How do the world and the Universe work?
This is the basic question that drives the natural science of Physics. Through the theoretical and experimental study of energy (motion, light, gravity…) and matter (from sub-atomic particles to galaxies)—and how they interact with each other, physicists seek to formulate scientific laws and test physical phenomena.
Advances in research fields such as Theoretical Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Cosmology, and Biophysics often lead to revolutions in the way we understand the Universe, as well as in technology and innovation.
Physicists proved the Big Bang Theory by harnessing the technologies that could show how energy and matter interacted billions of years ago. Likewise, a new understanding of electromagnetism led innovators to develop modern-day products such as television, computers and cell phones. Advances in medicine have been made possible by machines such as CAT Scans and MRIs, the technology for which grew out of Physics laboratories. And in future, we look to nanoscientists who have learned to fabricate objects by joining molecule to molecule. Could a single carbon nanotube radio that fits inside the ear canal be in our future?
Suffice it to say, Physics informs not simply the scientific past and present but also the scientific and technological future!
Meet Cal Scientists
What is the focus of these scientists’ research? In what way is their science important to society? Just click on each picture to find out!