Good article on Importance of Physics.
Some people may believe that 20th and 21st century physics research has less of a direct impact on their daily lives than biology, chemistry, engineering, and other fields. Perhaps they think of physics as an abstract, enigmatic, or purely academic endeavor. Others think that physics only contributes to national defense and medical imaging. I created this page to dispel those myths.
Nearly everyone would agree that the computer, the transistor, and the World Wide Web are among the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Economists and laymen alike know that today's entire world economy is inextricably linked to these technologies. The daily lives of a large fraction of Earth's inhabitants would be substantially different were it not for their inventions. Most would agree that America's preeminence in computer and information technology is at least partly responsible for its status as an "economic superpower." The wealth of other nations such as Japan, Taiwan, countries in Western Europe, and others is also due, in part, to their embracement of, and contributions to, the information age.
The electronic digital computer, the transistor, the laser, and even the World Wide Web were all invented by physicists. These inventions make up the foundation of modern technology.
The first "low temperature" superconductor was discovered in 1911 by physicist Kamerlingh Onnes (1913 Nobel Prize in Physics), and this class of materials was first explained mathematically in 1957 by physicists Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer (1972 Nobel Prize in Physics). The first "high-temperature" superconductor was discovered in 1986 by Bednorz and Miller (1987 Nobel Prize in Physics). As if the above prizes for research on superconductivity were not enough, the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics is also related to superconductivity.
More than 100,000 research papers have been written on the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, but still no understanding has been reached as to why they "superconduct" at the relatively "high" temperatures they do. Driven by the desire to create materials that superconduct at even higher temperatures (say room temperature), and due to the many current and potential applications, this continues to be one of the most active areas of research in physics today. It is well known that whoever figures out the correct mathematical description of high-temperature superconductivity will win a Nobel Prize as well.
Quantum Mechanics and the Electron:
When physicists such as Planck, Bohr, de Broglie, Heisenberg, Schr??dinger, Dirac, and Einstein formulated quantum mechanics from 1900 to 1930, they were trying to understand the fundamental laws of the universe, not invent something of great economic importance.
A thorough understanding of quantum mechanics is necessary to engineer solid state devices such as transistors. Transistors are the building blocks of electronics and computers. It is impossible to understanding semiconductors (the building blocks of transistors), or any material for that matter, with classical physics alone (i.e. physics known before the discoveries of quantum mechanics and relativity). The physics of lasers and the interaction of light with matter are described by what's called quantum electrodynamics. Even the light entering your eye from this computer screen requires quantum mechanics to understand! Elementary particle physics describes the fundamental building blocks of the universe in the language of relativistic quantum field theory, which is basically quantum mechanics mixed with Einstein's relativity. Without quantum mechanics, the "information age" (and much of modern science) would not exist today(Source: Contributions of Physics to the Information Age by Ian P. Bindloss Department of Physics, UCLA ).
All Engineering needs a thorough knowledge of Physics.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP),India