Stream lines on this simulation of a supernova show the flow of matter behind the shock wave giving clues as to the origin of pulsars
Theoretical astrophysicists use a wide variety of tools which include analytical models (for example, boltropes to approximate the behaviors of a star) and computationalnumerical simulations. Each has some advantages. Analytical models of a process are generally better for giving insight into the heart of what is going on. Numerical models can reveal the existence of phenomena and effects that would otherwise not be seen.
Theorists in astrophysics endeavor to create theoretical models and figure out the observational consequences of those models. This helps allow observers to look for data that can refute a model or help in choosing between several alternate or conflicting models.
Theorists also try to generate or modify models to take into account new data. In the case of an inconsistency, the general tendency is to try to make minimal modifications to the model to fit the data. In some cases, a large amount of inconsistent data over time may lead to total abandonment of a model.
Topics studied by theoretical astrophysicists include: stellar dynamics and evolution; galaxy formation and evolution; magnetohydrodynamics; large-scale structure of matter in the universe; origin of cosmic rays; general relativity and physical cosmology, including string cosmology and astroparticle physics. Astrophysical relativity serves as a tool to gauge the properties of large scale structures for which gravitation plays a significant role in physical phenomena investigated and as the basis for black hole (astro)physics and the study of gravitational waves.
Some widely accepted and studied theories and models in astrophysics, now included in the Lambda-CDM model, are the Big Bang, cosmic inflation, dark matter, dark energy and fundamental theories of physics. Wormholes are examples of hypotheses which are yet to be proven (or disproven).
Measurement is the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event, which can be compared with other objects or events. The scope and application of a measurement is dependent on the context and discipline. In the natural sciences and engineering, measurements do not apply to nominal properties of objects or events, which is consistent with the guidelines of the International vocabulary of metrology published by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. However, in other fields such asstatistics as well as the social and behavioral sciences, measurements can have multiple levels, which would include nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales.
Measurement is a cornerstone of trade, science, technology, and quantitative research in many disciplines. Historically, many measurement systems existed for the varied fields of human existence to facilitate comparisons in these fields. Often these were achieved by local agreements between trading partners or collaborators. Since the 18th century, developments progressed towards unifying, widely accepted standards that resulted in the modern International System of Units (SI). This system reduces all physical measurements to a mathematical combination of seven base units. The science of measurement is pursued in the field of metrology.
1.2 Physical quantities
Most physical quantities include aunit, but not all – some are dimensionless. Neither the name of a physical quantity, nor the symbol used to denote it, implies a particular choice of unit, thoughSIunitsare usually preferred and assumed today due to their ease of use and all-round applicability. For example, a quantity of mass might be represented by the symbolm, and could be expressed in the unitskilograms(kg),pounds(lb), ordaltons(Da).
The notion ofphysical dimensionof a physical quantity was introduced byJoseph Fourierin 1822.By convention, physical quantities are organized in a dimensional system built upon base quantities, each of which is regarded as having its own dimension. 2.Mechanics
Kinematicsis the branch ofclassical mechanicswhich describes themotionof points (alternatively "particles"), bodies (objects), and systems of bodies without consideration of the masses of those objects nor the forces that may have caused the motion.Kinematics as a field of study is often referred to as the "geometry of motion" and as such may be seen as a branch of mathematics.Kinematics begins with a description of the geometry of the system and the initial conditions of known values of the position, velocity and or acceleration of various points that are a part of the system, then from geometrical arguments it can determine the position, the velocity and the acceleration of any part of the system. The study of the influence of forces acting on masses falls within the purview ofkinetics. For further details, seeanalytical dynamics. 2.2 Dynamics
Dynamicsis abranchofapplied mathematics(specificallyclassical mechanics) concerned with the study offorcesandtorquesand their effect onmotion, as opposed tokinematics, which studies the motion of objects without reference to its causes.Isaac Newtondefined the fundamentalphysical lawswhich govern dynamics in physics, especially hissecond law of motion.
Generally speaking, researchers involved in dynamics study how a physical system might develop or alter over time and study the causes of those changes. In addition, Newton established the fundamental physical laws which govern dynamics in physics. By studying his system of mechanics, dynamics can be understood. In particular, dynamics is mostly related to Newton's second law of motion. However, all three laws of motion are taken into account because these are interrelated in any given observation or experiment
Conservation laws are fundamental to our understanding of the physical world, in that they describe which processes can or cannot occur in nature. For example, the conservation law of energy states that the total quantity of energy in an isolated system does not change, though it may change form. In general, the total quantity of the property governed by that law remains unchanged during physical processes. With respect to classical physics, conservation laws include conservation of energy, mass (or matter), linear momentum, angular momentum, and electric charge. With respect to particle physics, particles cannot be created or destroyed except in pairs, where one is ordinary and the other is an antiparticle. With respect to symmetries and invariance principles, three special conservation laws have been described, associated with inversion or reversal of space, time, and charge.
Conservation laws are considered to be fundamental laws of nature, with broad application in physics, as well as in other fields such as chemistry, biology, geology, and engineering.
