and it reacts by applying a vertical reaction force to our bodies, as we have mentioned before.
Now that we have touched on the topic of walking, let’s consider more complex processes we deal with every day.
Physics and seeing
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When we think about eyes, we often consider the biological processes that happen around them. However, we often take the physical action of seeing for granted. But it is actually so incredibly fascinating! It involves so many processes, such as focus, refraction, diffraction and more.
Did you know?
Our eyes work just like cameras do. The iris works as an aperture, which determines the amount of light that is going into the eye. The lenses, along with corneas refract the light so that it is focused on the retina. The upside down image that is created on the retina (just like in a camera) is then transferred by photoreceptors to our brain so that it can interpret the image and make sense of it. It is then transferred back, and we receive a picture.
Just like a camera is not very good at taking pictures in the dark (without a flash), our eyes are not so good at seeing in the dark. That is because we need some light in order for our ‘eye cameras’ to work.
Physics and cooking
Physics are essential for cooking. Even the simplest act of spreading butter on toast revolves around various complex physical phenomena.
What you might not realise is that cutting up vegetables and fruits also involves physical processes. For instance, why is it so much easier to cut things with a sharp knife? Well, that is because the smaller surface area we have to deal with, the less effort we need to apply. When the knife is dull, its surface area becomes larger, thus making us use more effort and pressure to cut things.
One of the most obviously physical processes is cooking things using heat. Heat is a physical term for energy that could be transferred between objects. When you put a pan on a stove, the burner transfers its heat to the pan and its contents, thus making them warmer (and more palatable).
There are many more physical processes happening inside of that pan during cooking, but let’s not dwell on that. All you need to know is that without physics (if that even is possible), you would not be able to enjoy your delicious hot or chopped up meals :)
This is only an example of how the principles of physics dictate everything around us. If we were to tell you about every little thing in our lives that is determined by physics, we would not be able to fit it into a small tome, let alone a small article. We hope you have been able to find out something new about the importance of physics. Have a nice day!
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