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Fundamental Physics

Physics is the study of basic properties, materials, and forces in our Universe. Our new physics section will start off with some background material about space, time, and matter. It will also include sections on mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, atomic physics and particle physics, and tools for math and science (vectors, coordinate systems, units of measurement, etc.).

The new physics section will also have links to many data sources relevant to Earth and space science. The links below provide access to some of the physics-related materials currently on the site. They are organized roughly into the categories we will use in the forthcoming physics section.

Starting Points for Science


Electricity and Magnetism

Thermal Physics

  • No entries here yet. The new physics section will include topics like heat, temperature, the laws of thermodynamics, conduction & convection, etc.

Atomic Physics and Particle Physics

Tools for Math and Science

  • No entries here yet. The new physics section will include topics like vectors, coordinate systems, units of measurement, etc.


Podcast about a flexible, safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights
Last modified August 26, 2010 by Roberta Johnson.

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

What is mass?

Would it be more difficult to pull an elephant or a mouse? If you pulled each animal with the same amount of force, the elephant would respond less to pulling, even if he didnít pull back at all. Thatís...more

Atomic Mass

"Atomic mass" is a term physicists use to describe the size (mass) of an atom of a specific type. Since the nucleus of an atom contains nearly all (more than 99%) of an atom's mass, "atomic mass" is more-or-less...more

Changes of State: Solids, Liquids, and Gases

Any substance, called matter, can exist as a solid material, liquid, or gas. These three different forms are called states. Matter can change its state when heated. As a solid, matter has a fixed volume...more


Solid is one of the four common states of matter. The three others are gas, liquid, and plasma. There are also some other exotic states of matter that have been discovered in recent years. Unlike liquids...more

The Plasma State

Plasma is known as the fourth state of matter (the first three states being solid, liquid and gas).Matter in ordinary conditions on Earth has electrons that orbit around the atomic nucleus. The electrons...more

Fundamental Forces

The interactions in the Universe are governed by four forces (strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational). Physicists are trying to derive a unified theory that would describe all the forces in nature...more

Kepler's Second Law: The Speeds of Planets

Kepler's second law he again discovered by trial and error. After some experimentation, Kepler realized that the line connecting the planet and the Sun sweeps out equal area in equal time. Look at the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA