What Is Physics?

Physics can be difficult to define, mainly because it changes as scientists progress and discover new physics concepts. New theories will bring answers and questions to the surface constantly. This is why physics is so exciting, but it also makes it difficult to pinpoint precisely what physics is.

Physics is the language we use to try and describe the universe on a fundamental level. On a basic level, classical physics aims to define absolute and measurable quantities within the universe, such as kinetic energy, velocity, etc. Physics is also used to determine relationships between fundamental and measured quantities, including relationships like Newton’s Law, energy conservation, relativity, etc. The patterns we find are then expressed with equations, models, and other visualizations.

The principles of physics can be applied to many areas of our everyday life. The simplest mechanical devices require knowledge of physics to create, such as seesaws at a public park. Vehicles, trains, airplanes, and other transportation machines require wheels and other elements of movement to operate effectively. Today’s modern communications, such as smartphones, social media apps, and GPS, all require the use of physics, all the way down to the satellites they use to transmit signals.

Subdisciplines of Physics

  • Classical Physics
  • Modern Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Mechanics
  • Acoustics
  • Optics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Astrophysics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Mechanical Physics
physics atomic reaction

How to Approach Learning Physics

Unlike mathematics and other scientific studies, doing well in physics does not mean you’ve memorized a bunch of concepts. Studying is necessary, but you’ll need to think conceptually to grasp the complex concepts of physics. Have a flexible mind, and you’ll find yourself understanding even the vaguest of physics theories.

In addition to this, make sure you understand and have retained the core concepts of physics. If you don’t understand the basics of physics definitions and formulae, you will be lagging when things get more conceptual. Just as well, you’ll need to revisit mathematics before entering into the realm of physics. If you have a solid grasp of algebra, calculus, and basic trigonometry, you’ll do well in physics. Get help today with an online physics tutor.

Physics Student Curriculum FAQs

The concepts taught in high school physics are relatively simple. High school physics courses are designed to provide a foundation for more complex and conceptual concepts in a student’s college career. A wide range of concepts is taught in high school physics. They include the following:

  • Basic knowledge of the laws and applications that involve motion, forces, and gravity.
  • Basic knowledge of the processes of work, energy, and the established laws of thermodynamics.
  • Basic knowledge of how light and sound waves function in our universe’s environment.
  • Basic knowledge of principles of electricity and magnetism, as well as how they are applied.
  • Basic knowledge of current achievements and innovative ideas in nuclear and modern physics.
  • Understanding how to use the scientific method to explore physics questions.
  • Understanding how to think critically, abstractly, and conceptually about physics design elements and actual applications in the world.
  • Equation, graphing, observational, data recording, and research skills.

It’s also worth noting that the grades one receives in high school physics, as well as placement tests and SAT or ACT grades, will affect their placement in physics classes in college and university.

The first couple of years of college physics will expand upon the basic concepts covered in high school. The concepts and studies you will most likely focus on during college include the following:

  • The fundamental concepts of physics.
  • Units and measurement.
  • Vectors.
  • Linear kinematics and dynamics.
  • Complex theories of energy and power.
  • Complex theories of momentum.
  • Fluid and heat mechanics.
  • Experience in laboratories.
  • Earth science, geology, astronomy, and other subjects that touch on or use physics.
  • Collaborative physics problem-solving.
  • Mastery of the mathematical theories involved in physics.

Advanced college physics covers a lot of complex but fascinating concepts and methodologies, including the following:

  • Dimensional analysis.
  • Fundamental physical constants.
  • The entirety of Newton’s Laws.
  • Conservation of angular momentum.
  • The entirety of Kepler’s Laws.
  • Postulates of special relativity.
  • The Lorentz transformation.
  • Concepts around the spacetime continuum.
  • Relativistic invariance.
  • Relativistic momentum and energy
  • The Equivalence principle.
  • Concepts around continuums.
  • Advanced fluid mechanics.
  • Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics.

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How Do I Become a Physics Tutor?

If you have a passion for teaching others and love physics, becoming a physics tutor is easy. You need a minimum of a high school degree or GED to start teaching kindergarten and middle school grade levels. You may need a degree in a specialist subject for higher-level physics courses depending on the level of practice you plan to teach. The costs of physics tutors vary because you will set your pay rates and time schedules depending on your own experience and circumstances.

Your first step will be to decide which topics you’d like to tutor. Then choose the age groups and grade levels you want to teach. Learn the curriculum and critical concepts for those grade levels. And lastly, establish your teaching methods, tools, and eventually, you will create your own course materials over time as you get more experience working with students.

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