Physics for Kids

This is a branch of science that focuses on the properties and nature of energy and mater. It covers many of the areas that are outside of subjects such as biology and chemistry, and instead includes heat, light, radiation, mechanics, sound, electricity, magnetism, and atomic structure.

Almost everything that we do and see each day has a base in physics.

 

Why is physics so important?

The study of physics helps us to understand the very basic natural sciences. Through experiments, mathematical analysis, and measurements, we can explain the physical laws for things that happen both on earth and in our solar system and the universe. Physics includes what we can see and what is too small to see (microcosmos).

Why is physics fun?

Physics explains everything from why sound travels the way it does to the concept of gravity. Everything that we do, see, and even feel is based on physics. Once you begin to understand some of the rules, it makes so many other things easier to understand.

What is the name of the most famous physics genius?

Albert Einstein. Prior to Einstein, the people that studied physics had a very limited view of the world, reactions, and the universe. Einstein was a radical thinker that backed everything up with proof that couldn’t be denied and he opened up the field of physics to other incredible scientific views.

What is the name of the model of how the universe is thought to have begun?

Big Bang Theory.  This name was given by a Belgian Roman Catholic priest that studied the cosmos and he offered the theories of the expanding universe.

How do the properties of metal change when heated and cooled?

When heated, metals expand and then they contract (or get smaller) when cooled. This is due to the energy that is added or removed by the heat/coolness that speeds up or slows down the metal’s molecules.

What famous astrophysicist made space physics so interesting that students signed up to study?

Dr. Carl Sagan. Sagan combined many of the specialties of science including astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist. He had an incredibly pleasing personality, influencing everyone from NASA space officials all the way to the creation of his famous television show, “Cosmos.”

What student of Dr. Sagan’s became known for his wacky approach to science, physics, and space?

Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Nye continues to be one of the most fun individuals that kids and adults both line up to see. He began with a television show where he did physics experiments.

Why does a straw in a glass of water look like it’s bending?

This is part of physics known as “refraction” and occurs when light enters a different “medium” or environment. In this case, the medium is the water.

What 17th century mathematician gave us the three laws of motion?

Sir Isaac Newton. He was considered to be a radical thinker of his time, most famous for his law of gravitation. However, his three laws of motion became the base for the study of physics as we know it today.

We may have heard of infrared light but why can’t humans see it?

Light exists in waves and the human eye was designed to be able to see waves based on how long they are. Infrared light has waves that are too long for our eyes to detect but those in the scientific communities have studied and learned to create technology that can see infrared.