How the Enormous Field of Physics All Fits Together

By Maddie Stone on at

Physics has a bit of an image problem. To some, it’s a fascinating and diverse field of study. To others, it’s a trigger word for maths anxiety or an instant soporific.

If you fall into the latter category, chances are you’ve had a bad physics teacher, one who didn’t bother to put the science in context before throwing Maxwell’s equations at you. That’s unfortunate, because while maths is the language of physics, physics is about much more than maths. It’s about a world made of particles and waves, where objects warp space and time, filled with unseeable matter and strange forces that may or may not form the backbone of reality.

Physics, in short, is a rich tapestry of knowledge, accumulated over many generations and still growing. A new animation by physicist Dominic Walliman maps this entire tapestry out for us, right to the bleeding edge where scientists are trying to peer inside black holes and reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics. Impressively, Walliman does all of this in less than ten minutes.

So, if you got bogged down in the math and missed the big picture, enjoy this elegant distillation of everything physics has taught us, everything we’ve yet to discover, and how all that knowledge and ignorance fits together. [YouTube via Vox]