Physics, Technology and Society: the basic NCERT Concept

In this article we will be discussing the interrelation between Physics, Technology and Society. We will also be discussing about the contributions of many scientists in the field of Physics. The knowledge shared in this article will be helpful for gaining general knowledge about Physics.

This article is in the continuation to my previous article Excitement and Scope of Physics: the basic NCERT Concept. So this is the 3rd article of NEPYK Series (A series deeply explaining NCERT concepts). In this article we will discuss about the Interconnection between Physics, Technology and Society.


Physics, technology and society are interconnected. Sometimes Physics gives rise to technology and at other times technology gives rise to the new concepts of Physics and its benefit directly goes to our society. Development of technology proposes practical advancements whereas development of Physics helps us in strengthening our understanding related to the world.

Examples of Interconnection between Technology and Physics

Let's first talk about how technology developed Physics.

Disciplines of Thermodynamics and Magnetism are originated from the already developed technology and for the requirements of advanced development in it. Field of Thermodynamics was originated basically for the improvement in efficiency of heat engines. But now it is much deeper in our conscience as it is related to the most basic phenomena of our daily life. People are aware about the basic magnetic phenomenon since ancient times but major progress in this field took place due to interconnection of Physics and technology.

Now, let's talk about the second part how Physics developed technology -
Though there are many examples of this, but for instance we talk about the development of wireless communication technology was followed by the discovery of basic laws of Electricity and Magnetism.
Sometimes it is not easy to forsee the application of Physics. As mentioned in NCERT book, Ernest Rutherford in 1933 dismissed the possibility of tapping energy from atoms but later in 1938, the phenomenon of neutron induced uranium fission was discovered by Hahn and Meitner that would serve as the basis of nuclear energy. Another example of this is silicon chip due to which computer revolution took place. Another contribution of Physics is in the field of Energy where alternative energy resources are needed for future as fossil fuels and other traditional fuels are getting diminished and Physics has done considerable progress in this field as we are now able to converse solar energy to electrical energy for our daily purposes and much more. Yet a lot is to be done. Invention of Steam engine has played a major role in industrial revolution which took place in 18th century and had a great impact on human course of civilisation.

Contribution of Physicists(fieldwise)


Bhaskaracharya/ BhaskarII :-Indian scientist who proposed the concept of instantaneous motion in 1150. His work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz. He was perhaps the first to tell about the gravitational laws and concepts of calculus. His book 'Siddhanta Shiromani' has  4 parts namely -Leelawati , Bijganit, Grahadhayayan and Goladhyay in which he has explained many facts about science. He was the disciple of Brahmagupta and proceeded on his work.

Galileo Galilei :-Italian scientist who posed the concept of acceleration. He discovered the law of inertia which was later known as the first law of Newton. He also contributed in the field of Astronomy. He also made his telescope in 1609, before this,  it was already invented in Holland. He has given a new turn in the method of applying Science. He also invented gaseous thermometer.

Isaac Newton:-Born in 1642 in England, coincidentally Galileo died in the same year. His major discoveries and inventions are- binomial theorem for non-integer powers, beginning of calculus,  universal law of gravitation, spectrum of white light etc and many inventions in the field of Optics. The names of his main books are The Principia Mathematica and Opticks. The principles Newton proposed was a turning point in the history of Science, one equation could explain falling apple on earth and motion of planets.

Johannes Kepler:- Scientist of German origin who posed the 3 laws of motion of planets on the basis of careful observations of Tycho Brahe and his assistants. Kepler was also one of his assistants. And he took 16 years of long time to approach those 3 laws. He was the first who told what happens when light enters into telescope. And that's why he is known as the establisher of Geometric Optics.

Robert Hook(1635-1703):-English scientist who helped Robert Boyle in designing  his air pump. In 1662, he was appointed as the 'curator of experiments' in newly established 'Royal Society'. He designed Gragorian Reflecting Telescope. He did a lot of research in Astronomy. He was the first to use the word cell (the biological term).
He is best u known for his discovery of the law of elasticity among Physicists.

Archimedes(287-212 B.C.):- Greek scientist, philosopher, mathematician and engineer. He invented the catapult. He also invented the system made with the combination of pulleys and carriers for controlling heavy luggages. He also proposed his concept of buoyant force.

Daniel Bernauli (1700-1782):- Swiss scientist and mathematician who, with Leonard Oilier won the French Academy award of Mathematics 10 times. He learnt medical science also. His famous work was in the field of fluid mechanics. His works include Calculus, Probability,principle of Vibrating string and Applied Mathematics. He is known as the establisher of Mathematical Physics.

Lord Kelvin (William Thomson):-Born in Belfast, Ireland. He was one of the British scientists of 19th century. He played a major role in the development of the concept of energy conservation earlier posed by James Joule, Mayer and Helmholtz. He proposed the concept of Absolute Temperature. He gave the 2nd law of Thermodynamics with the help of Sadi  Carnot's work.

Rudolph Clausius (1822-1888):- The scientist born in Poland, is known majorly for his discovery of the second law of Thermodynamics. On the basis of the work done by Carnot and Kelvin, he reached till the assumption of entropy. Clausius also worked in the field of KTG (kinetic theory of gases).

John Dalton (1766-1844) :- An English chemist,  who proposed his atomic theory which is known as first ever atomic theory in the modern world of Science. He also gave a theory related to colour blindness.

Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856):- He thought of a very intelligent idea, now known as his law. We will discuss it deeply later but the statement is
All the gases of same volume contain equal number of molecules at same temperature and pressure.
He also proposed the diatomic nature of molecules of gases.

Before  going farther, we should know that JC Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann founded Kinetic theory of gases

James Clark Maxwell (1831-1879):- Born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was one of the most greatest physicists of 19th century. He derived the formula for thermal distribution of velocity. He was one of the scientists who obtained reliable estimates of molecular parameters with the help of measurable quantities like viscosity. His biggest achievement was the integration of the laws of Electricity and Magnetism which are known today as his equations. He reached at the important fact that light is an electromagnetic wave. Maxwell did not ever agree with the particulate nature of electricity which is clear from Faraday's laws of electrolysis.

Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906) :- Born in Vienna, Austria Ludwig Boltzmann worked on kinetic theory of gases independent from Maxwell. Firm advocate of Atomism, which is the basic of kinetic theory. He provided statistical explanation of Entropy and 2nd law of Thermodynamics. He is regarded as one of the founders of Classical Statistical Mechanics.

That's it for now - we have discussed about the famous scientists in the field of Mechanics and Thermodynamics. There are more many scientists in the field but discussing them is not practical.
The scientists in the field of Electricity and Magnetism, Optics and Modern Physics etc. will be discussed further separately just before starting the 12th standard course.

If you have any queries regarding the topic, please mention it in a comment below.


Author: Lovish Raheja25 Jul 2017 Member Level: Silver   Points : 1

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