What is Physics education: Definition and 56 Discussions

Physics education refers to the methods currently used to teach physics. Physics Education Research refers to an area of pedagogical research that seeks to improve those methods. Historically, physics has been taught at the high school and college level primarily by the lecture method together with laboratory exercises aimed at verifying concepts taught in the lectures. These concepts are better understood when lectures are accompanied with demonstration, hand-on experiments, and questions that require students to ponder what will happen in an experiment and why. Students who participate in active learning for example with hands-on experiments learn through self-discovery. By trial and error they learn to change their preconceptions about phenomena in physics and discover the underlying concepts.

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  1. Florian Geyer

    Some questions on strange things in online courses

    Hello there, I hope this message will find you all very well. I have some experience with online courses, and I have found some "strange" things I want to ask about. - First, why so many of them suggest time that is too short for the course? I will give an example here of a course I have...
  2. gimak

    How to study physics? (Question for students and instructors)

    Hello, I've been pondering this question for many years now and I've finally believe I've discovered the answer. The answer is to adopt a set of study strategies that force you to deeply ponder physics as much as possible. I'll explain. When many students first start out studying physics, they...
  3. C

    Courses Should I retake Physics 1 before taking Physics 2 now that I have taken Calculus?

    Hi, I took algebra-based Physics 1 (classical mechanics). I have taken up to Calc 2 and Linear Algebra, and I was wondering if it's ok to move on to calc-based Physics 2 (electromagnetism) or if I should take calc-based Physics 1. I intend to major in physics and received an A- in Physics 1...
  4. M

    Admissions Want to continue my Formal Education

    Hi everyone, I was a high school student back in 2010 and then I got problems in life where my studies were left behind. I do a lot of self study. But now I want to continue, do a Bs graduation degree but I don't know if any college in world allows a online physics degree. I searched for Arizona...
  5. D

    Courses Physics education PhD then MSc Physics

    Hi, I am currently a physics teacher at secondary school level (high school). I have been offered to do a PhD in physics education in an area of research that interests me and relates to physics teaching. I am aware that physics education PhDs might not open up as many career opportunities...
  6. F

    Which Journal Reigns Supreme in Physics Education Research?

    Which journal is the best in the field? Which is better between American Journal of Physics and Physical Review Physics Education Research?
  7. robphy

    B General Relativity as a Challenge for Physics Education

    This week I am at "General Relativity as a Challenge for Physics Education" 690. WE-Heraeus-Seminar https://www.we-heraeus-stiftung.de/veranstaltungen/seminare/2019/general-relativity-as-a-challenge-for-physics-education/ (...
  8. A

    Struggling with Physics: Any Tips for Self-Study and Problem Solving?

    I am afraid this post doesn't belong to this forum. But, I can't think of any other place better than this to post it. I am an 2nd year physics undergraduate. In high school, I loved physics and spent some time with it. However, I didn't get into any of my preferred universities and for that I...
  9. W

    The coming revolution in physics education

    Classical physics is difficult because it is based on differential equations, and the differential equations of interest are usually unsolvable. The student must invest a lot of time in learning difficult math, and still can only analyze very simple systems. This difficulty arises in the first...
  10. J

    Schools Physics Major Curriculum After Physics C

    What courses in a physics major’s curriculum usually come after introductory calculus based mechanics and E&M?
  11. M

    Studying How to be the best physicist you can be

    Hi All! A question that has been on my mind lately is how can a person be the best physicist that they can possibly be. Obviously 'best' is open to interpretation, so let's just say "How can a person make the largest impact on some field in physics that they are capable of". If we had to pick...
  12. V

    Continuum mechanics in physics education

    I came across this article about the near absence of continuum mechanics in university-level physics education: http://www.troian.caltech.edu/papers/Gollub_PhysToday_Dec03.pdf I have wondered this issue myself: why is continuum mechanics mainly studied by engineers rather than physicists, even...
  13. robphy

    AAPT 2017 Summer Meeting-Cincinnati, OH (Jul 22-26, 2017)

    The AAPT Winter Meeting in Atlanta ( https://www.aapt.org/Conferences/wm2017/ ) is going on now. Unfortunately, this meeting was scheduled for now [in the middle of the semester], rather than its usual time in January [during my break]. So, I wasn't able to make it. However, the website for the...
  14. H

    Medical Physics Education Advice

    Hi Everyone, I am currently going through the interview process for several medical physics M.S. programs. I have a very hard time getting a read on how various programs compare. I was hoping that any of you with academic or professional experience in the field could give some advice. As of...
  15. Salma Salem

    Programs Masters in Physics for undecided Specialization

    Hello all, I'm currently an undergraduate Physics major in an Egyptian University, I was intending to pursue a masters in Physics in a university abroad (Europe or US) and I have not yet decided what do I want to specialize in, I wanted to ask for suggestions for Master's programs which involve...
  16. W

    Other Physics Education Jobs: Becoming a College Professor

    Hello everyone! This is my first post here on Physics Forums. I'm hoping that you guys will be able to assist me with a dilemma I'm facing. I'm thinking of changing my major from high school science education to physics so I can become a college professor. The way my education program is going...
  17. H

    Any recommendations on Physics education?

