Evolution of Physics

Physicists of the past

Physics is a great part of the world of science and it has played a great part in trying to explain and understand the various phenomena around the world over the years. Physics has been evolving daily.

The origin of physics is dated back to the ideas of great minds trying to find solutions and explanations of the environment, the earth and the heavenly bodies. We shall look at some of these great minds and their contributions towards the evolution of physics beginning from the early 400 B.C.

1. Eudoxus: 400 – 347 B.C.

Eudoxus was a working partner of Plato. He studied and explained about the motion of celestial bodies via concentric spheres.

2. Plato: 427 – 347 B.C.

Plato was a student of Socrates. He outlined the creation of the world as the actions of a demiurge, standing for a supernatural being.  He also describe the motion of the heavenly being as being circular.

3. Aristotle: 384 – 322 B.C.

Aristotle studied under Plato.  He took the idea of further and said that the system described by Eudoxus involved real physical spheres.  He linked this concept to the model he had created for the physical world.

4. Galileo Galilei: 1564 – 1642 A.D.  

Galileo based most of his arguments on thought experiments as well as physical experiments.  He also used mathematics to describe relationships among variables.  He played a very big part in the concept of motion.

5. Isaac Newton: 1642 – 1727 A.D.

Newton went to Cambridge in the hope of one day becoming a preacher. While in Cambridge, he studied mathematics and started considering planetary orbits and the related physics of motion.

Newton is well known for the three Newton’s laws of motion. It is said that Newton invented these three law after leaving the university and returning to the farm where he saw an apple fall from the tree to the ground.

Apart from the three laws of motion, he also invented the Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation – what we have learnt during our Physics Tuition classes, which links the force of gravity to the mass of the two objects concerning which there is a force of attraction between them and the distance that is in between them.

It was newton’s interest in motion that lead him to inventing calculus from the point of derivatives.

The above are the main contributors in the evolution of physics. However there are several other individuals who have played a very great part in the progression of the modern physics. Examples of such individuals are: Pascal who invented the Pascal (atmospheric measurement), von Guericke who proved that a vacuum space is reality contrary to Aristotle’s argument that there can be no such thing as empty space and Boyle who borrowed the idea of von Guericke and made several discoveries, like the boiling point of water decreases with an increase in pressure, with it.