When it comes to scientific fields, physics is one of the most ambitious. Its reach spans the Universe (even the Multiverses), encompassing everything from wormholes to blackholes, from thermodynamics to inertia, from quantum entanglement to relativity.
But unless you’ve been studying physics for some time, you may struggle to wrap your head around all the branches from Isaac Newton’s time to the modern age. You may also wonder how all the drastically different physics concepts fit together — or even if they fit together.
For you, there’s a solution. YouTuber and physicist Dominic Walliman has created a map — and an accompanying video — that puts the many branches of physics in their places, including classical physics, relativity, quantum physics, and philosophy.
Newton’s falling apple (gravity) and black holes (spacetime) are on the map, of course. So is a sports car with air moving around it (fluid mechanics). And a neat cube of stacked atoms (condensed matter physics, the field that gave rise to technologies like lasers and computers). Schrödinger’s cat, though, is mysteriously absent (or maybe it’s both absent and present, aka in a quantum superposition).
The video is just as eye-opening. In eight minutes, Walliman takes you on a journey from Newton’s apple to today’s physicists chasing a theory to unify quantum mechanics and gravity, and trying to peer inside black holes.
Walliman also includes on the map physics concepts that have yet to be nailed down, things like quantum gravity, dark energy, and dark matter. And a big gaping whole for the stuff we don’t know — what he calls “The Chasm of Ignorance.” These are just as important as what we currently know, because they — whatever they are — will help us understand how the Universe works.
Although there’s an enormous amount of information packed into Walliman’s Map of Physics and video, it’s very accessible — expanding your mind, while keeping you firmly grounded. It’s a great reference for any time you encounter a physics concept that catches you by surprise. It’s also a nice jumping off point for exploring new qualities of the Universe.