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Physics Overview

Physics is a natural science. It is the study of matter and its motion through space time and all that derives from these, such as energy and force. Physics is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the world and universe behave.

Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism. Modern extensions also include atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics.

Physics covers a wide range of phenomena, from the smallest sub-atomic particles, to the largest galaxies. The most basic parts of physics are mechanics and field theory. Mechanics is concerned with the motion of particles or bodies under the action of given forces. The physics of fields is concerned with the origin, nature, and properties of gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear, and other force fields.

Physics uses the scientific method to test the validity of a physical theory, using a methodical approach to compare the implications of the theory in question with the associated conclusions drawn from experiments and observations conducted to test it.
Contemporary research in physics can be broadly divided into condensed matter physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; particle physics; astrophysics; geophysics and biophysics.

Condensed matter physics is the field of physics that deals with the macroscopic physical properties of matter. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics (AMO) is the study of matter-matter and light-matter interactions on the scale of single atoms or structures containing a few atoms. Particle physics is the study of the elementary constituents of matter and energy, and the interactions between them. It may also be called "high energy physics", because many elementary particles do not occur naturally, but are created only during high energy collisions of other particles, as can be detected in particle accelerators. Astrophysics and astronomy are the application of the theories and methods of physics to the study of stellar structure, stellar evolution, the origin of the solar system, and related problems of cosmology. Applied physics is a general term for physics research which is intended for a particular use. An applied physics curriculum usually contains a few classes in an applied discipline, like geology or electrical engineering.

Physics is used heavily in engineering. For example, Statics , a subfield of mechanics, is used in the building of bridges and other structures.

Research in physics is continually progressing on a large number of fronts. In condensed matter physics, an important unsolved theoretical problem is that of high-temperature superconductivity. Many condensed matter experiments are aiming to fabricate workable spintronics and quantum computers. In particle physics, the first pieces of experimental evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model have begun to appear.
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