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Why Physics?

There are several reasons, apart from the obvious reason for a career, that one should take physics.

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences.

Physics is concerned with the most basic building blocks of all things; from quarks to the solar system. The study of physics means trying to find out what the universe is made of, and how these things move and interact with each other. So in one sense, all the other sciences are built on the knowledge gained through the study of physics. Physics is the foundation of all sciences.

Physics is beautiful.

Physicists love simplicity. They are constantly striving to find the most fundamental ideas that can be used to describe even the most complex of phenomena. For example, how do we propel a rocket such that it no longer feels the earth's gravity? Or, how does a train stretched three miles long keep itself on the tracks without slipping? Newton found that only a very small number of concepts could be used to describe just about the entire mechanical world; from steam engines to the motion of the planets. Not only is this beautiful, it's downright amazing!

Physics teaches you to think.

This might seem like a strange statement. The technique of physics includes intellectual approaches to problem solving with methods universal to all science. Physics training develops the skills necessary for the proper analysis and handling of observations and data that is needed in all the other sciences.

Physics is a creative subject.

The concepts of physics do not come easily. Someone has to come up with a theory to begin with. This is just as much a creative process as composing music. But where physics, and science in general, differ from the Arts is that no one will accept your theory unless you have some way of testing its validity. For example, how do you tell that there is a planet orbiting a star that is so far away that it appears as nothing more than a spec of light in even the most powerful telescopes?

Physics discovers and explains mysteries.

How do you convince someone that there exists a region in the universe called a "black hole," which swallows virtually everything that comes close to it? Not even quantum of light will ever come back once swallowed?

Physics gives you a new appreciation of the world around you.

You can look at a rainbow and say "wow, pretty colors!", or you can marvel at the amazing interactions between photons and electrons that come together in that particular way when light from the sun strikes spherical water droplets in the sky, and that you perceive as a multicolored arc suspended in the air. Now that's awe!

Physics is fulfilling.

Lastly, studying physics gives you the opportunity of playing with a lot of really fun stuff. The lab equipment and experiments are fun. It is the human desire to be unique above all creatures and physics offers this desire in ways based on research and technological developments.



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