Teaching concepts concerning topics in Astrophysics and Quantum Physics
Reviewing the difference between Astrophysics and Quantum Physics
To teach concepts related to topics in Astrophysics and Quantum Physics, it’s important to let the students know about the difference between Astrophysics and Quantum Physics.
What is the difference between astrophysics and quantum physics?
Astrophysics is a branch of space science, where the laws of physics and chemistry are applied to elucidate the birth, life and death of galaxies, planets, stars, nebulae and other objects present in the vast universe. Thus, Astrophysics deals with the nature of the heavenly bodies, rather than their motions or positions in space.
On the other hand, Quantum Physics is related to understanding the properties of solids, nuclei, atoms, as well as subnuclear particles and light. Thus, one can call it deals with the ultra-small world of particles, energy and mass, where their nature, behavior, kinetics and other properties could differ radically from bulk state material that humans are typically accustomed to.
The word “quantum” stands for discreteness, or the presence of individual “lumps” rather than a continuum. According to Newtonian physics, all quantities are permitted to be continuous. For example, light can have any frequency and particles can have any momentum. However, a quantum is a distinct packet of charge, energy, or any other quantity. For example, one might say that quarks are quantized in units of e/3. Thus, another way of defining Quantum Physics is that it’s the study of matter at the molecular level where the atomic and Newtonian mechanics become insufficient.
Understanding the universe with Astrophysics and Quantum Physics
Despite the Astrophysics vs. Quantum Physics debate, understanding the universe requires the contribution of both these branches.
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Chalabi, Simone. “Astro Physics V. Quantum Physics.” Prezi, Updated May 10, 2015. https://prezi.com/tsrwmjaknwxc/astro-physics-v-quantum-physics/
MSU P-A. “What is quantum physics?” Accessed May 17, 2019. https://web.pa.msu.edu/courses/2000fall/phy232/lectures/quantum/quantum_def.html