Department of Physics
Explanation of Physics
What is physics?
Physics is the study of nature and how it works. Questions in physics cover many scales, from cosmological (the big bang) to the very small (what makes up an atom), and from the very fast (special relativity) to the very cold (Bose-Einstein condensates). Instead of categorizing such phenomena, physics attempts to conceptualize and determine the underlying natural principals. For example, Einstein discovered that mass and energy are equivalent in his famous equation E = mc2.
On a more practical level, these fundamental principles are the driving forces that inspire new technologies. Almost all modern machines, electronics, computers, optical instruments, telecommunications devices, space travel, stock market predictions, and medical technologies have been either invented by physicists or individuals who knew the basic tenets and research principles of physics. The opportunity to use and help drive this knowledge and these applications is what motivates physicists around the world.