Why Learn Physics?

December 2, 2022

Having taught Physics, both as a school teacher and as a private physics tutor, for many years, one of the most common question a student can ask me is, “Why do I need to learn Physics? It is so tough.”

Many students dislike the learning of Physics for a variety of reasons. Some dislike Physics because their school teacher is not able to teach the subject well. Others dislike Physics because they simply do not like the Sciences. Still others dislike the subject because they could not see how studying this subject is going to benefit them.

Just as there are many reasons why one may dislike the subject of Physics, there are equally many reasons why we should learn Physics. I shall try to list the more important few below.

Physics is a fundamental foundational subject if you wish to pursue higher education in the field of Science, Engineering, Computing, Information Technology, etc. Simply put, you’ll need to have Physics knowledge before you can be accepted into these courses at tertiary levels, be it the polytechnics or the universities in Singapore.

Physics arouses our curiosity as to how things work. It challenges our minds to be imaginative and innovative. It contributes greatly and directly to technological advancements throughout history. The application of Physics knowledge in the field of engineering has resulted in the invention of many wonderful things that we have very much taken for granted today. For example, when you turn on a switch, the light bulb comes on. But how was the electricity generated in the first place? And how does a light bulb work? All these answers are found in your basic understanding of Physics.

Physics is the one subject that connects many other subjects in one way or another. For example, Chemistry and Biology seemed to be two independent sciences. But at the molecular level, the interactions between atoms and molecules are still best explained through Physics laws. The medical instruments and equipment that doctors use are all designed by engineers and scientists, and these equipment work based on Physics laws and principles. Hence, Physics is a complementary subject to the other sciences.

We are living in the information age today. And in the information age, technology is basic necessity and not a luxury. But technology has its roots in Physics. So having a good understanding of Physics not only helps you to appreciate technology better, but it also helps you to adapt to technological advancements quicker and easier.

I hope that the few simple reasons I have offered encourage you to carry on learning Physics. Of course, not every student may want to pursue the subject to higher academic levels. Nonetheless, it is always beneficial to have a good basic grounding on the subject.