Physics Research Paper Topics

Physics Research Paper TopicsSee our list of physics research paper topics. Physics is the science that deals with matter and energy and with the interaction between them. Perhaps you would like to determine how best to aim a rifle in order to hit a target with a bullet. Or you want to know how to build a ship out of steel and make sure that it will float. Or you plan to design a house that can be heated just with sunlight. Physics can be used in answering any of these questions.

Physics Research Paper Topics

  1. Acceleration
  2. Acoustics
  3. Aerodynamics
  4. Antiparticle
  5. Astrophysics
  6. Atom
  7. Atomic mass
  8. Atomic theory
  9. Ballistics
  10. Battery
  11. Biophysics
  12. Buoyancy
  13. Calorie
  14. Cathode
  15. Cathode-ray tube
  16. Celestial mechanics
  17. Cell, electrochemical
  18. Chaos theory
  19. Color
  20. Combustion
  21. Conservation laws
  22. Coulomb
  23. Cryogenics
  24. Dating techniques
  25. Density
  26. Diffraction
  27. Diode
  28. Doppler effect
  29. Echolocation
  30. Elasticity
  31. Electrical conductivity
  32. Electric arc
  33. Electric current
  34. Electricity
  35. Electric motor
  36. Electrolysis
  37. Electromagnetic field
  38. Electromagnetic induction
  39. Electromagnetic spectrum
  40. Electromagnetism
  41. Electron
  42. Electronics
  43. Energy
  44. Evaporation
  45. Expansion, thermal
  46. Fiber optics
  47. Fluid dynamics
  48. Fluorescent light
  49. Frequency
  50. Friction
  51. Gases, liquefaction of
  52. Gases, properties of
  53. Generator
  54. Gravity and gravitation
  55. Gyroscope
  56. Half-life
  57. Heat
  58. Hologram and holography
  59. Incandescent light
  60. Integrated circuit
  61. Interference
  62. Interferometry
  63. Ionization
  64. Isotope
  65. Laser
  66. Laws of motion
  67. LED (light-emitting diode)
  68. Lens
  69. Light
  70. Luminescence
  71. Magnetic recording
  72. Magnetism
  73. Mass
  74. Mass spectrometry
  75. Matter, states of
  76. Microwave communication
  77. Molecule
  78. Momentum
  79. Nuclear fission
  80. Nuclear fusion
  81. Nuclear medicine
  82. Nuclear power
  83. Nuclear weapons
  84. Particle accelerators
  85. Periodic function
  86. Photochemistry
  87. Photoelectric effect
  88. Pressure
  89. Quantum mechanics
  90. Radar
  91. Radiation
  92. Radiation exposure
  93. Radio
  94. Radioactive tracers
  95. Radioactivity
  96. Radiology
  97. Relativity theory
  98. Sonar
  99. Spectroscopy
  100. Spectrum
  101. Subatomic particles
  102. Superconductor
  103. Telegraph
  104. Telephone
  105. Television
  106. Temperature
  107. Thermal expansion
  108. Thermodynamics
  109. Time
  110. Transformer
  111. Transistor
  112. Tunneling
  113. Ultrasonics
  114. Vacuum
  115. Vacuum tube
  116. Video recording
  117. Virtual reality
  118. Volume
  119. Wave motion
  120. X-ray

Physics is one of the oldest of the sciences. It is usually said to have begun with the work of Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) in the first half of the seventeenth century. Galileo laid down a number of basic rules as to how information about the natural world should be collected. For example, the only way to obtain certain knowledge about the natural world, he said, is to carry out controlled observations (experiments) that will lead to measurable quantities. The fact that physics today is based on careful experimentation, measurements, and systems of mathematical analysis reflects the basic teachings of Galileo.

Classical and Modern Physics

The field of physics is commonly subdivided into two large categories: classical and modern physics. The dividing line between these two subdivisions can be drawn in the early 1900s. During that period, a number of revolutionary new concepts about the nature of matter were proposed. Included among these concepts were Einstein’s theories of general and special relativity, Planck’s concept of the quantum, Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy, and the concept of the equivalence of matter and energy.

In general, classical physics can be said to deal with topics on the macroscopic scale, that is on a scale that can be studied with the largely unaided five human senses. Modern physics, in contrast, concerns the nature and behavior of particles and energy at the submicroscopic level. The term submicroscopic refers to objects—such as atoms and electrons— that are too small to be seen even with the very best microscope. One of the interesting discoveries made in the early 1900s was that the laws of classical physics generally do not hold true at the submicroscopic level.

Perhaps the most startling discovery made during the first two decades of the twentieth century concerned causality. Causality refers to the belief in cause-and-effect; that is, classical physics taught that if A occurs, B is certain to follow. For example, if you know the charge and mass of an electron, you can calculate its position in an atom. This kind of cause-and-effect relationship was long regarded as one of the major pillars of physics.

What physicists learned in the early twentieth century is that nature is not really that predictable. One could no longer be certain that A would always cause B. Instead, physicists began talking about probability, the likelihood that A would cause B. In drawing pictures of atoms, for example, physicists could no longer talk about the path that electrons do take in atoms. Instead, they began to talk about the paths that electrons probably take (with a 95 percent or 90 percent or 80 percent probability).

Divisions of Physics

Like other fields of science, physics is commonly subdivided into a number of more specific fields of research. In classical physics, those fields include mechanics; thermodynamics; sound, light, and optics; and electricity and magnetism. In modern physics, some major subdivisions include atomic, nuclear, high-energy, and particle physics.

The classical divisions. Mechanics is the oldest field of physics. It is concerned with the description of motion and its causes. Many of the basic concepts of mechanics grew out of the work of English physicist Isaac Newton (1642–1727) in about 1687. Thermodynamics sprang from efforts to develop an efficient steam engine in the early 1800s. The field deals with the nature of heat and its connection with work.

Sound, optics, electricity, and magnetism are all divisions of physics in which the nature and movement of waves are important. The study of sound is also related to practical applications that can be made of this form of energy, as in radio communication and human speech. Similarly, optics deals not only with the reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, polarization, and other properties of light, but also with the ways in which these principles have practical applications in the design of tools and instruments such as telescopes and microscopes.

The study of electricity and magnetism focuses on the properties of particles at rest and on the properties of those particles in motion. Thus, the field of static electricity examines the forces that exist between charged particles at rest, while current electricity deals with the movement of electrical particles.

The modern divisions. In the area of modern physics, nuclear and atomic physics involve the study of the atomic nucleus and its parts, with special attention to changes that take place (such as nuclear decay) in the atom. Particle and high-energy physics, on the other hand, focus on the nature of the fundamental particles of which the natural world is made. In these two fields of research, very powerful, very expensive tools such as linear accelerators and synchrotrons (atom-smashers) are required to carry out the necessary research.

Interrelationship of Physics to Other Sciences

One trend in all fields of science over the past century has been to explore ways in which the five basic sciences (physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, and earth sciences) are related to each other. This trend has led to another group of specialized sciences in which the laws of physics are used to interpret phenomena in other fields. Astrophysics, for example, is a study of the composition of astronomical objects—such as stars—and the changes that they undergo. Physical chemistry and chemical physics, on the other hand, are fields of research that deal with the physical nature of chemical molecules. Biophysics, as another example, is concerned with the physical properties of molecules essential to living organisms.

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