The Hubble telescope , optoelectronic circuits, magnetic resonance are examples of the contributions of physics to the emergence of new technologies and new areas of knowledge.
We present below five areas of knowledge that are linked to physical knowledge. These are fields of scientific study that have presented a large amount of new knowledge and new technologies in recent decades.
With the development of a series of new telescopes, with a power of reach never imagined, images of the universe could be captured and a new cosmos opened before us. The greatest example of this development in astronomy is the Hubble telescope , launched into space in 1990 and which to this day sends images and information from the universe.
The objective of placing a telescope directly in space is to eliminate interference caused by the atmosphere in the observations. In the not-too-distant future, we will have new telescopes equipped with sophisticated computational resources that correct for atmospheric interference, and we will no longer launch telescopes into space.
Another example is the COBE satellite ( cosmic background explorer ), which captures non-visible radiation from space that can help in the development of studies on the origin of the universe.
The development of astronomy studies has allowed science to discover a large number of planets, stars and galaxies, in addition to allowing greater knowledge about the beginning of the universe. The image below, taken by a telescope, shows a multitude of galaxies and other celestial bodies.
Photonics develops technologies with applications based on light and its emission, transmission, amplification, etc. As examples we can mention the laser pulses used in the industry as a welding tool and in surface treatment, in CD and DVD players, printers and optoelectronic circuits , which are replacing common computer circuits and giving rise to the so-called photonic computing.
Medical physics deals with the development of knowledge and technologies aimed at treating diseases, diagnoses, surgical equipment, etc. Devices for performing detailed eye surgeries and magnetic resonance imaging equipment are examples of the fantastic contribution of medical physics. The image below is from an MRI scan.
There are questions that all of us, at some point in our lives, have asked: where did we come from? What are we made of? How did the universe start? Particle physics, responsible for studying the mysterious world of elementary particles, can help us answer these questions.
In order to learn more about our origins and the structure of matter, the LHC ( Larg Hadron Collider – Large Hadron Collider), the largest particle accelerator today, started operating in 2010. Built on the Swiss-France border , the LHC is used to collide particles at speeds very close to that of light and thus recreate the initial conditions of the universe and discover the composition of particles.
A curiosity is that it was at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research), the institution responsible for building the LHC , that the “www” ( world wide web ) network was created and its initial objective was to speed up the exchange of information between center employees.
Nanotechnology allows the individual manipulation of atoms, which can bring contributions beyond what was imagined. With the development of nanotechnology it would be possible, for example, from waste, to reuse atoms of some elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen, reorganize them and create useful elements such as water, oil, etc.
Notice how much physics already contributes and will still contribute to the world around us. Understanding this science allows us to understand life