10 Examples of Physics in Daily Life

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Physics, even though it gave us a hard in high school, is one of the fundamentals of science by which most of the processes are explained around us. Not only that but thanks to it most of the essential appliances that we use today are made possible. Another interesting fact about physics is that its subject range goes from gigantic planets to subatomic particles.

What is Physics?

The field of study that deals with the energy and motion of matter. These can either be studied separately or combined together. In a way, the ultimate goal of physics can be seen as uncovering the forces of the universe.

Everyday examples of Physics

1. Cooling of coffee: You wake up in the morning and are in desperate need of that caffeine boost. You make yourself a cup of joe and before drinking it you decide to use the washroom and place it on the cold table, but once you come back it’s gone cold and your day is ruined. But why? Well, the former can be explained by a field of physics called thermodynamics. Thermodynamics states that once a hot object comes in contact with a cold object, there will be a transfer of energy till they both reach an equal temperature.

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A steaming cup of coffee.

2. Moving forward: This is something that we don’t even think about as it is so natural to us but as we walk or run we move forward. Why don’t our bodies move back or just stay in one place? This is explained by Newton’s law of motion. As we place our feet on the ground unconsciously we are applying a backward pressure to the ground so that we can propel ourselves in front. As we are doing it, the ground exerts an equal amount of pressure forward onto our feet resulting in us moving forward. Only if it was this easy to move forward in life as well.

3. Falling while walking: Now we know how we are able to walk, but what makes us fall? Probably lack of observational skills and coordination. But according to physics, it happens because there is a lack of friction. Friction is basically the resistance force an object exerts onto another via tiny particles on the object. So once you are walking and there is a lack of friction, say due to rain, polished surface, or the classic banana peel, you lose your grip and start to slip resulting in falling down.

4. Hearing: The dreadful sound of an alarm clock that is produced every single morning that ends your beautiful dreams, breaks your sleep, and forces you to get up in the morning, but ever wondered how are we even able to hear it? This happens because the vibrating components of the clock disturb the air particles and produces a wave that travels to our ears and vibrates our eardrums resulting in us hearing the high-pitched sound.

5. Ballpoint pen: Ever tried to write upside down with a ballpoint pen? or use it after a while of not using it only to be shaking it endlessly? This is because the ballpoint pen works on the fundamentals of gravity. These are made with a tiny ball at the tip of the pen that moves as you glide your pen on the paper and there are tiny gaps in between the body of the pen and the ball from which ink flows down due to gravity and you are able to write. It gets clogged sometimes resulting in that psychotic fit to make the pen work.

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A close-up of a ballpoint pen.

6. Spectacles: As a spectacle user, spectacles are spectacular. Moving on from my ingenious pun, how do they even work? The thing about our eyes is that they are basically lenses with a screen behind them. Whatever we see is due to light entering our lenses and refracting onto the screen behind. Now once a person encounters a defect like nearsightedness or farsightedness, that image production is moved in front or backward from the screen respectively resulting in a blurry view. To correct these, either convex or concave lenses are used in glasses that adjust the light coming in to make the view appear normal.

7. Batteries: Living in the modern era we are constantly using electronics, whether it be a smartphone or a laptop. They all are powered by batteries and their work is amazing. The way it works is that each battery has a positive and a negative terminal and we know the current is basically the flow of electrons. So in the case of batteries, this electric charge is stored, and once needed it is connected to a device and the electrons move from the negative terminal providing the electricity and returning to the positive terminal.

8. Rainbows: Although there is no pot of gold at the end of it, rainbows sure are beautiful and fascinating. Sunlight is actually a white light and also white light is made up of all the colors. Rainbows occur when the sunlight is refracted and split into individual colors once it hit a certain angle of the raindrops.

9. Lurching while stopping: When you press the brake of your car fast, sure it stops but it also lurches you forward. Why is that so? This happens because of inertia. It is basically the unwillingness of an object to change its state from the state of rest or motion unless an external force is applied. So when you apply the brakes hard, your body is moving and wants to stay in motion even though the brakes have been applied, that’s the reason why you lurch forward. So make sure you put on your seatbelt.

10. Soda bottle cap: Ever wondered why soda and soft drink bottles have a slotted interior while any other bottle cap has a normal spiral pattern? It’s done to release carbonation of the drink before you completely remove the cap. If it was not done, your soda would be coming flying out of the bottle.

As you can see physics is around us, even though we ignore most of the processes. If it wasn’t for physics we would’ve never been able to understand them or even make most of them. Next time you use your smartphone, thanks the physics.





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