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Intro to Physics Part 1: What is physics and how does it relate to me? What do I already know about physics? What is Physics? Physics is the science of matter, energy, space, and time. MATTER: It explains ordinary matter as combinations of particles (quarks and leptons), interacting through forces. ENERGY: It describes the many forms of energy—such as kinetic energy and electrical energy—and the way energy can change from one form to another. SPACE AND TIME: It describes the way objects move through space and time. How Does Physics Relate to Real Life? Physics is all around us. It is in the electric light you turn on in the morning; the bus you take to school; your wristwatch, cell phone, CD player, radio, and that big plasma TV set you got for Christmas. It makes the stars shine every night and the sun shine every day, and it makes a baseball soar into the stands for a home run. What Can You Do With Physics? There are many fields of physics: mechanics, electricity, heat, sound, light, atomic physics, nuclear physics, astronomy, etc. Physicists: Work for research laboratories, universities, private companies, and government agencies. Teach, do research, and develop new technologies. Do experiments on mountaintops, in mines, and in Earth’s orbit. Are good at solving problems: How does a mirror reflect light? What holds an atom together? How fast does a rocket have to go to escape from earth? How can a worldwide team share data in real time? (Solving this last problem led physicists to invent the World Wide Web.) Unit Layout: The Physics of Motion Physics Unit Position Distance Motion Uniform Motion Position-Time Graphs Displacement Velocity Non-Uniform Motion Velocity-Time Graphs Acceleration So What Do We Already Know About Motion? What are some forces that help or hinder motion… On the ground? In the air? Is it easier to make a turn your car on the road when it is dry, or when it is icy? Is it easier to move a heavy box across a tile floor or carpet? What falls faster: heavy objects or light ones? What happens to a ball when you throw it into the air? What forces act on it? So What Do We Already Know About Motion? Problem: Using the materials assigned, design a rotocopter that will fall the slowest to the floor. Analysis: Gravity is the force of attraction that causes objects to fall toward the center of the earth. Air resistance, or air friction, can slow down the acceleration of a falling object. The area “fronting the wind” affects the amount of air resistance a falling object encounters. So What Do We Already Know About Motion? In small groups, come up with a definition (on your own!) and examples for each of the following terms. You do not have to write: just discuss. Position Time Distance Displacement Speed Velocity Acceleration Physics: Important Unit Terms Position = describes an object’s location. Time = describes when an event occurs. Distance = the total length of a journey along every twist and turn of the path. Displacement = describes how much an object’s position has changed. Speed = how fast something is moving. Velocity = the speed and direction of motion. Acceleration = how much an object’s velocity changes in a certain time (speeding up, slowing down, changing direction) Scalar = a measurement that gives only magnitude (how much) Vector = a measurement that gives magnitude and direction.