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Physics

The World of Physics

Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force. It tells us how matter behaves and helps us understand the world in a scientific way, thus explaining the fundamental laws of the universe.
The term ‘Physics’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘phusis’ meaning ‘nature’ and ‘phusike’ meaning ‘knowledge of nature’. So Physics is the study of nature and how it works. Physics, one of the oldest academic disciplines became a separate science when scientists started using experimental and quantitative methods to discover the ‘Laws of Physics’. Physics is the foundation of disciplines like Chemistry, Astronomy, Engineering and many others.

i) Physics and Matter
ii) Physics and other fields.
iii) Models, Theories and Laws.

You don’t walk into a shop and ask for 2 sugars, 1 milk and 5 cloth; rather you’d ask for 2kg sugar, 1liter milk and 5m of cloth. The terms ‘kg’, ‘liter’ and ‘meter’ are called units. Units are the factors which give you an idea of ‘quantity’ in the world of measurement. Imagine living in an era where the King’s ‘foot’ or ‘elbow length’ is the basic unit of measurement. If the heir to the throne has a bigger or smaller foot, measurements would have to be changed. This calls for a system of measurement accepted by all. Study about the internationally and locally recognized units and unit systems.

i) Units and Unit Systems
ii) Converting Units

Basics of Kinematics

Kinematics is that branch of mechanics which describes the motion of points, bodies (objects) and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without considering the causes of motion. This is governed by certain laws and principles that describe and explain the motion.

i) Defining Kinematics
ii) Reference, Frames and Displacement
iii) Scalars and Vectors

Speed and Velocity are almost the same. They express the distance moved per unit of time. Speed is expressed in terms of magnitude alone whereas Velocity, uses both magnitude and direction.

i) Average Velocity-the p-t graph
ii) Instantaneous Velocity – the v-t graph

Acceleration is ‘speeding up’ and ‘slowing down’. It is the change in velocity over the change in time.

i) Graphical Interpretation
ii) Motion with  Constant Acceleration

i) Applications
ii) Motion Diagrams

Free fall is the motion of a body where its weight is the only force acting on it. We always wonder whether heavy objects fall down faster than lighter objects. Well the answer is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. This lesson will help you find out ‘how’ and ‘why’.

i) Free Fall Motion
ii) Representing Free-Fall by Graphs

Consider an airplane that is flying northwest from Dallas to Seattle. In this case, the displacement of the plane has two components – a component in the northward direction and a component in the westward direction. In simple terms, we can say that the motion of the plane has two dimensions.

i) Constant Velocity and
ii) Constant Acceleration

Vectors are quantities that include both magnitude and direction. When you say that the distance between home and school is 4km, you do not specify the direction. On the other hand when you are referring to the shortest distance between home and school, it has a specific direction. Here ‘distance’ is called ‘displacement’ and it is a vector quantity.

i) Components of Vectors
ii) Scalars vs. Vectors
iii) Adding and Subtracting Vectors Graphically and Using Components
iv) Unit Vectors and Multiplying by a Scalar
v) Position, Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration as  Vectors

Projectile Motion is a form of motion where an object moves along a parabolic path and the path that the object follows is called its trajectory.

i) Basic Equations and Parabolic Path
ii) Solving Problems
iii) Zero Launch and General Launch Angles
iv) Key Points-Range, Symmetry, Maximum Height

Relative Velocity explains the velocity of an object with relation to the motion of another object.

i)Relative Velocity
ii) Riverboat Problems

The Laws of Motion

Everybody’s heard of Issac Newton and how the apple fell on his head. It must have hurt for sure, but the incident triggered a thought process at the end of which, Newton came up with the laws that governed the motion of objects.
Motion is a change in position of an object with respect to time. Motion is typically described in terms of displacement, distance (scalar), velocity, acceleration, time and speed.

i) Newton and His Laws
i) Force
ii) Mass

When a moving car stops suddenly, we tend to jerk forward. When it starts moving again, it feels as though we are being pulled forward. In the first case, our body tends to keep on moving even after the car has stopped; whereas in the second situation, we tend to remain at rest and hence the car pulls us along as it moves forward. Learning Newton’s laws will help us understand why this happens.

i) The First Law: Inertia
ii) The Second Law: Force and Acceleration
iii) The Third Law: Symmetry in Forces

Forces act in a particular direction and have sizes depending on how strong the push or pull is.

i) Forces in Two Dimensions

There are many different types of forces, and many things that can cause forces.

i) Weight
ii) Friction, Drag and Deformation
iii) Kinetic and Static Friction
iv) Stress and Strain
v) Translational Equilibrium
vi) Connected Objects
vii) Circular Motion

