From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go back to sleep at night, physics is at play in every second of our day. Things that we take for granted every day, such as using our phones or taking public transport to school or work, all follow and exploit the rules of physics in one way or another. Let us take a look at the science behind some of these wonders so we can better understand how they work in the way they do.
Basic, everyday mechanical devices
The most prominent display of physics in action is the simple lever mechanism applied to various objects in our daily lives. The lever is designed to magnify force and reduce the effort required to move the object found at the opposite end of the mechanism. This simple application of physics allows us to lift things that we might not be capable of raising through brute strength alone.
A physical example of this level law is the seesaw we commonly see in playgrounds. It comprises a lever (where the participants would sit) and the fulcrum located in the middle. The seesaw’s rotation results from the force (the participants’ weight) pulling down on the beam and the location of the applied force. In addition, the two forces or weights, and the position they are sitting, affect the seesaw’s balance. The law of physics dictates that the seesaw will balance out once the turning forces are equal on both ends and are cancelling each other out.
Newton’s laws of motion and transportation
Whether it’s cars, trains, or buses, these vehicles rely on and manipulate the laws of physics every day. A force has to be applied to the vehicle before it can start moving. This example follows Newton’s first law of motion, which states that an object remains in a state of rest unless a net force is acted upon it. In this case, the force is generated from converting the potential chemical energy found in gasoline into kinetic energy.
After starting our vehicles, we will push against the acceleration pedal, so our cars continue to accelerate until they reach the desired speed. If we want our cars to accelerate at a faster rate, we have to apply a greater force on the pedal. This instance recalls Newton’s second law of motion, which explains that an object that has a net force applied to it will accelerate proportionally to the magnitude of the force applied.
As our cars continue their motion, they also constantly apply Newton’s third law of motion, which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In order for our vehicles to maintain their forward momentum, the cars’ wheels have to spin backwards to “push” the road back. Consequently, the opposite reaction also has to occur. In this case, the road must “push” the wheels forward.
Relativity and modern communications
There is a saying that physics is all relative, and this theme resonates through the general and special theories of relativity discovered by Albert Einstein. His work has proven vital to the indispensable features that we utilise daily on our phones, such as the GPS, which receives radio signals from the satellites that hover unseen above us.
Given the great distance that separates us and these satellites, the effects of gravity, and the speed the satellites are travelling at; there is a relativistic time dilation of 7 microseconds between the satellites sending the signals and the ground stations receiving them. If this relativistic effect is not accounted for, our GPS will prove to be far too inaccurate and unreliable for general use.
Physics and its concepts have helped shape our modern lives in more ways than one. The examples provided above are just a tiny glimpse of how science has impacted us. There are various more applications for you to explore and discover to your heart’s content.
By supplementing your studies with relevant knowledge gained from a physics tuition class, you can become more aware of the fascinating inner workings of the most mundane happenings in your daily life. So if you’re ready to get started, you can check out our O level physics tuition and H2 physics tuition classes here at Best Physics Tuition™ Centre.