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Physics in Daily Activity

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Many people in this world really underestimate how physics contributes to our daily lives whether be walking, talking, or any other action. Many equations, graphs, and a little bit of math help us understand what goes on behind the curtain. Physics also have shared relations with science and combining those physics to other types of studies.

To understand physics, we need to discuss the laws of motion which are called the Newton’s Laws of Motion, there are only three. According to Hall (2015) the first law of motion states every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless something changes its state. This is a great definition of inertia (2015). In a summarization, if there is not a net force acting on an object, then the object will maintain a constant velocity. The second law of motion, velocity of an object changes when it is subjected to an external force. According to Hall (2015) “The law defines a force to be equal to change in momentum, which is mass times velocity per change in time. Newton also developed the calculus of mathematics, and the ‘changes’ expressed in the second law are most accurately defined in differential forms” (2015). Calculus can also be used to determine the velocity and location variations experienced by an object subjected to an external force. For an object with a constant mass m, the second law states that the force F is the product of an object’s mass and its acceleration, a formula is used which is F = ma. The third law of motion says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, if object A gives a force on object B, then object B also gives an equal force on object A. you see that the it fives out force on different objects. The third law can be used to explain the generation of lift by a wing and the production of thrust by a jet engine.

The law of motion is very prevalent in our daily lives. The actions that we do involves many aspects of motion. Examples of this are abundant whether be walking, throwing, or seeing. There are so many examples. Let’s start with something simple like walking, it literally one of the first things we learn and achieve. We use this ability to get to point A to point B, but apparently it is a lot more complex than that there are so many principles that do things once. According to Falae (2017), “When our feet step on the ground, we experience gravity pulling us towards the earth Falae” (2017). Meaning we alternate from kinetic and potential energy while kinetic energy is used when there is motion. Potential energy is stored and will be used to take the next step and this is continued when walking for a long distance. According to the three laws of motion, for the first law, also can be called the law of inertia the body at rest or still until force is applied to it, like while standing still, the inertia reaches to a point until we apply force, as the foot lifts, the inertia decreases, but when put our foot back to the ground, the inertia increases again. The second law is about acceleration, this means when we walk, the more effort we apply, the faster we are able to walk from point A to point B. The third law states that with every action there is a same or equal reaction. According to Falae (2017) “this means that when we walk, we apply force to the ground and then it reacts a vertical reaction to our bodies” (2017).

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Another example of every day physics is seeing, obviously we need to see it is how we learn and analyze our world. From looking into space and from a little microscope we need eyes to see. According to [IOP] Institute of Physics (2020), they give an example “Imagine the scene. You are sitting in your living room at home concentrating on the latest episode of your favorite TV soap. Out of the corner of your eye you are aware that the cat has just come into the room from the kitchen. The dull glow from the fire tells you that more coal is needed. Just then, the security light bursts into life outside and the shadow of a figure is thrown up against the curtains. At last! you think, the pizza has arrived! In day-to-day living we pick up huge amounts of information through our eyes: most of the time the sheer quantity is too much and we selectively attend to some things while ignoring others. How are we able to use our eyes to detect all of these things? You probably have some ideas about this question, but let’s start by considering the act of seeing as one end of a chain linking a source of light to a detector (your eyes)” (Pg.1). They explain that we are able to see objects because, the object we are looking at gives out light, which is referred to as luminous source of light, example is like a candle, lamps, even our own sun is considered a luminous source of light. To experience no light these days you would have to go underground. Obviously when you venture in a cave or an abandoned building with no light outside or inside. You would need to bring a portable luminous source like a flashlight to detect objects around you. Light can be measured by speed, according to [IOP] Institute of Physics (2020) the speed of light is “300 million meters in each second or 3 × 108 meter / second” (Pg.3). Really what the speed of light is the speed of light in a vacuum. The speed of light needs the material called a medium, which is what it moves through. The speed of light moves more slowly when in water, really it travels less speed than in a vacuum.