The objective of this section is to transform you from a novice to an expert in the subject. Problem solving becomes easy when you can connect the question to other similar situations.

i) Basic Techniques
ii) Friction and Inclines

Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation

Giant Wheels are fun. A giant wheel shows movement in a circular path at a steady pace. This is referred to as uniform circular motion.
In a circular motion, we have a center-seeking force that makes an object move in a circular path around it.

i) Kinematics of UCM
ii) Dynamics of UCM
iii) Banked and Unbanked Highway curves

Unlike a Giant wheel, a Roller Coaster exhibits circular movement that is not uniform. The velocity of the coaster keeps changing – it is slower as it moves up and faster as it comes down.

i) Radial and Tangential Acceleration

Velocity is the speed of an object with respect to its direction. A time – related change in velocity is referred to as acceleration. Acceleration occurs due to the action of unbalanced forces.

i) Rotational Angle and Angular Velocity
ii) Centripetal Acceleration
iii) Centripetal Force

The elements of nature exert force. The wind, the waves, the force of gravity etc. are examples

i) Tides
ii) The Coriolis Force
iii) Geophysical Applications

Gravity is the force by which objects attract each other. Newton observed that gravity applies to any object anywhere in space. Learn more about gravitation in this lesson.

i) The Law of Universal Gravitation
ii) Gravitational Attraction of Spherical Bodies
iii) Weight of the Earth

What we learn today about the solar system and the movement of the planets is based on the laws formulated by Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician and astronomer.

i) Kepler’s Three Laws
ii) Orbital Maneuvers
iii) Satellites

The potential energy that you get while defying/moving against gravitational energy is referred to as Gravitational Potential Energy. It increases as you move higher up in altitude.

i) Gravitational Energy
ii) Escape Speed
iii) Angular and Linear Quantities

Work and Energy

Each person has his own definition of Work. Generally, any effort put in is referred to as work, be it physical or mental. Here in Physics, work is considered done when the effort put in produces a result. Energy is that which enables the effort.
Force is a push or a pull that can move a resting object and stop a moving object. Work is done when Force causes a movement and Energy is the ability to do Work. Force, Work and Energy are related to each other. Let’s find out how!

i) Introduction to Work and Energy
ii) Work Done by a Constant Force
iii) Work Done by a Variable Force
iv) Work Energy Theorem

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is either transferred from one thing to another or transformed into another type of energy.

i) Conservative and Nonconservative Forces
ii) Potential Energy and Gravity
iii) Springs
iv) Conservation of Mechanical Energy
v) Problem Solving

If energy is the ability to do work, power is the quantity of work done in a given period of time.

i) Power
ii) Work, Energy and Power
iii) World Energy Use
iv) Other Forms of Energy
v) Energy Transformations
vi) Potential Energy Curves and Equipotentials

Linear Momentum and Collisions

The word Collision brings to mind the picture of a road accident. The bigger the vehicle, the greater the impact. Let’s look into the principle behind this statement.
Consider a soccer ball and a plastic ball moving at the same speed. The soccer ball being heavier than the plastic ball moves faster than it and has greater momentum. As a result, it also takes more time to stop than the plastic one.

i) Linear Momentum
ii) Momentum, Force and Newton’s Second Law
iii) Impulse
iv) Internal vs. External Forces

A collision is an event in which two or more bodies exert forces on each other for a relatively short period of time.

i) Glancing Collisions
ii) Elastic Collisions in One and Multiple Dimensions
iii) Inelastic Collisions in One and Multiple Dimensions

Thinking of rockets takes you into another world – Space. Ever wondered how rockets get there and why some fail to. Come, let’s learn Rocket Science.

i) Rocket Propulsion, Changing Mass and Momentum

The center of mass is the point where all of the mass of the object is concentrated.

i) Center of Mass- Location and Motion
ii) Center of Mass of the Human Body
iii) Center of Mass and Translational Motion

Static Equilibrium, Torque and Elasticity

Certain objects like rubber bands can stretch out and return to their original shape or state of rest. This is due to Elasticity. This lesson tells you all about equilibrium (rest), elasticity and much more.
Torque is the force that causes objects to turn or rotate about an axis.

i) Torque
ii) Conditions of Equilibrium
iii) Stability, Balance and Center of Mass

Problems are easy to solve. All you have to do is identify the variables and the principle behind.

i) Problem Solving Techniques

Statics deals with the internal and external forces acting on rigid bodies that are at rest (zero velocity) or at a constant velocity.

