Branches of physics

They are different areas or fields of study of physics. It is the science that is responsible for explaining everything that happens in the Universe, which is why it covers a great diversity of areas: movement, forces, radiation, energy, among others.

  1. Acoustics

It is the branch of classical physics that studies sound as a disturbance in the air, its way of propagating, the phenomena that produce it, how it is heard and how it is absorbed.

Tools: pressure diagram, microphones and ultrasound.

Applications: soundproofing, sound insulation, design of musical instruments and concert halls, navigation systems and sound localization.

  1. Astrophysics

Study the material bodies of higher dimensions is astrophysics. Describes the motion of bodies and systems in space, such as stars, quasars, galaxies, and interstellar matter.

Tools: astronomical observatories, telescopes, radio telescopes and space probes.

Applications: geopositioning, knowledge of other planets.

  1. Biophysics

They mix biology and physics to study the physical laws of biological processes, the functioning of the cell membrane, the way nerve impulses operate and muscle contraction.

Tools: molecular biology, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence microscopy based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer, electrophysiology.

Applications: thermodynamic stability of proteins, cellular energetics, cellular transport.

  1. cryogenics

Low temperature physics or cryogenics studies the behavior of matter at extremely low temperatures. Absolute zero (0ºK) indicates the lowest temperature that a body can reach, where the molecules are practically immobile.

Tools: compression and expansion of gases, cryostat.

Applications: superconductivity and superfluidity, construction of super powerful magnets, lines for energy transmission with high performance.

  1. Kinematics

Kinematics is the branch of mechanics that studies moving objects. To describe movement, kinematics studies the trajectory of points, lines and other geometric objects, speed, acceleration, displacement are calculated.

Tools: video cameras, observation, mathematics.

Applications: calculation of the speed and trajectory of objects, ballistics.

  1. Dynamic

This studies the relationships between the movement of bodies and their causes. It studies the forces that cause objects and systems to move.

  1. static

It is the branch of mechanics that studies the balance of bodies. It deals with the analysis of the forces acting on a system at rest.

Tools: Newton’s laws, simple machines.

Applications: building and bridge constructions.

  1. Electromagnetism

It studies the phenomena of electricity and magnetism, the interaction between charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, and the propagation of electromagnetic waves through space.

Tools: magnets, electrical charges, voltmeters, ammeters.

Applications: electricity distribution network systems, global communication networks, electronic equipment.

  1. atomic physics

It is responsible for studying the atom: its structure, electronic configuration and the mechanisms of emission and absorption of energy.

Tools: radioactivity, spectroscopy and lasers.

Applications: quantum mechanics and nanotechnology.

  1. fluid physics

It studies the behavior of liquids, gases or other fluids at rest and in motion.

Tools: Archimedean principle, surface tension and capillarity.

Applications: control of the flow of compressed air and fuel in aircraft, control systems of industrial hydraulic processes and processes at high temperatures. Functioning of the circulatory system.

  1. solid state physics

It studies matter and the interaction between atoms in the dimensions on a macroscopic scale. Try to explain the chemical properties based on the physical properties of each atom.

Tools: Electron microscope, X-ray deflection crystallography.

Applications: laser materials, photoresists, photocells, fluorescent or phosphorescent materials, new magnetic materials, superconductors, new magnetic materials.

  1. plasma physics

Plasma physics studies the state of matter of charged particles. Plasma is found naturally in stars and space. In laboratories, plasma is created by heating gases until the electrons detach from their atom or molecule.

  1. condensed matter physics

Studies the thermal, electromagnetic and optical properties of solid and liquid substances

Tools: crystallography and spectrometry.

Applications: thermal conductivity, semiconductors and insulators, superfluidity and ferromagnetism.

  1. particle physics

They study the fundamental particles that make up matter. It is also known by the name of (High Energy Physics) due to the high amounts of energy necessary to create the appropriate conditions that allow its observation.

Tools: Particle accelerators and cosmic rays.

Applications: magnetic resonance imaging, the World Wide Web, nuclear waste transmutation, sea container scanner.

  1. Medical physics

This branch includes the methods and techniques of physics in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.


Tools: imaging, radiological equipment and magnetic resonance imaging.

Applications: clinical service, radiotherapy and dosimetry.

  1. Nuclear physics

It studies the nucleus of the atom made up of protons, neutrons and other particles. The nuclear physicist studies the arrangement of these particles in the nucleus, the forces that hold them together, the way in which nuclei release energy in the form of natural radioactivity or due to fusion or fission reactions.

Tools: Proton or electron beams such as projectiles, nuclear reactors, and Geiger counters. Applications: Radioactivity, medicine, and power plants.

  1. classical mechanics

This branch understands the entire study of the movement of bodies. It includes kinematics, dynamics and statics.

Tools: Newton’s laws of motion.

Applications: rocket and spacecraft launch.

  1. Quantum mechanics

It is responsible for studying laws that govern the behavior of subatomic particles. In the field of extremely small dimensions, bodies follow completely different laws of behavior from those of the macroscopic world.

  1. Meteorology

Studying the atmosphere and its components, meteorologists apply physics to examine the flows and movement of air and water over the Earth’s surface.

Tools: satellite images, radar and weather stations.

Applications: airflow research, weather forecasting, and weather condition monitoring.

  1. Optics

This branch studies light and has many applications in the field of optoelectronics and fiber optics.

Tools: lenses, mirrors, telescopes and binoculars.

Applications: study of the behavior of light and other electromagnetic waves and optical fibers.

  1. Thermodynamics

This branch studies the different energy techniques, such as the conditions under which one can be transformed into the other.

Tools: laws of thermodynamics and calorimeters.

Applications: cooling systems, internal combustion engines and space vehicle propulsion engines.

Branches of physics

branch of physics object of study Applications
Acoustics Sound Sound navigation and localization systems, echosonograms.
Astrophysics Large bodies in space. Knowledge of other celestial bodies.
Biophysics Physical laws of biological processes. Cellular energetics, nerve impulse transmission, cellular transport.
cryogenics Materials at very low temperatures Superconductivity, strong magnets.
Kinematics moving objects Calculate the trajectory and speed of objects.
Dynamic Forces acting on objects. Aerodynamics
static Forces on bodies at rest. Construction, engineering.
Electromagnetism Electricity and magnetism Electrical networks, wireless communication, electronic equipment.
atomic physics The atom Quantum mechanics, nanotechnology,
fluid physics Behavior of liquids and gases. Aeronautics, industrial processes, circulatory system.
solid state physics Matter and the interactions between atoms. Photoresistance, new magnetic and laser materials, superconductors.
plasma physics Physical properties of plasma Paper recycling treatment.
condensed matter physics Properties of solids and liquids. Thermal conductivity, ferromagnetism.
Medical physics Radiation in human health. Radiotherapy and dosimetry.
Nuclear physics Nucleus of the atom. Nuclear reactors, medicine.
particle physics Particles that make up the atom. Medical treatment and diagnosis, the World Wide Web, sterilization.
classical mechanics Body movement: includes kinematics, dynamics and statics. Launch of rockets and spaceships.
Quantum mechanics Behavior of subatomic particles. Properties and structure of matter.
Meteorology The atmosphere and its components. Prediction and monitoring of climatic conditions.
Optics Light and other electromagnetic waves. Optical fibers, lasers.
Thermodynamics Energy, heat and their transfers. cooling, motors

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