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Why Is Physics So Hard To Understand

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Is Statistics Harder Than Math

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Statistics stands out as being the more difficult type of math mostly because of the abstract concepts and ideas that you will get to later on in your study. You will find that when you start to actually try and understand what is going on in a statistics equation or problem, the concepts are very complicated.

Why We Should Learn Physics

How do tides occur? the planets orbit the sun? a rainbow form? , lightning occur? and Why are liquid droplets spherical?

These are some of the problems in nature.

Why does the road slope into bends when building winding roads? does the sealed glass water bottle explode when frozen in the freezer? , doesnt put hot water in a glass with thick walls? , wear glasses to increase vision? and why the fog on the windows of a car on a rainy day? How do vessels like ships, boats float on water? , planes fly in the sky? a bulb emit light? , objects look under a microscope or telescope? and finally why bows used by the car?

These are also just a few of the problems we face in our daily lives.

The answer to all these questions lies in physics. So, you understand that physics is the most practical subject close to man, full of beautiful and fascinating phenomena.

In this sense, physics has been used in disciplines such as engineering, computer science, aerospace, medicine, and technology, as it is an essential subject for gaining some understanding of the environment in which we live and related phenomena, and for applying them to our lives in practice. Accordingly, students have the opportunity to study a number of units related to physics in the subject as well.

Some References For Misconception Research

   Bill Beaty's internet WWW page:   Proceedings of The 2nd Int'l Seminar - Misconceptions and Educational          Strategies in Science and Mathematics, July 26-29, 1987.          Cornell U., Ithaca NY. Vol II and III. On microfilm from ERIC          Document Repro. Services.     Mario Iona, WHY JOHNNY CAN'T LEARN PHYSICS FROM TEXTBOOKS I HAVE KNOWN          Millikan Award Lecture, Am J. Phys. 55  Apr 1987 pp299-307   Mario Iona, WOULD YOU BELIEVE... Series of columns in The Physics          Teacher    Mario Iona, HOW SHOULD WE SAY IT? Series of columns in The Science          Teacher, 1970-1972

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Is Physics Hard How To Learn Basic Physics

Once I made up my mind that I wanted to learn physics, I worked hard, studied, and figured out how to excel despite being so weak in the math necessary to major in it.

Unlike most people who study physics, I was not naturally good at math. In fact, I barely passed most of my math classes in high school and had to take Calculus 1 multiple times as an adult.

However, once I made up my mind that I wanted to learn physics, I worked hard, studied, and figured out how to excel despite being so weak in the math necessary to major in it.

Since I wasnt a natural at mathlet alone physicsI had to figure out how to do well enough to keep up with everything in class. I figured out that there were certain core ideas that I needed to know and make second nature. Once I thoroughly learned these physics concepts, graduating was easy.

This post covers the mindset and skills that you need to gain a firm grasp of introductory physics. But first, I want to cover something that terrifies many students who find out that they have to take a physics class.

What Questions Can Science Never Answer

Why is Quantum Physics so Hard to Understand?
  • COSMOLOGY. What came before the big bang?
  • CYCLING. How does a bicycle stay upright?
  • QUANTUM SCIENCE. Where does quantum weirdness end?
  • TIME AND SPACE. Why do we move forwards in time?
  • MISSING DIMENSIONS. Why does space have three dimensions?
  • CASIMIR EFFECT. Can we get energy from nothing?

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How To Do Well In Physics

This article was co-authored by Sean Alexander, MS. Sean Alexander is an Academic Tutor specializing in teaching mathematics and physics. Sean is the Owner of Alexander Tutoring, an academic tutoring business that provides personalized studying sessions focused on mathematics and physics. With over 15 years of experience, Sean has worked as a physics and math instructor and tutor for Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and Stanbridge Academy. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MS in Theoretical Physics from San Francisco State University.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 72 testimonials and 95% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 563,358 times.

For some lucky individuals, being good at physics comes naturally. For the rest of us, however, getting a good grade in physics requires a significant amount of hard work. Luckily, by learning important foundational skills and practicing often, almost anyone can master their physics material. However, even more important than getting a good grade is the fact that a better understanding of physics may shed light on some of the seemingly mysterious forces that govern the way the world works.

Physics Has Both Classroom And Lab Work

Like any other academic discipline, college physics requires a traditional classroom education.

Youll have lectures, textbooks, homework assignments, and other work typically associated with your ordinary college course.

Youll also have lab work consisting of experiments.

Like chemistry, physics requires you to put your work into practice.

You have to go beyond the theoretical and get into actually putting your studies to work.