i) Simple Machines
ii) Arches and Domes
iii) Muscles and Joints

A Stress is a force that causes a Strain (deformity). Elasticity is a measure of how much an object can deform under a given stress

i) Elasticity, Stress and Strain
ii) Fracture

Try balancing a rod or a meter scale on the tip of your finger. The scale balances only at a particular point. This point is referred to as its Center of Gravity.

i) Center of Gravity

Angular acceleration, also called rotational acceleration, is the rate of change of angular velocity.

i) Relationship between Torque and Angular Acceleration

Rotational Kinematics, Angular Momentum and Energy

Beyblades have sent many young hearts spinning. The beyblade displays rotational motion. This lesson explains how it can spin faster or slower.
The best examples of circular or rotational motion are seen in sport events. Ever noticed that when you make a sharp turn, you tend to lean into the turn. In a four-wheeler, it is fine but how does a person on a two-wheeler or on roller skates do the same without falling off? Learn all about it here.

i) Angular Position, Velocity and Acceleration
ii) Rolling Without Slipping
iii) Relationships between Linear and Rotational Quantities

Dynamics explains the effect of forces on motion. During races we often see cars or bikes veering off the track. What happens?

i) Rotational Inertia
ii) Rotational Kinetic Energy
iii) Moment of Inertia

Angular momentum is related to the rotation or revolution of matter. It measures the quantity of rotation with respect to the mass, rotation, motion and shape of matter.

i) Conservation of Angular Momentum
ii) Rotational Collisions

Rotation is a vector quantity as the direction keeps on changing. Try blowing on a pinwheel which is already in motion. What do you observe?

i) Angular Quantities as Vectors
ii) Gyroscopes

Solving problems becomes easy when you can break it down into smaller bits of information and solve it one by one.

1) Problem Solving Techniques

Energy, can neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred.

i) Conservation of Energy in Rotational Motion

Rotational Kinematics, Angular Momentum and Energy

Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. Everything that you see around you is called matter.
Matter occurs in different forms, which we refer to as the states or phases of matter.

i) Phases of Matter
ii) Fluids

We all know how ‘Liquid Nitrogen’ was used to destroy the lizard in a Spiderman movie. At normal temperature and pressure Nitrogen is a gas but at high temperature, it changes into a liquid. All matter can move from one state to another. It may require extreme temperatures or extreme pressure, but it can be done.

i) Change of states of matter
ii) Kinetic Theory of Matter

These are properties that describe a substance – its appearance, color, density, odor, compressibility etc. In short, they are properties that can be observed and tested. They do not change the chemical nature of matter.

i) Color
ii) Density
iii) Malleability
iv) Ductility
v) Elasticity
vi) Viscosity
vii) Electrical and Thermal Conductivity
viii) Magnetism
ix) Melting Point
x) Boiling Point
xi) Freezing Point

If you place a sewing needle gently on the surface of water, it will not sink down, even though it is heavier. Similarly, an ant can walk on the surface of water. These instances are possible because the surface of the water acts like a sheet. This is Surface Tension.

i) Surface Tension and Capillary Action
ii) Flow Rate and the Equation of Continuity
iii) Pressure
iv) Pascal’s Principle
v) Gauge Pressure, Atmospheric Pressure and Barometer
vi) The Hydraulic Press
vii) Pressure in the Body

Archimedes first noticed buoyancy, while lowering himself into a tub full of water. ‘Eureka’, he shouted as he ran down the street. We are all familiar with this story. Let’s learn about the Archimedes Principle.

i) Buoyancy and Archimedes’ Principle
ii) Complete Submersion and Flotation
iii) Submarines and Blimps

Solids tend to change shape and size when forces are applied to them.

i) Length, Shape, Volume
ii) Stress and Strain

Fluid dynamics deals with the flow or motion of fluids.

i) Biological and Medical Applications
ii) Flow Rate and Velocity
iii) Poiseuille’s Equation and Viscosity
iv) Blood Flow

The Bernoulli Principle states that the speed of an inviscid (with no viscosity) fluid increases with a decrease in the fluids potential energy.

i) Application of Bernoulli’s Equation- Pressure and Speed
ii) Torricelli’s Law
iii) Surface Tension

i) Turbulence
ii) Motion of an Object in a Viscous Fluid
iii) Molecular Transport Phenomena
iv) Pumps and the Heart

Temperature and Kinetic Theory

Coffee is hot and ice cream is cold. We can also say that coffee has a higher temperature than ice cream. The temperature of an object is the amount of heat in it.
An increase or decrease in the temperature of any substance means an increase or decrease in the speed of its molecular motion. The higher the temperature, the faster the movement of the molecules. The kinetic theory explains the movement of molecules.

i) Kinetic Theory of Gases
ii) Atomic Theory of Matter

The measure of heat in the body is referred to as its temperature. Different scales are used for the measurement of temperature across the globe.

