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Why Study Physics?

Physics is the science of matter and the forces that hold it together. Physics spans many orders of magnitude from the size of the universe to the smallest building blocks of matter, the elementary particles. The developments within physics have influenced philosophical thought and our entire world view. At the same time, physics forms the basis for technological and engineering sciences. New discoveries within physics often have direct applications and lead to the development of new products.

The knowledge that we have today within science and technology has been obtained through a close collaboration between experimentalists and theoreticians. By doing experiments, one empirically determines how one physical variable influences another. The results of experiments are often summarised in a functional relationship between the variables. The theoretical development then clarifies the experimental results and gives further predictions that can, in turn, be tested experimentally. The interaction between experiment and theory characterizes the development of modern physics. Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Huygens, to name just a few, began by analyzing their own or others experimental observations while developing the mathematical tools needed to formulate the theoretical descriptions of the phenomena.

As a future physicist, you will learn this intimate interaction between experiment and theory in your education.

In modern physics, we try to understand the smallest components of matter and how they interact with each other. The ai is to understand the fundamental laws of nature and how they are related to the smallest and most fundamental building blocks. Today we have a theoretical model of how matter is constructed from a small number of building blocks and with only four fundamental forces. This model has developed from an interaction between theory and experiment and e.g. lies behind the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.

There are also other exciting areas within physics where one studies the interaction between many atoms or molecules and the consequences of this. Much of the physics and technology that we meet in everyday life falls into this category, condensed matter physics. There is also a strong development in the areas bordering on chemistry and biology. A further concept is that of "complex systems" which as well as physical, chemical or biological systems can also involve financial or societal systems.

If you choose to study physics you will find many new exciting things to investigate. History has shown that each new generation of physicists makes its own great discoveries.

Page Manager: Robert Karlsson|Last update: 3/31/2016

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