Some people love the idea of a hands-on approach.

They appreciate being able to use the principles theyve learned to conduct actual experiments and simulate what would happen in a more realistic environment.

Others, however, will be intimidated by physics lab work, and prefer to bury their heads in the books.

In order to succeed in a college physics course, youll need to be prepared to thrive in both environments.

Youll have to be able to attend lectures and absorb the information shared by professors.

Youll also need to be able to work independently, completing the assigned reading and homework exercises.

Finally, when it comes to lab work, memorization isnt good enough.

Youll have to really understand what youve learned and successfully conduct experiments.

This means youll be dealing with more than reading and putting pen to paper.

Youll have to hypothesize, plan, execute that plan, and then gather the information that supports or disproves your hypothesis.

Then, youll need to analyze all the data and come to a conclusion.

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It Depends How Much You Enjoy It

Everyones different and has different strengths and weaknesses.

We also all have different preferencesthings we like to do and things we dont like to do.

For someone who despises physics, a physics course will likely be very difficult.

This is for the same reason that anyone anywhere doing anything he or she doesnt like will suffer.

As humans, were designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

Sure, we can do things we dont like, and most of us do just that every day, but its hard.

People who dont like to run will almost always find running difficult.

People who dont like physics will likely feel the same way about physics.

That doesnt mean they arent smart or able to succeed.

For someone who enjoys physics, even if they arent the best at it, it may not be all that hard.

How much you like physics may be the best way to determine how hard it will be for you.

Even if you struggle to succeed in physics, you might not find it hard.

Alternatively, you might find it very difficult even if youre doing well and able to complete assignments in record time.

Relativity makes it difficult to gauge how hard physics really is.

If you love the subject, it may not feel like much work at all, despite your devotion of many hours to overcome its obstacles and challenges.

If youre a natural-born genius but hate physics, you might find it the exact opposite.

Really, it depends on how you measure how difficult college physics is.

No two opinions will ever be alike.

Newtons Laws Of Motion

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Until you begin studying modern physics concepts , every problem you encounter can be solved with an application of one of Newtons Three Laws of Motion.

Its important that you realize this.

Whether it be classical mechanics, sound waves, or electromagnetism, Newtons Three Laws of Motion will apply to all systems, particles, electric charges, and magnetic fields. The problem may seem complex or the math required may seem difficult, but it always comes down to figuring out how to:

  • Balance a force on an object to account for its position or constant speed
  • Unbalance the forces on an object so that it starts moving
  • Remember that a force is anything that causes an object to move. Physics is the study of forces in nature. Remembering that nothing in the physical world is exempt from Newtons Three Laws of Motion and that will help you feel comfortable in solving problems.

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    Know The Definitions Of Physics Terms And Be Precise In Your Wording

    Do you understand the difference between speed and velocity or current and voltage? What about the difference between area and volume or momentum and force? Or the difference between pitch and volume or displacement and distance?

    These are words that are used interchangeably in colloquial speech, but they have a very specific meaning in physics. These are just examples, but you can get into a lot of trouble if you dont know exactly what these mean. While physics is a math-heavy discipline, you need to be able to accurately describe the problem before you can solve it.

    Many of the issues that students face are because they simply arent sure what a term means. In physics, you have to be absolutely certain you know what all words in the problem mean, otherwise, you increase your chances of getting the incorrect solution.

    But Wait Which Formula Do I Use

    You look at your formula sheet and you have three different ones that are marked under the problems subject. How do you know which one to use?? Naturally, you begin panicking again.

    Dont panic.

    Physical equations didnt just land on scientists from the sky, all wrapped up nicely in mathematical formulation. They are derived from physical properties, and they are all interconnected. In most physics problems, there is more than one way to reach a solution, often meaning that more than one equation can work. In fact, in the vast majority of questions, no matter what equation you use assuming that it is relevant to the subject matter, and that you insert the proper variables you will reach a solution.

    The way to know which equation to use depends on two main issues: the variables given to you in the equation and your experience. The more problems you solve, the more you will become familiar with strategies for picking the right formula. Until that happens, though, look for the formula that has the variable you already know and connects those to the one variable you are missing. If you have two missing variables, you will likely need two equations.

    Slow down, look at your variable list, and find the right ones. Its like a puzzle, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

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    And The School You Attend

    Lastly, the institution at which the course is taught will be an important determinant of how hard a course is.

    It goes without saying that a school like the California Institute of Technology is going to be hard.

    Some schools specialize in physics or have a reputation for academic rigor.

    They got those reputations for a reason, and they likely intend to keep them.

