Definition of Physics

The word ‘’PHYSICS’’ originates from the Greek word, ‘’PHYSIS’’, which means nature and natural characteristics.

Physics as a body of scientific knowledge, deals with the study of events in the universe, both remote and immediate universe. In actual sense, physics deals with the behavior of matter as well as the interaction of matter and natural forces.

Physics is the study of matter in relation to energy.

The Importance of Physics

Physics is important for the following reasons:

  1. Physics is constantly striving to make sense of the universe. This is seen in the development of theories and new theories used for better understanding of the universe.
  2. When we study physics, we acquire the knowledge and skills to understand how and why natural things happen the way they do, and to make reliable predictions about their future occurrences. (e.g mirage, eclipse, earthquake, thunder,…)
  3. The knowledge of physics gives us a better understanding of our immediate and natural environment.
  4. The study of physics has enhanced the communication and the transportation world, thus, making the world a ‘’global village’’.
  5. Human health has been improved from the study of physics through the invention of modern medical equipment.


  1. What Greek word is physics derived from?
  2. Define physics.
  3. State five importance of physics.

Aspects/Careers in Physics

Physics has several applications on health, technology & engineering, agriculture and applied sciences. As a results, below are some of the aspects/careers related to physics.

A: In Health

We have:

  1. Human medicine and surgery
  2. Nursing & midwives
  3. Radiotherapy
  4. Pharmacology
  5. Physiology
  6. Anaesthesia
  7. Veterinary etc.

B: In Engineering

We have:

  1. Electrical engineering
  2. Electronic engineering
  3. Mechanical engineering
  4. Aeronautic engineering
  5. Petroleum engineering etc.

C: In Agriculture

We have:

  1. Agricultural engineering
  2. Agricultural production engineering
  3. Horticulture etc.

D: In Basic/Applied Sciences

We have:

  1. Geophysics
  2. Applied physics
  3. Biophysics
  4. Medical physics
  5. Space physics
  6. Astronomical physics
  7. Engineering physics, etc.


Mention any four (4) careers related to physics in:

  1. Health
  2. Basic science

Branches of Physics

The following are the branches of physics.

  1. Mechanics
  2. Heat
  3. Electricity
  4. Optics
  5. Sound
  6. Magnetism
  7. Atomic physics
  8. Nuclear physics

NOTE: No. 7 & 8 above had been combined and addressed with the current name, ‘’NUCLEAR PHYSICS’’, since the energy comes from the nucleus of the atom. The OLD NAME is ATOMIC PHYSICS.


  1. Develop a mnemonic for branches of physics.
  2. Mention the branches of physics.
  3. What is the recent name for atomic physics?
  4. What do you understand by the term, ‘Physics’?
  5. How has physics made the world, ‘a global village’?
  6. State five importance of physics.
  7. Mention five careers each related to physics in the following areas. i. Engineering ii. Health iii. Applied sciences
  8. Mention the branches of physics.

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