i) Celsius Scale
ii) Fahrenheit Scale
iii) Absolute Zero
iv) Kelvin Scale

Heat causes a substance to expand or become larger. Ever wondered how a hot air balloon moves. It starts moving when the air inside the balloon gets heated up by a burner. Hot air is much lighter than cold air and thus the balloon moves up. When you want the balloon to come down, you open a hatchet which releases the hot air in the balloon.

i) Linear, Area and Volume Expansions
ii) Special Properties of Water

An ideal state of a gas in one where it is believed to be unaffected by real world conditions. Such a state helps to study better the behavior of gases with change in temperature or pressure.

i) Equations of State
ii) Isotherms
iii) Constant Pressure
iv) Problem Solving
v) Avogadro’s Number
vi) Absolute Temperature

All the particles in a solid, liquid and gas are the same. The only thing that changes is the amount of energy they have. The kinetic theory explains this difference.

i) Pressure and Temperature
ii) Maxwell-Boltzmann Distribution
iii) Internal Energy of an Ideal Gas

When an ice cube is warmed up, it melts into water. This transition is referred to as a phase change and it occurs when the object crosses a specific temperature called the critical temperature.

i) Phase Changes and Energy Conservation
ii) Humidity, Evaporation and Boiling

Heat and Heat Transfer

How do you know that something is hot? ‘When you touch it’ is the obvious answer. Yes, when you touch a hot object, the heat energy in the object moves to your hand and you feel it. Heat – moves? How? We’ll tell you.
What is the first thing your Mom does when you say that you have a fever? Yes, she feels your forehead. If it is very warm, then you have a fever. The ‘warmth’ is a sensation of the heat produced in your body. Let’s learn more about heat.

i) Heat and Internal Energy
ii) Heat as Energy Transfer
iii) Heat Capacity and Specific Heat
iv) Calorimetry
v) Specific Heat for an Ideal Gas at Constant Pressure and Volume
vi) Solving Problems in Calorimetry
vii) Phase Change and Latent Heat
viii) Phase Equilibrium and Evaporation

When you touch something hot, you feel the heat because you touch it. So here heat is transferred by direct contact. Ever watched water boiling? The boiling starts at the bottom of the vessel and moves throughout the liquid. So, heat is transferred through movement. There is yet another type of heat transfer through air or space. Stand near a fire and you feel the heat. The fire doesn’t touch you nor move towards you but you still feel the heat. Learn more about the transfer of heat.

i) Conduction
ii) Convection
iii) Radiation

‘It is much warmer now than in those days.’ Most grandpas say this when they speak of the yesteryears. It implies that the weather is becoming warmer. The effects of global warming are well depicted in the movie, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. The inevitable disaster is so enormous that it leaves you dumbstruck. What causes global warming? Let’s find out.

i) Greenhouse Gases
ii) Global Warming and its Effects

Thermodynamics

Warm summer days call for a cool refreshing drink. We use ice buckets to keep our drinks cool for longer periods. Ever wondered how that happens! This is where Thermodynamics comes in. Dynamics is motion and Thermos is heat. So how does heat move? Learn more about it here.
When you step into a pool on a warm sunny day, you feel the cool water initially. Slowly you reach a point of time where you feel neither warm nor cool. This is because your body and the pool are at the same temperature or thermal equilibrium. Here we learn all about thermal equilibrium and how it is maintained.

i) The Zeroth Law
i) The First Law
ii) Isobaric and Isochoric Processes
iii) Isothermic and Adiabatic Processes
v) The Second Law
vi) Heat Engines and the Carnot Cycle
vii) Heat Pumps and Refrigerators
viii) The Third Law
ix) Adiabatic Processes

Everybody enjoys campfires and popcorn. Both are explicit examples of entropy. As the solid wood in the campfire burns, it becomes ash, smoke and gases, which are more disordered than the solid fuel. The same thing happens with the corn as it pops. In other words, entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness of the system.

i) Entropy-a Statistical Interpretation
ii) Order to Disorder and Heat Death
iii) Entropy and Living  Systems
iv) Thermal Pollution

‘It is much warmer now than in those days.’ Most grandpas say this when they speak of the yesteryears. It implies that the weather is becoming warmer. The effects of global warming are well depicted in the movie, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. The inevitable disaster is so enormous that it leaves you dumbstruck. What causes global warming? Let’s find out.

i) Greenhouse Gases
ii) Global Warming and its Effects

Waves and Vibrations

Waves are everywhere in nature. There are sound waves, light waves, water waves, radio waves, earthquake waves and so many more.
It tells us how springs behave when stretched. The stronger the force, the longer the stretch.