    These schools will go to great lengths to make their physics courses challenging.

    Of course, a class that is designed to be hard will most likely be hard.

    You can also expect that if youre taking a physics course at a school that is known for the subject, theyll have professors who have high expectations and will push students to make sure everyone is adequately challenged.

    Five Strategies Every Physics Teacher Should Know

    Why is physics so hard?

    When you teach physics, you typically get one of three reactions. The least common, says Jennifer Docktor, UW-La Crosse associate professor of physics, is Oh, I loved physics in high school! More commonly, shell hear, Oh, you must be really smart, or Physics is so hard.

    But the study of physics doesn’t need to be exceedingly difficult left only to those with a rare physical scientific aptitude. If we teach physics with research-backed teaching and learning strategies, Docktor says we can overcome the challenges and improve student learning at both the high school and college levels.

    Docktor offers strategies teachers can use to help students excel in physics in her new book The Science of Learning Physics: Cognitive Strategies for Improving Instruction, with co-author, Jose P. Mestre, a professor emeritus at University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign. She also shared some of those strategies in a video as part of Harvard Universitys Physics of Living Systems teacher initiative. Here are just a few strategies to try:

    Tip 1: Unravel misconceptions.

    Tip 2: Teach students to think like a physics pro practice properly categorizing problems first

    Tip 3: Use active learning techniques.

    Tip 4: Understand your own expert blind spots.

    Tip 5: Teach students study strategies that work.

    More on The Science of Learning Physics

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    Easy Isn’t Always Better

    Even though it is challenging, chemistry is worthwhile, useful, and possible to master. What other science explains so much of the everyday world around you?

    You may need to learn new study skills and change the way you organize your time, but anyone with the will to learn chemistry can do so. As you succeed, you’ll gain a deep sense of accomplishment.

    How Hard Is College Physics Compared To High School Physics

    In general, a college course will be more rigorous than a class on the same or a similar subject at the high school level.

    Right off the bat, you can expect a college physics course to be pretty challenging.

    College professors expect a lot of their students.

    While a majority of people in the United States graduate from high school, the same cannot be said of college.

    In fact, only around 32 percent of the population of the United States holds a college degree.

    Colleges know that.

    Those diplomas arent free, and professors at the college level will be serious about their work.

    While some professors work closely with students to help them succeed, others will flunk those who fail to perform.

    Many professors in physics, chemistry, and mathematics are known for being tough.

    Its not uncommon for 50% of a class to drop an introductory chemistry or physics course.

    In high school, teachers will likely have lower expectations regarding student performance.

    Also, since public high schools strive for higher graduation rates, the teachers are generally more concerned with every student succeeding.

    Many students in college physics will often find themselves in a weed-out or weeder class.

    An informal term, the weeder class refers to those courses specifically designed to drive away the faint of heart.

    Most often, these classes are extremely difficult, and only the sharpest, hardest-working students survive.

    In high school, physics is generally a mandatory course.

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    Advanced Electives In Physics

    What It’s All About

    No physics education is complete without learning about fun additional topics in physics, including : astronomy , astrophysics , cosmology , electronics, particle physics , and string theory .

    You can pick and choose what you’d like to learn about based on your interests. This is the most exciting part: you understand all of the fundamentals of undergraduate physics, and you can pick up advanced books in other topics of physics and will be able to understand them! You’ll also be able to read some papers on the arXiv, which is the place that almost all physics research papers are published.

    The Best Textbooks to Use

    Dropping The Physics Major Just Wanted To Share My Experience

    Why Quantum Physics Is so Hard

    Alright, so I’ll preface this with the fact I’m only a junior undergrad physics major at a large department at a US university and this will be a bit of a rant, but I have decided to leave the major and my pursuit of physics. I thought physics was it, I thought its what I wanted to do and I was dead set on doing it and going to grad school. I loved reading about it, learning it, and discussing it with friends, but ultimately I’ve decided it is not for me and I just want to share my experience with the major and why I’m choosing to leave). I’ve been feeling disenchanted for a while, but I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and get exposed to more physics before I decide whether or not to pull the plug. After this grace period, I have indeed decided to move on.

    The physics degree, as many of you may know, is also really just a stepping stone to a graduate degree in physics. A lot of what one learns beyond freshman year physics while very interesting, seemed useless to me outside of physics itself if I decided to leave later on. It seems like physics departments like to tout the diversity of careers their alumni have, but I think this diversity is despite their physics degrees, as opposed to the physics degree opening up all of these doors. They take the jobs that they can get and seem to usually be fighting with people that have more specialized degrees.

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