January 31, 2012

All of physics in one diagram - via Creative Commons

Today, this came across my twitter stream:
I thought it was really cool that Ian had encapsulated many of the connections between the various branches of physics.

I couldn't help but notice, however, that one branch of physics which is near and dear to my heart was missing: acoustics.

I'm not sure why acoustics tends to not be taken seriously by some physicists.  Waves are fundamental to our study of physics, and sound is one example of a type of wave that we can study. Acoustics is a highly interdisciplinary field.  Scientists who use acoustics include biologists, physicists, medical doctors, medical physicists, neurologists, psychologists, geologists and astrophysicists. Astrophysics?  Fields like helioseismology and astroseismology look at the vibrations of the Sun and stars to study their interiors.  Acoustics tells us about the beginning of the the Universe.  And some planetary scientists have even proposed studying the subsurface ocean on Europa with acoustics.

Acoustics isn't easy, either. (Equations for the vibrations of thin plates involve fourth-order differentials.)  It's not like we've stopped learning about how sound behaves or how humans perceive sound.

So, I was thrilled to see that Ian released his diagram under a Creative Commons license.  I have given him appropriate attribution, and am releasing my revision of his Prezi under the same license.

Enjoy in full-screen mode.

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