i) Hooke’s Law of Elasticity
ii) Elastic Potential Energy

Everybody loves to sit on a swing or in a rocking chair, both of which show periodic motion. It is a motion which repeats in equal intervals of time.

i) Period and Frequency
ii) Period of a Mass on a Spring
iii) Simple Harmonic Motion and Uniform Circular Motion
iv) The Simple Pendulum and the Physical Pendulum
v) Simple Harmonic Oscillators
vi) Damped Harmonic Motion
vii) Driven Oscillators and Resonance

Simply put, a wave is a wiggle in space caused by a vibration or a disturbance.

i) Transverse and Longitudinal Waves
ii) Water Waves
iii) Wavelength, Frequency and Energy Transportation

All waves behave in certain characteristic ways. When watching water waves at the beach, you find that they slow down near the shore, splash around rocks and show different patterns of movement.

i) Reflection and Transmission
ii) Superposition and Interference
iii) Standing Waves, Resonance and Harmonic Wave Functions
iv) Refraction and Diffraction
v) Energy, Intensity, Frequency and Amplitude

Many of the musical instruments are based on the wave motion of strings. The Guitar and the Violin are the most common examples.

i) The Speed of a Wave on a String
ii) Reflections

Electricity

Electricity lights up your room when you flip the switch. It is a form of energy which we use to power machines and electrical devices.
Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two types of electric charges: positive and negative.

i) Electric Charge in the Atom
ii) Properties of Electric Charges
iii) Polarization
iv) Static Electricity and Conservation of Charge
v) Conductors and Insulators
vi) The Millikan Oil drop Experiment
vii) Electrostatic Shielding
viii) Induced Charge

When you rub a balloon on your hair and place it against a wall, the balloon sticks to it. Want to know why? Learn about Coulomb’s law.

i) Superposition of Forces
ii) Spherical Distribution of Charges
iii) Solving Problems with Vectors and Coulomb’s Law

An electric field describes how an electric charge affects the region around it.

i) Electric Field from a Point Charge
ii) Superposition of Fields
iii) Electric Field Lines: Multiple Charges
iv) Parallel Plate Capacitor
v) Electric Fields and Conductors
vi) Conductors and Fields in Static Equilibrium
vii) Electric Flux
viii) Gauss Law

Electrostatics can be seen all around us in different gadgets that we use. Learn about some of them here.

i) Photocopy Machines and Printers
ii) Van der Graff Generators

Electric Potential and Electric Field

Here we study about the energy possessed by a charge based on its position with respect to another charge it interacts with.
The field around an electric charge which determines its peculiar behaviour in the world of charges is called the Electric Field. See here the relationship between an Electric Potential and Electric Field.

i) Relation between Electric Potential and Field
ii) Electric Potential Energy and Potential Difference
iii) Electric Field and Changing Electric Potential
iv) Potentials and Charged Conductors
v) Uniform Electric Field
vi) The Electron-Volt
vii) Dipole Moments
viii) Ideal Conductors
ix) Equipotential Lines
x) Electric Potential due to a Point Charge
xi) Superposition of Electric Potential

A device used to store electric charge, consisting of one or more pairs of conductors separated by an insulator.

i) Capacitance
ii) Capacitors with Dielectrics
iii) Parallel Plate Capacitor
iv) Combinations of Capacitors: Series and Parallel
v) Dielectrics and their Breakdown

The principle of the capacitor is made use of in many of our everyday gadgets. Here are a few.

i) Cathode Ray Tube
ii) TV and Computer Monitor
iii) Oscilloscope

Current Electricity

In this unit, we will explore the reasons why charge flows through wires of electric circuits and the variables that affect the rate at which it flows.
It is nothing but the flow of electrons. How do they flow? What causes them to start or stop moving?

i) The  Battery
ii)  Current and Voltage Measurements in Circuits
ii) Drift Speed – A Microscopic View

Resistance is the stopping force that prevents the flow of electrons.

i) Ohm’s Law
ii) Temperature and Superconductivity
iii) Resistance and Resistivity
iv) Dependence of Resistance on Temperature
v) Energy Usage

An electric circuit is a path in which electrons from a voltage or current source flow. To put it simply, Electric Current flows in a closed path called an Electric Circuit.

i) Different Types of Current
ii) Sources of EMF

Electrical AC (alternating current) occurs when charge carriers in a conductor or semiconductor periodically reverse their direction of movement.

i) Phasors
ii) Root Mean Square Values
iii) Safety Precautions in Households

Resistors do not occur in isolation. They are almost always part of a larger circuit, and frequently that larger circuit contains many resistors. It is often the case that resistors occur in combinations.

