Applied physics is the application of physical theories to problem-solving. It is the use of theoretical knowledge of the properties of physical bodies with the intention of achieving a particular technological or practical goal. It is also usually considered to be a bridge or a connection between physics and engineering.

"Applied" is distinguished from "pure" by a subtle combination of factors, such as the motivation and attitude of researchers and the nature of the relationship to the technology or science that may be affected by the work. Applied physics is rooted in the fundamental truths and basic concepts of the physical sciences, but is concerned with the utilization of scientific principles in practical devices and systems, and in the application of physics in other areas of science.[1]

It usually differs from engineering in that an applied physicist may not be designing something in particular, but rather is using physics or conducting physics research with the aim of developing new technologies or solving an engineering problem. This approach is similar to that of applied mathematics.

In other words, applied physics is rooted in the fundamental truths and basic concepts of the physical sciences but is concerned with the utilization of these scientific principles in practical devices and systems.[2]

Applied physicists can also be interested in the use of physics for scientific research. For instance, the field of accelerator physics can contribute to research in theoretical physics by working with engineers enabling design and construction of high-energy colliders.
Computer modeling of the space shuttle during re-entry
Examples of research & development areas

The transistor, which was first invented by physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley in 1947
Lasers, such as Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers
Photonic crystals and quantum optics
Magnetic resonance imaging
Accelerator physics
Quantum information science
Quantum technology
Electromagnetic propulsion
Stealth technology
Nuclear engineering
Engineering Physics
Chemical Physics
Computational Physics

See also

Applied mathematics
Applied science
Engineering physics


"General Information on Applied Physics". Stanford Department of Applied Physics. Archived from the original on 7 March 2007.

"Department of Applied Physics". Waseda University. Retrieved 16 October 2016.


Branches of physics

Theoretical Computational Experimental Applied


Classical mechanics Acoustics Classical electromagnetism Optics Thermodynamics Statistical mechanics


Quantum mechanics Special relativity General relativity Particle physics Nuclear physics Quantum chromodynamics Atomic, molecular, and optical physics Condensed matter physics Cosmology Astrophysics


Atmospheric physics Biophysics Chemical physics Engineering physics Geophysics Materials science Mathematical physics

See also

History of physics Nobel Prize in Physics Timeline of physics discoveries Theory of everything

Physics Encyclopedia



Hellenica World - Scientific Library

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