Physics do have a relationship with biology. According to Physics and Biology (1999) “The biological sciences have had many advances made possible by physics-based techniques. The future of biomedicine depends on collaboration between the two fields” (1999). In the past few years, biomedical science has been going through a revolution. Biologists was only able to view proteins and genes one at a time. Now, biologist is able to monitor almost 10,000 genes in a single experiment using “labs on a chip”. Today biology relies on tools that have been made by physicists. According to Physics and Biology (1999) “Synchrotron radiation sources are in continual demand for protein-crystallography experiments, while techniques such as electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance and optical tweezers have led to key advances in structural biology”. The director of the National Institutes of Health in the US, Harold Varmus, claims that physicists do more than simply develop instruments for biologists. He looks through the past contributions from physicists to biologist. He found three areas that had a real impact in the world of science. First, methods can be made that examine the physical and chemical properties of a single macromolecules and only one complex of large molecules. The second, physicists interpret data sets to better understand why cells can develop in different ways, this includes gene expressions. The third, in gene expression, they can understand the ‘signaling pathways’ that connects changes inside the cell nucleus to molecular interactions at the cell surface. Varmus also addresses that there are problems in enabling researchers because of different scientific disciplines and cultures to work together on biological problems.

The last example is something I never thought it would be related to physics and that is philosophy. According to Rovelli (2018), “Philosophy has played an essential role in the development of science, particularly physics, and is likely to continue to do so” (2018). Philosophy has always had an influence on physics. This is and still have been a long debate ever since the classical period in Athens, during that time to two famous schools stood out the school of Isocrates, and the Academy, founded by Plato. The schools have had a rivalry of not just about quality, but their approach to education. According to Rovelli (2018), “Isocrates offered a high-level education, while teaching the youth of Athens the skills and knowledge directly required to become politicians, lawyers, judges, architects and so on. The Academy focused on discussing general questions about foundations: What is justice? What would be the best laws? What is beauty? What is matter made of? Plato invented a name for this way of posing problems: ‘philosophy’” (2018). Isocrates critics of Plato’s approach to education and knowledge was direct and claimed by those scientists who argue that philosophy has no role to play in science. In the 20th century, both major advances were very much influenced by philosophy. According to Rovelli (2018), “Quantum mechanics springs from Heisenberg’s intuition, grounded in the strongly positivist philosophical atmosphere in which he found himself: one gets knowledge by restricting oneself to what is observable. The abstract of Heisenberg’s 1925 milestone paper on quantum theory is explicit about this: “The aim of this work is to set the basis for a theory of quantum mechanics based exclusively on relations between quantities that are in principle observable” (2018). Philosophers have tools and skills that physics require, however it does not belong in physicist training. According to Rovelli (2018), “conceptual analysis, attention to ambiguity, accuracy of expression, the ability to detect gaps in standard arguments, to devise radically new perspectives, to spot conceptual weak points, and to seek out alternative conceptual explanations” (2018). These are the skills that physicists need, but philosophy has.

As you can see the possibilities are endless, physics have had a hand with our lives, whether be, walking, seeing, biology, even philosophy. There’re always connections in between the things that we do and think.

References

  1. Falae, V. (2017, November 13). Fascinating physics facts you never thought about. Retrieved from https://www.legit.ng/1134984-importance-physics-daily-life.html
  2. Newton’s Laws of Motion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k12/airplane/newton.html
  3. Physics and biology. (2019, June 26). Retrieved from https://physicsworld.com/a/physics-and-biology/
  4. Rovelli, C. (2018, July 18). Physics Needs Philosophy / Philosophy Needs Physics. Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/physics-needsphilosophy-philosophy-needs-physics/
  5. Seeing with light – Physics narrative. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://spark.iop.org/collections/seeing-light-physics-narrative#gref

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Physics in Daily Activity. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/physics-in-daily-activity/
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Physics in Daily Activity [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/physics-in-daily-activity/
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