i) Resistors in Series
ii) Resistors in Parallel
iii) Combination Circuits
iv) Charging a Battery: EMFs in Series and Parallel
v) EMF and Terminal Voltage

These are a pair of rules typically used to analyze DC circuits.

i) Introduction and Importance
ii)The Junction Rule
iii)The Loop Rule
iv)Applications

A Voltmeter is used to measure the voltage and an Ammeter is used to measure the electric current in a circuit.

i)Voltmeters and Ammeters
ii) Null Measurements

An RC circuit is one where you have a capacitor and resistor in the same circuit.

i) Resistors and Capacitors in Series
ii) Impedance
iii) Phase Angle and Power Factor

Can you imagine a world without electricity? Let us look at the applications and hazards of electricity in today’s world.

i) Humans and Electric Hazards
ii) Nerve Conduction and Electrocardiograms
iii) The Pacemaker

Magnetism

Magnetism is a force of attraction or repulsion between materials that act at a distance (through a magnetic field), and is due to the movement of electrons. Some objects are inherently magnetic and some acquires magnetism.
The field around a magnet which causes attraction or repulsion is called a Magnetic Field.

i) Electric Current and Magnetic Fields
ii) Permanent Magnets
iii) Magnetic Field Lines
iv) Geomagnetism
i) Ferro magnets
ii)Electromagnets

What happens when a magnetic force is applied on a moving electric charge.

i) Magnitude of the Magnetic Force
ii) The Right Hand Rule

This time let’s move a charged particle in a magnetic field and see what happens.

i) Electric vs. Magnetic Forces
ii) Constant Velocity Produces a Straight Line
iii) Circular Motion
iv) Helical Motion
v) Examples and Applications
vi) The Hall Effect
vii) Magnetic Force on a Current Carrying Conductor
viii) Torque on a Current Loop: Rectangular and General
ix) Ampere’s Law: Magnetic Field due to a Long Straight Wire
x) Magnetic Force between Two Parallel Conductors

Let’s look at some of the applications of magnetism that we see around us.

i) Mass Spectrometer
ii) Ferromagnetism
iii) Paramagnetism and Diamagnetism
iv) Solenoids, Current Loops and Electromagnets

Electrodynamics

It is the branch of Mechanics which deals with the interaction of Electric current with  Magnetic Fields.
It tells us how a Magnetic Field interacts with an Electric Circuit.

i) Induced EMF and Magnetic Flux
ii) Faraday’s Law of Induction and Lenz Law
iii) Motional EMF
iv) Back EMF, Eddy Currents and Magnetic Dumping
v) Changing Magnetic Flux Produces an Electric Field
vi) Electric Generators
vii) Electric Motors
viii)Inductance
ix) A Quantitative Interpretation of Motional EMF
x) Mechanical Work and Electrical Energy
xi) Energy in a Magnetic Field
xii) Transformers

‘AC’ reminds us of the air cooler/conditioner. This however is a different AC. Here it stands for Alternating Current, in which the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction.

i) Inductance
ii) RL Circuits
iii) RLC Series Circuits and Phasor Diagram
iv) Resistors in AC Circuits
v) Capacitors in AC Circuits
vi) Inductors in AC Circuits
vii) Resonance in RLC Circuits
viii) Power

Induction is the ability of a magnetised/electrically charged object to induce magnetic or electric charge in another object without touching it. This capability has widely been made use of in different appliances.

i) Sound Systems, Computer Memory, Seismograph, GFCI
ii) Antennae

Maxwell was an English Scientist, who proposed that magnetic fields and electric fields can couple together to form electromagnetic waves and that neither will go anywhere by themselves. Hertz, a German physicist found a way to make electric and magnetic fields to detach themselves from wires and go Enroll Now as Maxwell’s waves.

i) Energy Stored in a Magnetic Field
ii)Maxwell’s Predictions and Hertz Confirmation

Electromagnetic Waves

We have had our X-rays taken, we listen to the radio and we use the microwave oven. Any idea what’s common here? X rays, Radio waves and Microwaves are all Electromagnetic waves. They are the same as Visible Light and do not require a medium to travel.
The Electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all types of electromagnetic waves/radiation.

i)Radio Waves
ii) Microwaves
iii) Infrared Waves
iv) Visible Light
v) Ultraviolet Light
vi) X-Rays
vii) Gamma Rays

Although they differ in wavelength/frequency, EM waves have a number of common properties.

i) Maxwell’s Equations
ii) The Production of Electromagnetic Waves
iii) Energy and Momentum
iv) The Speed of Light
v) The Doppler Effect
vi) Momentum Transfer and Radiation Pressure Atom

