Career guidance is of paramount importance at an advanced level because the choice of the subjects one undertakes bears the carrier opportunities the person is likely to get along. Wrong choice of programmes may lead to lack of motivation and determination leading to poor results. Without good carrier guidance, the hard work of successful students may go in vain. Experts usually associate bright future with students who studied certain programmes as a work of love, with a well-defined aim to accomplish certain goals. RCIEEN therefore introduces the most fundamental subject in the world, “Physics”, for students to have a better understanding of it. This introductory area will help students to know why they should aspire to take physics as one of their courses at an advanced level and beyond.
1.02 What is physics?
Physics is the study of the universe, and everything in it, to find out the relationship between things, how they interact, and how they interrelate with each other. Scientists derived the word physics from the Greek, “knowledge of nature”. Physics is thus the study of the natural phenomena and systems, ranging from subatomic particles to galaxies. In the old days, they referred to it as natural philosophy. Physics mainly focuses on matter and energy.
Physics is a very broad field and forms the base which roots all sciences and engineering. Without physics, it would not be possible to have other natural sciences such as chemistry and biology, and all engineering or technical disciplines. Although physics remained covering those areas of physical science not included in chemistry, geology, astronomy and engineering, it has no well-defined boundaries because it intersects with them in areas such as biophysics, quantum chemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, and psychophysics. Mathematics is the core language in which physics is well-defined.
1.03 Why study physics?
Physic offers great insight to better understand the natural phenomena. Everything we see, hear or use in our everyday life is all physics. Think of the electricity, electric/ electronic gadgets, clothes and furniture you use at home, the technologies used in the medical sector, all the forms of transport (road, rail, water, air, and space), all the structures (buildings, bridges, towers and machinery), all communication technologies (telephone, television, radio, cellular, internet), the stars we see at night, the sun and the moon, are all aspects of physics. Physics therefore helps us to understand nearly everything we encompass. It helps us to have a deep understanding of the natural phenomena of the universe and how it works. The laws and principles of physics help us to clearly understand how things work and predict how they behave under certain conditions or situations. Physics helps to improve problem-solving skills.
We can never exhaust scientific discoveries, every new discovery leaves with it questions which need answers. So studying physics is a continuous process with no ending. For a better future, the world still needs new discoveries, which is the reason people should keep studying physics. Perhaps you are the next generation of scientists to break the news headlines in science, so why not doing physics?
Physics is the mother of all inventions. Engineers use the information produced by physicists to solve problems that affect humanity with precision and accuracy. All inventions in the world result from the extensive and intensive use of physics. This means that physicists can fit in any technology discipline, giving it the value worth to aspire.
1.04 How physicists work?
Physicists are the people who study physics. They investigate the world and beyond. To do this, they first develop mental ideas based on what they scientifically believe to be true, conduct many investigations/ experiments using scientific methods to verify their thoughts, analyse the results and draw scientific conclusions. New discoveries and ideas which need further investigation emerge during the process. For a discovery to be scientifically confirmed, it has to produce convincing results after several tests by different people in different laboratories and at different times. Once the physicists are satisfied with the new discoveries, new laws, theories or concepts are added to the existing body of scientific information.
1.05 Career opportunities in Physics
People who major in Physics possess golden knowledge needed in Engineering (Electrical, Electronics, Instrumentation, Telecommunications, Mechanical, Aircraft, Nuclear and so on), Science, Research and Development, Information Technology, Education, Military, Medicine, Geology, Meteorology, Law and Business.
There are so many jobs physics majors qualify because of its diversity and it being the most fundamental natural science. Will provide further details under job section to come soon.
1.06 Physics disciplines
Physics is the broadest subject on earth because it seeks to understand everything in the universe. Scientists therefore divide it into sub-areas for physicists to specialise in their areas of expertise. Two major branches of physics exist, namely: Classical physics and Morden physics. Classical physics was all the scientist believed in until the early 20th century, when new discoveries emerged, which led to the development of Morden physics. Morden physics did not come to disqualify classical physics, but brought another dimension which applies to certain particles of matter. Will discuss the distinction between these two and their sub-disciplines later.
1.07 The secret to become a successful physics student
For you to enjoy learning physics and become a successful student, you need to study and master the key physics concepts, which are the physics principles, laws, and theories. Deep understanding of the key concepts will help you with application in problem-solving situations throughout the entire syllabus areas. Worth to know is the fact that the laws of physics are intertwined. One law leads to the other and vice versa, so it is easy to relate the laws and theories to improve your overall understanding of physics.
Knowledge of mathematics is also key to your successful application of physics laws and theories in problem-solving scenarios, so it is quite good to take physics together with mathematics, to kill two birds with one stone.