Most conservation laws are exact, or absolute, in the sense that they apply to all possible processes. Some conservation laws are partial, in that they hold for some processes but not for others.
One particularly important result concerning conservation laws is Noether's theorem, which states that there is a one-to-one correspondence between each one of them and a differentiable symmetry in the system. For example, the conservation of energy follows from the time-invariance of physical systems, and the fact that physical systems behave the same regardless of how they are oriented in space gives rise to the conservation of angular momentum.
Oscillation and Wave
Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states. The term vibration is precisely used to describe mechanical oscillation. Familiar examples of oscillation include a swingingpendulum and alternating current power.
Oscillations occur not only in mechanical systems but also in dynamic systems in virtually every area of science: for example the beating human heart, business cycles in economics, predator–prey population cycles in ecology, geothermal geysers in geology, vibrating strings in musical instruments, periodic firing of nerve cells in the brain, and the periodic swelling of Cepheid variable stars in astronomy.
The simplest mechanical oscillating system is a weight attached to a linearspring subject to only weight and tension. Such a system may be approximated on an air table or ice surface. The system is in an equilibrium state when the spring is static. If the system is displaced from the equilibrium, there is a net restoring force on the mass, tending to bring it back to equilibrium. However, in moving the mass back to the equilibrium position, it has acquired momentum which keeps it moving beyond that position, establishing a new restoring force in the opposite sense. If a constant force such as gravity is added to the system, the point of equilibrium is shifted. The time taken for an oscillation to occur is often referred to as the oscillatory period.
Systems where the restoring force on a body is directly proportional to its displacement, such as the dynamics of the spring-mass system, are described mathematically by thesimple harmonic oscillator and the regular periodic motion is known as simple harmonic motion. In the spring-mass system, oscillations occur because, at the static equilibrium displacement, the mass has kinetic energy which is converted into potential energy stored in the spring at the extremes of its path. The spring-mass system illustrates some common features of oscillation, namely the existence of an equilibrium and the presence of a restoring force which grows stronger the further the system deviates from equilibrium.
In physics, a wave is an oscillation accompanied by a transfer of energy that travels through medium (space or mass). Frequency refers to the addition of time. Wave motiontransfers energy from one point to another, which displace particles of the transmission medium — that is, with little or no associated mass transport. Waves consist, instead, ofoscillations or vibrations (of a physical quantity), around almost fixed locations.
There are two main types of waves. Mechanical waves propagate through a medium, and the substance of this medium is deformed. The deformation reverses itself owing torestoring forces resulting from its deformation. For example, sound waves propagate via air molecules colliding with their neighbors. When air molecules collide, they also bounce away from each other (a restoring force). This keeps the molecules from continuing to travel in the direction of the wave.
The second main type of wave, electromagnetic waves, do not require a medium. Instead, they consist of periodic oscillations of electrical and magnetic fields originally generated by charged particles, and can therefore travel through a vacuum. These types of waves vary in wavelength, and include radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light,ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, and gamma rays.
Waves are described by a wave equation which sets out how the disturbance proceeds over time. The mathematical form of this equation varies depending on the type of wave. Further, the behavior of particles in quantum mechanics are described by waves. In addition, gravitational waves also travel through space, which are a result of a vibration or movement in gravitational fields.
A wave can be transverse or longitudinal. Transverse waves occur when a disturbance creates oscillations that are perpendicular to the propagation of energy transfer. Longitudinal waves occur when the oscillations are parallel to the direction of energy propagation. While mechanical waves can be both transverse and longitudinal, all electromagnetic waves are transverse in free space.
3.1 Molecular physics
Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecules, the chemical bonds between atoms as well as the molecular dynamics. Its most important experimental techniques are the various types of spectroscopy; scattering is also used. The field is closely related to atomic physics and overlaps greatly with theoretical chemistry, physical chemistry and chemical physics.
Additionally to the electronic excitation states which are known from atoms, molecules are able to rotate and to vibrate. These rotations and vibrations are quantized, there are discrete energy levels. The smallest energy differences exist between different rotational states, therefore pure rotational spectra are in the far infrared region (about 30 - 150 µmwavelength) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Vibrational spectra are in the near infrared (about 1 - 5 µm) and spectra resulting from electronic transitions are mostly in the visible and ultraviolet regions. From measuring rotational and vibrational spectra properties of molecules like the distance between the nuclei can be calculated.
One important aspect of molecular physics is that the essential atomic orbital theory in the field of atomic physics expands to the molecular orbital theory.
Molecular modellingencompasses all theoretical methods and computational techniques used tomodelor mimic the behaviour ofmolecules. The techniques are used in the fields ofcomputational chemistry,drug design,computational biologyandmaterials sciencefor studying molecular systems ranging from small chemical systems to large biological molecules and material assemblies. The simplest calculations can be performed by hand, but inevitably computers are required to perform molecular modelling of any reasonably sized system. The common feature of molecular modelling techniques is the atomistic level description of the molecular systems. This may include treating atoms as the smallest individual unit (theMolecular mechanicsapproach), or explicitly modeling electrons of each atom (thequantum chemistryapproach).