EM waves are all around us. They are used in radios, TV, telephone, wireless signals, medical radiology etc.

i) Wireless Communication
ii) EM in the Medical World
iii) Media

Optics

It is the branch of Physics which studies Light. What is the first thing that you do when you walk into a room? Yes, reach for the light switch. All through the day, we have the great big light shining bright for us but we take it for granted. We think about ‘light’ only when the big light disappears. Light is not just the ‘white’ light that we see. It is actually composed of 7 different colours, the ‘VIBGYOR’ or simply put, the rainbow colors.
Is Light a wave or a stream of particles? At times it behaves like a wave and at times like a particle. Light was first believed to be a wave but scientists were disappointed when it did not behave exactly like a wave. We read about that story in Quantum Physics. For the time being, let’s consider light as a wave.

i) Properties of Light as a Wave
ii) Electromagnetic Spectrum

Stand in front of a mirror. You see yourself in it. This is Reflection. Place a coin in a jar of water. It sinks to the bottom. Its position seems nearer than it really is. We call it Refraction. And finally, who hasn’t seen a rainbow, which is due to Dispersion? Learn more.

i) The Law of Reflection and its Consequences
ii) The Law of Refraction: Snell’s Law and the Index  of Refraction
iii) Total Internal Reflection and Fiber Optics
iv) Total Polarization
v) Dispersion : Rainbows and Prisms

A lens is an optical element which converges or diverges light.

i) Thin Lenses and Ray Tracing
ii) The Thin Lens Equation and Magnification
iii) Combination of Lenses
iv) The Lens makers Equation
v) Refraction Through Lenses

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Remember the story? A mirror shows us an image of ourselves, a reflection. Let’s find out how this is possible.

i) Image Reflection by a Plane Mirror
ii) Image Formation by Spherical Mirrors: Reflection and Sign Conventions

Why can’t you see in the dark? Your answer would be, we see with the help of light. Well there’s more to it. Let’s find out.

i) The Human Eye
ii) Color Vision
iii) Resolution of the Human Eye
iv) Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Vision Correction

‘The naked eye’, is a phrase we often come across in Science. It reminds us that the human eye has its limitations. So to help us out, we have different Optical Instruments.

i) The Magnifying Glass
ii) The Camera
iii) The Compound Microscope
iv) The Telescope
v) X-Ray Diffraction, X-Ray Imaging and CT Scans
vi) Special Microscopes and Contrast
vii) Limits of Resolution and Circular Apertures
viii) Aberrations

The concept of Superposition describes the overlapping of waves. Interference occurs when two waves superpose to form a new wave of greater or lower amplitude.

i) Conditions for Wave  Interference
ii) Air Wedge
iii) Newton’s Rings

From Microscopes to CDs and DVDs, wave optics is everywhere and we’re here to tell you how.

i) Enhancement of Microscopy
ii) The Spectrometer
iii) The Michelson Interferometer
iv) LCDs
v) Using Interference to Read CDs and DVDs

Atomic Physics

It is nothing but the Physics of the atom and the sub atomic particles, especially the electron.
So, what is an atom? Every Science student has an answer to that. Yes, it is the smallest particle of matter that has the properties of a chemical element.

i) The Parts of the Atom
ii) Early Models of the Atom
iii) The Thomson Model
iv) The Rutherford Model
v) The Bohr Model
vi) Hydrogen Spectra
vii) X-Ray Spectra
viii) The Compton Effect
ix) Multielectron Atoms
x) Periodic Table
xi) Electron Configurations

Atomic Physics has a lot of applications in the modern world. Electron microscopes and lasers, based on the emission of electron beams are the most important ones.

i) Electron Microscopes
ii) Lasers

Spatial Relativity

Suppose I have a cup and a saucer in front of me. To me the cup is to the left of the saucer but to a person sitting opposite me the cup is to the right of the saucer. On the other hand, if the cup is filled with coffee, all observers will agree to it, regardless of where they sit.
It is all about what is relative and what is absolute about time, space and motion.

i) Galilean-Newtonian Relativity
ii) Einstein’s Postulates
iii) The Speed of Light
iv) Consequences of Special Relativity
v) Relativistic Quantities
vi) Matter and Antimatter
vii) Shifting the Paradigm of Physics
viii) Four-Dimensional Space-Time
ix) The Relativistic Universe

