Why Physics?

A computer simulation of a boron nanotube

A computer simulation of a boron nanotube,
Chopra et al., Science 269, 966 (1996)

Physics is one of the most fundamental sciences, which provides the basis of our understanding of the Universe and enables us to understand how things work which is the base for technology development.

In a modern society, technology and science have an impact on a broad section of the workforce. Many workers use high technology tools without understanding them, and high technology products are also becoming a part of everyday life. In order to enable efficient use of novel technologies and prevent accidents, it is important to have some understanding how they work. And this is where physics training can help. Studies have shown that physics training is of considerable value for many different professions. This is because physics education fosters development of general skills which are useful in great variety of career choices. Apart from physics knowledge, the abilities which you will gain from physics education are:

  • Problem identification and solving
  • Discovering relationships between factors
  • Familiarity and understanding with the real world (how things work)
  • Modeling and utilizing mathematical formulae
  • Estimation
  • Organizing ideas/materials
  • Testing hypotheses
  • Designing research projects
  • Using computer technology
  • Gathering and evaluating data
  • Organizing and presenting data
  • Informing/educating
  • Familiarity with different equipment
  • Reviewing relevant literature
  • Summarizing , writing, and preparing reports

Additional benefits of studying physics are: small class sizes, no need to memorize large amounts of facts, availability of academic staff to answer questions (we like it when our students ask questions), and low unemployment rate of physics graduates.

Choosing a Major in Physics

Major in Physics is mainly suitable for students looking for a career in physics, technology, or science education. If you want to obtain a major in physics, you should have a strong mathematics background or be prepared to work hard in your first year of study in order to compensate for deficiencies in mathematical knowledge.

Choosing a Minor in Physics

Minor in Physics is very useful for students majoring in other sciences and engineering. Considering the increasing importance of multidisciplinary research in science and engineering, a minor in physics can greatly enhance understanding of the chosen major, and enable better options for postgraduate study and employment.

Physics is also useful for business students, since it provides a basis for evaluations of novel technologies which is essential for making good decisions on development plans and directions. Students from some other fields, such as humanities and journalism, can also benefit from a minor in physics. The courses required for completing a minor in physics have been chosen in such a way to improve your understanding of the world around you and encourage development of useful skills (see above) which are applicable to many different fields.