introduction to physics

Physics falls under a broader category of Science. Science is divided into three areas namely Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The main objective of these subjects is to study and try to understand the universe and everything in it.

What is physics?

Physics is the branch of science which deals with matter and its relation to energy.

It involves study of physical and natural phenomena around us. Examples of these phenomena are formation of rainbow, occurrence eclipse, the fall of things from up to down, the cause of sunset and sunrise, formation of shadow and many more.

Physics as a subject is divided into six broad branches as discussed below.

i) Mechanics
This branch deals majorly with motions under the influence of forces. Under this branch, we look into details the aspects of linear, circular and oscillatory motions as well as motion of fluids

ii) Geometrical Optics

This branch takes a keen look at the behavior of light in various media.

iii) Electricity and magnetism
This branch looks at the interaction between electric fields and magnetic fields and the applications of such interactions.

iv) Thermodynamics
This branch looks at how heat as a form of energy is transformed to/from other forms of energy.

v) Atomic Physics
This area of study is targeted at the behavior of particles of the nucleus and the accompanying energy changes.

vi) Waves
It deals with the study of the propagation of energy through space.

Relationship between physics and otheir subjects
Physics does not only relate the remaining two science subjects but also enjoys a relationship with other subjects as well.

  1. PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS Physics relates strongly with mathematics, Many physics concepts are expressed mathematically.Many physics formulae are expressed mathematically.
  2. PHYSICS AND BIOLOGYKnowledge of lenses in physics is used in making microscope used in study of cells in biology. Physics formulae are used in calculation of magnification by microscopes.The knowledge of levers helps to explain locomotion in Biology.
  3. Physics and Chemistry. Physics has helped in explaining forces within atoms and therefore atomic structure. It is this structure of the atom that then determines the reactivity of the atom as explained in chemistry.

4. Physics and ReligionOrderliness of systems in the universe can be traced back to the Creator.Many wonders of creation include the anomalous expansion of water, the rainbow.

5. Physics and GeographyAccurate use of instruments and physics concepts can establish weather patterns and explain formation of rainfall, pressure variations.Use of magnetic properties of lodestone and other materials help navigators to determine direction.

6. Physics and Technology.

Some areas of technology that requires knowledge of physics are:
In medicine.
X-rays, lasers, scanners which are applications of physics are used in diagnosis and treatment of diseases.


Satellite communication, internet, fibre optics are applications of internet which requires strong foundation in physics.

In industrial applications

In the area of defense, physics has many applications e.g. war planes, laser-guided bombs which have high level accuracy.

In entrainment industry, knowledge of physics has use in mixing various colours to bring out the desirable stage effects

Some Career opportunities in Kenya

  • Building Economics
  • Construction Management
  • Medicine and Surgery
  • Dental Surgery
  • Pharmacy
  • Nursing
  • Production Engineering
  • Chemical and Processing Engineering
  • Civil Production Engineering
  • Chemical and Processing Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Some courses offered at the colleges and universities that require the knowledge of physics.

At University level, some of the courses are offered.

  1. Bachelor of Architecture.
  2. Bachelor of pharmacy.
  3. Bachelor of medicine.
  4. Bachelor of dental surgery.
  5. Bachelor of science (nursing)
  6. Bachelor of education science (physics)
  7. Bachelor of science (Electrical and electronic Engineering)
  8. Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine.

At College level, some of the courses are offered.

  1. Diploma in building and construction.
  2. Diploma in mechanical Engineering.
  3. Diploma in physiotherapy.
  4. Diploma in electrical Engineering.
  5. Diploma in computer science.


A laboratory is a room designed for carrying out scientific experiments and practical work.

Basic laboratory rules

Some of the rules governing the conducts of students in a laboratory are listed below.

  1. All instructions given must be followed strictly. Never attempt anything while in doubt.
  2. Ensure that all electrical switches, water and gas taps are switched off when not in use.
  3. Windows and doors should be kept open while working in the laboratory.
  4. Any wastes after experiments must be disposed appropriately after use.
  5. Do not plug any foreign objects into electrical sockets.
  6. Keep floors and working surfaces clean.
  7. All apparatus must be cleaned and returned to the correct locations after use.
  8. Laboratory equipment must not be taken out of the lab.
  9. Do not eat or drink in the laboratory and must be washed before leaving the laboratory.

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