How influential is the field of physics on astronomy?

1 Answer
Dec 18, 2015

Astronomy necessarily needs physics to explain the universe.


Quite simply, physics is used to explain how and why things happen in the physical universe. For example, Newton's first law of physics, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, helps explain the orbit of the planets about the sun. The planets are in constant motion at a particular speed around the sun. The planets try to move in a straight ahead motion but their route is altered by the existence of gravity. This is called Astro-physics.

In his general and special laws of relativity, Einstein was giving definition the laws of physics previous unknown. These laws of physics helped us understand the speed of light which in turn helps us measure distances in the universe, light years.

We use physics to explain the four forces of nature: the strong force (nuclear), weak force (radiation), gravity and electro-magnetism. Anytime we look at a star all four of those forces come into play in describing the star we are looking at.

And so without physics, astronomy lacks definition.