Physics TWDK Physics doodle by Giles Meakin

Physics seeks to answer the question "Why?" - to describe all the things we see, as well as their motion, behaviour and interactions. The science covers the entire history and future of the universe, and all objects from the fundamental matter we’re made from to the structure of galaxies.

Physicists look for patterns by making observations of the natural world, and models are developed to describe and predict them. Instruments, observations and experiments are then used to test and refine these models. Physicists sometimes aim to describe new things, and other times to improve the accuracy of an existing model. Based on the approach taken, each branch of physics can be divided into two aspects: theoretical and experimental. A key goal is often to combine several models into one - the ultimate goal of physicists in this respect is to complete "the theory of everything", though some believe this to be impossible.

While Theoretical physicists use mathematics to first describe the observed behaviour and then to explain it, experimental physicists perform experiments to test their hypotheses. Scientists believe that no hypothesis can ever be proven, so experiments are instead designed to disprove one - and "failing" to disprove it strengthens our confidence in it. Once a hypothesis is supported by several different tests and becomes accepted, it gets called a "theory" - but experimental physicists will continue to try to find problems with it, so that the theorists can further improve their models.

We've published 17 articles and 33 specialist blog posts about physics so far, featuring 173 unanswered physics questions! But we're not done yet as we still have another 270 physics research areas in our database to write about, so come back soon!

Recent Physics News

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What Are Some Clues to the Climates of Exoplanets?
28th May, 2020
Researchers from the Carl Sagan Institute have created a new model for assessing the habitability of exoplanets that orbit different types of stars The post What Are Some Clues to the Climates of Exoplanets? appeared first on Universe Today.
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New Zealand sits on top of the remains of a giant ancient volcanic plume
27th May, 2020
Simon Lamb, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Timothy Stern, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Back in the 1970s, scientists came up with a revolutionary idea about how Earth’s deep interior works. They proposed it is slowly churning like a lava lamp, with buoyant blobs rising as plumes of hot mantle rock from near Earth’s core, where…
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A Massive Rotating Disc Discovered in the Early Universe
27th May, 2020
Astronomers have found an ancient rotating disk galaxy much earlier in the Universe than there should be. Time to re-write some text-books?
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The Universe’s Missing Matter Problem is Solved
27th May, 2020
Astronomers have used mysterious Fast Radio Bursts from distant galaxies to solve a lingering cosmological problem-- locating the Universe’s missing baryonic matter , long predicted to exist, but never before detected.

Our physics articles

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Image credit: ©Andrew (Flickr, attribution)
Plastics
What happens to plastic when it gets disposed of into the environment, and how might it affect us?
Image credit: ©Photo by Crisco 1492 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia
Volcanoes
Volcanic eruptions can be hugely devastating events, wiping out towns and villages in the wake of the magma flows or ash clouds.
Image credit: ©Via Wikipedia Commons GONDRAN Alexandre Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Particles
On scales too small to see are weird and wonderful particles. Their bizarre properties make up the world around us, yet we hardly know a thing about them!
Image credit: © ©John Fowler (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Extraterrestrial life
The search for alien life catches many people's imagination and has always been a very public branch of science. So with all this investigation, why has our search revealed nothing? Are we truly alone in the Universe?
Image credit: ©©Dapaan (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia
Shark migration and movement
Some sharks have daily routines, whilst many are crepuscular. Climate-driven migrations may explain apparent increases in shark sightings. Female bull sharks even ascent rivers to give birth – the only shark to tolerate fresh water.
Image credit: ©Wikimedia commons
Structure of the Earth
We still don't know a lot about what is right underneath our feet, let alone what’s lurking miles down.
Image credit: NASA
Gamma-ray bursts
Gamma-ray bursts are short, powerful blasts of gamma-ray radiation, which originate in deep space.
Image credit: Tero Vesalainen via pixabay
Dark Matter
Dark matter is material that does not emit or absorb light (so we cannot see it) but can affect the universe on large scales due to gravitational interactions.
Image credit: ©Brookhaven National Laboratory (CC BY 2.0)
Antimatter
The ultimate fuel of science fiction, antimatter annihilates normal matter on contact and releases immense amounts of energy in the process, making it a somewhat tricky substance to study in a lab.
Image credit: NASA/ WMAP Science Team
Cosmic Microwave Background
The Cosmic Microwave Background is a vast energy relic which fills every part of the Universe. We can detect it everywhere, but many questions lie unanswered.
Image credit: ©
The Big Bang
The Big Bang Theory describes what may have happened during the very early stages of our Universe’s life.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)
Jupiter
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It’s been observed since Babylonian times yet we know little about what goes on inside this giant red planet.
Image credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute
Saturn
The second of the four Jovian planets is known for its magnificent collection of rings; Saturn intrigues us with it’s mysterious nature.
Image credit:
Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is very successful at describing the way energy interacts with itself and matter - but every now and then a paradox will pop up, or someone will spot an event which no one has an explanation for yet.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Planetary systems
Learning about other planetary systems teaches us a lot about our own planet and could potentially lead us to finding extra-terrestrial life!
Image credit: NASA
Space Medicine
The effects of space travel on the human body are still being investigated. Until the risks are fully understood, humanity faces limits in the scope of their space exploration.
Image credit: ©Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Gravity
The Theory of Gravity describes one of the most famous laws of physics, but surprisingly there are still many Things We Don't Know.

Our latest physics blog posts

Our blog posts focus on a specialist topic.
Many are written by scientists about their ongoing research, others by the TWDK team.

TWDK red science flask
Categorising Things is “Evil”
Thursday 21st of May 2020
TWDK red science flask
Magnetic Monopoles and Geometry
Tuesday 1st of October 2019
TWDK red science flask
Mysterious Mo
Thursday 15th of November 2018
TWDK red science flask
Is there a ninth planet in our Solar System?
Thursday 22nd of September 2016
TWDK red science flask
The Search for the Graviton
Monday 15th of August 2016
TWDK red science flask
The Case of the Jumping Carbons
Saturday 18th of June 2016
More blog posts about physics...

Delve deeper into Physics

Can't find what you're looking for? Browse the branches of physics that interest you most.

TWDK magnifying glassAstronomy is one of the oldest subjects of study. It seeks to understand everything outside of our world and explain how it got there.

TWDK magnifying glassAtomic Physics is all about the interactions between matter (the stuff everything is made from) and more matter, or between matter and light.

TWDK magnifying glassBiophysics uses the principles of physics to study life at every level, from atoms and molecules, to cells, organisms and environments.

TWDK magnifying glassChemical Physics is the study of chemical processes in terms of the atoms and particles that make up a system.

TWDK magnifying glassClassical Physics deals with the physics of everyday things - from ice cubes to bicycles, or cups of tea. Things we take for granted, but often don't really understand.

TWDK magnifying glassElectromagnetism is the study of one of the four fundamental forces in nature - the electromagnetic force, which mediates interactions between charged particles.

TWDK magnifying glassGeophysics refers to the study of the physics of the Earth and its environment in space, including its gravitational and magnetic fields, and its atmosphere.

TWDK magnifying glassMaterials Science deals with the structure and properties of materials.

TWDK magnifying glassMedical Physics ranges from enhancing diagnostic imagery to developing new techniques and equipment with which to treat patients.

TWDK magnifying glassParticle Physics is the study of the smallest things in the universe and the forces that govern their behaviour.

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