Physics and Maths provide models for describing our physical reality.
Studying Physics for secondary students is an excellent idea for individuals who are intelligent, but have no idea what they want to do with their lives. In such conditions, there are little chances of reaching the end of degree.
A generic Physics can easily be converted into astrophysics, medial, nuclear or theoretical physics. You could be gazing stars, curing cancer with radiation therapy, maintaining atomic plant with very little need for specialization.
Physics is basically application of mathematics to understand the objective reality of the world. Mathematics is one of the most important tool that physics require.
Mathematics alone is an abstract concept. But it is a concept that rigorously follows logic. In other words, logic is organized in the most rigorous way in mathematics.
So in a journey to understand the objective reality of the universe, one thing that we must be sure of is that we are following logic at each and every step.
Another important aspect of physics and science itself is experimentation.
Either we use mathematics to come up with an idea and then test that idea with experiments. Or we observe a phenomenon by experiments and come up with mathematics for that. Both is almost equally important to establish a fact.
So mathematics is the language of theoretical physics. And even in case of experimental physics it helps in understanding what is going on.
So in other words without mathematics physics will just be a list of observations of natural phenomenon.
Who is a Physicist?
A physicist is someone who explores and identifies the basic principles that govern the structure and behaviour of matter, the interaction between energy and matter, and the generation and transfer of energy.
These principals can be used in both theoretical and practical areas.
A physicist also studies the field of physics in great detail. They conduct research into physical phenomena or the natural science that involve the study of matter and related concepts.
They analyze the general happenings in nature and try to understand how the universe behaves.
On the basis of research through observation and experiments, they discover physical laws and propound theories that explain the functioning of natural forces like gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear interactions.
The discovery of new physical laws and theories contribute to the existing base of theoretical knowledge and can also be used for more practical applications such as development of medial equipment, electronic devices, nuclear reactors, etc.
During the earlier days, physics was considered a field of philosophy; it was only during the 19th century that physics was realized as a discipline separate from philosophy.
Some of the major branches of physics are classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, theory of relativity and electromagnetism.
Since physics covers a vast number of fields, most physicists specialize in one of the many subfields.
However, the various subfields may overlap with each other and also with other sciences resulting in interdisciplinary fields such as biophysics, geophysics, meteorology, etc.
Some of the greatest names in this discipline include Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Niels Bohr, just to name a few. Their contributions along with the important discoveries of others have given us a better understanding of our world.
Below you will find biographies, life and works of various famous physicists from history.
Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.
Deemed as the most influential physicist of the 20th century, the German-born physicist Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Even his name is now synonymous with the term genius. The father of Modern Physics is credited with developing the theory of relativity and explaining the photoelectric effect. The latter won him the Nobel Prize.
Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.
One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.
An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.
Hailed as a brilliant scientific mind, American physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, led the Manhattan Project which resulted in the development of atomic bomb during the World War II.
The bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, Oppenheimer was in a constant conflict over the moral issue of the weapons of mass destruction and rallied against nuclear proliferation.
Who is a mathematician?
A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems. Mathematicians are concerned with numbers, data, quantity, structure, space, models, and change.
Many of the mathematical concepts that we use today were once unknown. Had it not been for famous mathematicians and their contributions, some of those concepts may not be around today.
Important thinkers throughout history like Archimedes, Pythagoras, and Benjamin Banneker have helped us understand our world through mathematics and numbers.
Below you will find a list and works of various famous mathematics that has help shape our world.
Shakuntala Devi was an Indian writer and mathematical genius popularly known as the “human computer”. She was reputed to make complicated mathematical calculations in her head and effortlessly speak out the results!
Born into an impoverished family in southern India as the daughter of a circus performer, she started displaying her skills at an early age.
Her father recognized her as a child prodigy and took her on road shows where she displayed her ability at calculation. What was really amazing about the young girl’s mathematical prowess was that she did not receive any formal education owing to her family’s financial situation, yet emerged to be one of the most brilliant mathematical minds of her time.
Her phenomenal ability to perform the most complicated mathematical calculations without the aid of any technological device gained her much fame and she eventually became an international phenomenon.
Arthur Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, tested and studied her abilities and published his findings in the academic journal ‘Intelligence’.
Her extraordinary abilities also earned her a place in the 1982 edition of ‘The Guinness Book of World Records’.
In addition, she was also a well-known author of children’s books as well as works on mathematics, puzzles, and astrology.
Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician.
During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years.
The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.
Roger Penrose’s contribution to the research related to the black hole and general relativity earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020.
The Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, Roger is also a fellow of Wadham College, St John’s College of Cambridge, and University College London.
John Forbes Nash Jr.
The inspiration behind the movie A Beautiful Mind, John F. Nash was a legendary mathematician whose work in the area of game theory earned him the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In his later years, he was riddled with mental illness. He later died in a car crash.
A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions.
Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.
Mathematics is the language for physicists’, and without proper mathematical knowledge it is nearly impossible to learn or understand higher physics.
Mathematics is required not to understand the physical phenomenon but to convey and exchange the knowledge and information about it among the scientific community and the common masses in a proper structure.
It is very much difficult to understand Physics without math.
Physics directly or indirectly depend upon Math.
Mathematics is important to Physics as same as oxygen is important for living. In higher level Math looks similar to physics.
What is our take on physics and maths? Leave our comment below and let learn from you.