Applications of Physics


Science in our daily lives has transformed us completely, these days we are living in the era of science and technology. By the time, when people were even unfamiliar with the principles of science, lives were governed under different mechanisms of science and its different branches. Different grounds of micro organisms on earth surface and their function is related to geology and biology. Similarly, much of our daily life activities are governed by the laws of physics. Like in lighting a fire, in walking, eating and digesting, occurrence of earthquake, all other biological process involves physics and its principles are incorporated. Physics has been unified in our daily lives so well that it has imprisoned people with its combined forces. Physics have many long-term and short-term uses in our daily lives from which our lives are evolved. Many technologies today incorporate the laws of physics in their working. In this essay, some of the noteworthy applications of physics in our daily lives, have been mentioned. Physical is considered as natural science because of its enormous applications in with motion, force, energy, mass and matter. All these important theories are involved in our daily lives and in the universe’ working principles. Movement of earth around the sun, phenomenon of lightening and precipitation all involves the principles of physics. Many of our activities are defined on the behalf of rules of physics. Some of the examples and applications are under discussion here.

While looking at the simple but most important act of walking, it incorporates many of the physics principles. Concept of weight is very significant in walking. Gravitation, inertia and friction, three of the most important theories by Newton, along with kinetic and potential energy all these involve in moving bodies of us. Our walking is just like an inverted pendulum. When we step forward our center of gravity that time is our abdomen, and our foot become the axis of it, making the shape of an arc. When we step on land, we put some weight (w=mg), applying a backward force in response of our weight. The reaction of ground is in form of an opposing force which is vertical in angle. This help in slowing us down while walking, this process continues until unless our leg comes adjacent to our tummy. When we move our bodies, the kinetic energy is maximum and potential energy at that time is zero. But when leg makes a complete arc to the nearest position of belly, at this point the potential energy is maximum and kinetic is zero. This process continues. While walking we actually act as an imperfect pendulum, because all the energy (potential) isn’t converted into the kinetic one. By stored potential energy 65% only gets available for the next step rest 35% is used in bio chemical processes. (Kunzig, 2001)


when we walk we perform some ‘work’ in terms of physics (W=F*S), in the result of exertion of some force our body covers some distance, so in actual we are doing some work. While walking three of the Newton’s laws of motion are applied. According to the first law our body states in rest until unless we apply a force to move it. When we are on rest, inertia is at maximum. Our body requires large amount of force to get out of this state of rest, that is when we started walking. On putting first step forward the energy is transferred from foot to upper body parts, this is the force required to break up the inertia. According to the second law of motion acceleration is a=F/m means that the force we use for walking is directly proportional to the acceleration while walking. That is why while applying more force we will start moving quickly. Third law states every action has a reaction, so when we are walking we exert some force on ground in return the ground exerts unreceptive vertical force on body and we walk forward. (Patricia Ann Kramer, 2011)

While cutting the fruits and vegetables we never think even in this simple act laws of physics are involved. We exert some pressure on knife while cutting something. More pressure when applied more it will be easy to cut the fruit. Pressure is dependent on force and area i.e. directly dependent on force and inversely dependent on area. We see that the knife with thicker edges requires more force to cut an object in contrast to that one having very sharp (thin) edges. Here one more principle of physics is involved. The thick edged knife experiences more friction which make an object difficult to cut.

In the phenomenon of cooking the principles of Thermodynamics are used, the branch of science which deals with the heat and work done by this. Heat travels from the hotter body to the cooler and hence travels. When we put pan of water or something else and set fire the flame energy touches the cold pan. Heat starts transferring and pan become hotter. At a specific time comes this heat is started transferring in the bottom water molecules who are at lower temperature that the surrounding molecules. Slowly this heat passes on the upper surface water molecules at last water comes at same temperature. (ouchmath, 2011)

It is an example of an open system as both energy and matter are lost. Rendering to zeroth law of thermodynamics energy should remained conserve. According to the above example the energy lost by flame is transferred to pot and water but the total amount of energy remained conserve. When we cook something in pressure-cooker, the heat energy spontaneously changed in chemical energy. This phenomenon satisfies the law of thermodynamics that works are done due to work energy. (Lathbridge, 2013)

When we talk about one of the five human senses “seeing” we generally refer it with function of biology but interestingly a lot of physics is involved in the simple act of watching something. Our eyes are very precious gift of God which helps in observing the universe. Our eyes act like a camera in reality. Like the camera the lenses of our eyes are convex for the convergence of visible light. Cornea and lens focus the light as it enters in our eyes. The amount of entered light is controlled by iris who makes an image on retina, that image is inverted just like the camera. Then by the help of photoreceptors this image is converted into electrical signals. By the help of optic nerve, the message is sent to the brain visionary center. This center analyzes the electrical signal and makes an image which we can see by eye. The amount of light reflected by the object also plays important role in the act of seeing something. That is why we cannot see in dark. (Edmondson, 2005)

Light consists of seven bands. Human eye perceives different shapes and colors of the objects. When light falls on an object it absorbs all the colors while reflecting one color which we see of that object. Also, when light falls on black item it absorbs all the light and reflects nothing that’s why that object looks black. (Pappas, 2010)

Physics is also involved in opening and closing the doors. The principles of torque are involved here. Torque is the force required to twirl an object about an axis or fulcrum. If the knob is located closer to pivot we have to apply more spin (torque) in this case angular acceleration will be smaller. If this force is applied at 90 degrees to the door larger angular acceleration is produced. (Broholom, 1997)

When we push the door at the farthest point from the hinge a smaller force will be sufficient to open it. By looking at the formula: Æ®=F*l sin ÆŸ, where l is the distance of hinge from door knob or handle. (Lesson 27a: Torque (AP Only), 2013) Torque is positive when we open the door clockwise and negative if we open it anticlockwise.

In the revolution of transport industry there are also the laws of physics incorporated. Vehicles uses wheels, prevent the gravity from inhibiting the movement of an object. Airplanes are one step ahead, there specific shape (streamline) lower the air resistance dramatically. Which allows lift as well as forward momentum. We take a look at the cars coming towards us and get the sense of the distance. We keep on looking for a second more, and read the distance again. Now we divide the difference of these distance with the time and get an idea of the speed. Then we use this to somewhat reasonably guess the time it will take to get to the spot of the road ahead of us. Next, we factor in our own walking speed and calculate the time it will take us to get to that spot. Based on these two times, we determine whether to let the car pass or cross, and with what walking speed. We do this simultaneously for all the cars approaching us.

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