Quantum Physics

A quantum (plural: quanta) is the smallest amount of any physical matter capable of interaction. Quantum Physics describes physical activities at the quantum level. In simple terms a ‘quantum’ is a ‘packet’. Light was earlier believed to be a kind of wave which could travel through media like air, water etc. and even bend round corners. But if that was the case then the sun’s rays were strong enough to roast the whole universe. So scientists came to the conclusion that light was emitted from the source in packets called quanta. Whew! Lucky us!!
Quantum Mechanics is another name given to Quantum Physics. It explains the behavior of matter and energy at the atomic and sub atomic levels.

i) The Photoelectric Effect
ii) Photon Energies of the EM Spectrum
iii) Energy, Mass and Momentum of a Photon
iv) Implications of Quantum Mechanics
v) Particle-Wave Duality
vi) The de Broglie Hypothesis and the Wave Nature of Matter
vii) The Wave Function
viii) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
ix) Philosophical Implications

Some years ago, a person having a cataract block his vision, had to undergo surgery followed by post surgery care. Now it’s a lot simpler, thanks to the Laser. This is just one example of Quantum Mechanics. There is more to follow.

i) Fluorescence and Phosphorescence
ii) Lasers
iii) Holography
iv) Quantum-Mechanical View of Atoms
v) Planck’s Quantum Hypothesis and Black Body Radiation

Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity

Radioactivity has nothing to do with using a radio.The word ‘Nuclear’, on the other hand, brings about a feeling of fear. It reminds us of the nuclear bomb. So, how are they connected? Move on to the next level and you will find out.
The nucleus is the central dense part the atom that bears most of its mass. It holds the neutrally charged Neutrons and the positively charged Protons.

i) Nuclear Size and Density
ii) Nuclear Stability
iii) Binding Energy and Nuclear Forces

When the nucleus in an atom becomes unstable, it starts emitting energy and sub atomic particles. This phenomenon is referred to as radioactivity or radioactive decay.

i) Natural Radioactivity
ii) Radiation Detection
iii) Radioactive Decay Series- Alpha, Beta and Gamma
iv) Half-Life and Rate of Decay- Carbon-14 Dating
v) Calculations Involving Half-life and Decay Rates
vi) Quantum Tunnelling
vii) Conservation of Nucleon Number and Other Laws

The power of the nucleus is immense. This was proved by the destruction caused as a result of nuclear bombings. If used productively and beneficially, it can prove very helpful. Come, let’s look for more examples.

i) Medical Imaging and Diagnostics
ii) Dosimetry
iii) Biological and Therapeutic Effects of Radiation
iv) Radiation from Food
v) Tracers
vi) Nuclear Fusion
vii) Nuclear Fission in Reactors
viii) Emission Topography
ix) Nuclear Weapons
x) NMR and MRIs

Astronomy

It is the branch of Science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.
The Sun, Earth and Moon working together as a system make up the solar family.

i) Satellites
ii) Night and Day
iii) Change of Seasons
iv) Formation of Moon
v) Phases of Moon
vi) Solar Eclipse
vii) Lunar Eclipse

Most of the planets in our solar system have their own satellites. Here we learn about different planets, their characteristics and moons.

i) The Inner Planets and their Moons
ii) Outer Planets and their Moons
iii)Dwarf Planets

‘Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.’ Stars are the shiniest celestial bodies that make the night sky so beautiful. Here we discuss the secrets behind star formation and its composition.

i) Introduction
ii) Types of Stars
iii) Distance Between Stars
iv) Star Formation
v) Nebula and Gravity
vi) Protostars
vii) Composition of Stars
viii) Continuous Spectrum
ix) Emission Spectrum
x) Identifying Elements in a Star

If you watch a star for a while, it would seem as though it is changing its color. Discuss how the color of a star depends on its temperature.

i) Production of Light in the Star
ii) Nuclear Fusion
iii) Relationship Between Color and Temperature
iv) Brightness of the Star
v) Brightness and Distance
vi) Apparent Magnitude
vii) Absolute Magnitude

Are there different kinds of stars? Look at the night sky and you can find stars of different sizes, even different colors. But, are they really different? Investigate how we could classify stars.

i) H-R Diagram

Stars are said to have a life span. So are stars born and do they die? Learn how the life of a star ends.

i) Life Cycle of Low Mass Stars
ii) Red Giant
iii) White Dwarf
iv) Life Cycle of High Mass Stars
v) Supernova
vi) Neutron Stars
vii) Black holes

We’ve heard how stars gather to form specific patterns in space. What brings them together? Gravitational attraction can cause billions of stars to group together into galaxies.

i)Star Clusters in Galaxies
ii) Types of Galaxies
iii) The Milky Way
iv) Distance Between Galaxies
v) Local Group
vi) Super clusters

How was the universe created? Learn the theories related to the evolution of the universe.

i)Big Bang Theory
ii) Formation of Galaxies
iii) Dark Matter and Energy

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