    Unfortunately, I was never taught proper physics in my high school, but I have always had an interest in the subject. Do you guys have any recommendations for books/textbooks, courses, online material, etc. for understanding physics at a basic and deeper understanding?
  18. A

    Hi guys, introducing myself

    My name is Amit Gupta and I am a teacher of physics and calculus, I have experienced in physics last several years, I love to solve physics equations, Anyone who have problems in physics and calculus subjects, I will provide you a right solution through problems practice. We are working towards...
  19. quantumsuperposition

    A few Quick questions about improving physics education

    Hi Everyone, I am a physics teacher who is working on methods to make physics education easier to grasp for undergrads. I was wondering for help on a few questions I have for any currently struggling in general physics. When you find yourself stuck on a problem for homework, which resources do...
  20. C

    Male Bio Students Underestimate Female Peers

    I noticed this article today on Science Daily and it got me wondering whether the same phenomenon (or perhaps something even stronger) is found in physics. In summary, the findings were that male students showed a bias towards believing that male students out-performed female students, but the...
  21. D

    What is the Impact of Laughter on Learning?

    I was born and raised in Czechoslovakia (currently the Czech Republic) where I completed my Masters degree in Physics and Philosophy. I recently completed my PhD in science education and I am looking for "my place" in academia. In my dissertation I focused on a problem of students' understanding...
  22. M

    Non-Traditional Physics Education at the Graduate Level

    I'm sort of confused how to go about finding my educational path. I've been studying alone for some time, quantum field theory, quantum mechanics, relativity and I am struggling. I went to school graduate actually in mathematics, studied general relativity, some quantum. I have a degree in math...
  23. Dopplershift

    Teaching High School and Pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics: Is It Possible?

    I've been reading recently that there is a new branch of physics offered in graduate school with an emphasis on physics education, and is something I am considering doing. I'm also working on getting my teaching license to teach high school. But the thing is that I really want to get a Ph.D...
  24. bcrowell

    Open-access physics education journals?

    I've gotten a couple of requests to referee papers for the European Journal of Physics, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Journal_of_Physics , which is a journal that publishes pedagogical papers (not original physics research). Both of these were for pedagogy papers having to do with...
  25. pankaj66866

    Engineering How do i continue my Physics education as a CS Engineer.

    Hi I am a Computer Engineer, with 8 yrs of experience and i love physics and mathematics. I love my Job And really like computer science. But i also like Physics. I don't want to make a career in Physics or change my career, but i want to continue my physics education. Any suggestions ?
  26. Kimpoy

    Interesting undergraduate thesis topic for Physics education

    Hello everyone, I am a Physics education major in the Philippines.I am now on the stage of doing an undergraduate thesis as a requirement for my degree. I would like to ask for suggestion out there, for an interesting topic to be considered. I would really appreciate topics that gives a little...
  27. G

    Furthering Physics education inline with current job

    Hi, I have a Degree in Pure Physics and I was recruited last year as a cadet hydrographer for a mine. Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of terrestrial water catchments, as well as with the prediction of their...
  28. T

    What are some good pedagogical QM papers?

    I did a search but couldn't find what I was looking for. I'm a physics student studying QM at the graduate level. I'm aware that "nobody truly understands QM" but I'd like to get as much insight and intuition as possible. Textbooks are good for learning to solve problems and learning the...
  29. J

    What Is the True Nature of Electrons According to de Broglie's Theory?

    This is going to seem like it should be an educational question, and perhaps it should, but please bear with me, because I think that it has theoretical content. A nice quote that I recently heard someplace went something like: "We used to argue about whether electrons [etc] were particles or...
  30. ZapperZ

    Schools Early Physics Education in High Schools - Comments

    ZapperZ submitted a new PF Insights post Early Physics Education in High Schools Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  31. ZapperZ

    A brief history of physics education in the United States

    In case you haven't come across it yet, there is a very informative overview of the history of physics education in the US, starting all the way from the 1860s. D.E. Meltzer and V.K. Otero, Am. J. Phys. v.83, p.447 (2015). It is 12 pages long, and covers some of the most significant movement...
  32. L

    Physics How to begin a career change to physics?

    I'm a 38-year-old lawyer who left my law practice in NYC a few months ago to stay home with my toddler. I am also expecting a second child. I have a deep regret that I did not study physics, astronomy, and mathematics in university. I started as a math major and completed almost enough...
  33. C

    Physics Education Research Postdoc

    Hello all! I'm getting my PhD in theoretical cosmology in August and I'm trying to figure out the intersection between what I WANT to do and what I CAN do. Does anyone know much about Physics Education Research? I find education fascinating and I'm seriously considering applying to some great...
  34. S

    Schools Classes to take to prepare for physics education grad school

    Would you guys suggest taking more advanced courses in physics or education for a junior and senior course load to prepare for grad school when you're majoring in physics education post undergrad?
  35. P

    Physics Education in South America

    I am doing a research for the top physics universities in south america. By a collection of 'comments' from various physics professors, I arrived to the conclusion that the best physics bachelor programs are in Argentina, specially the Faculty of Exact Sciences (Facultad de ciencias exactas) of...
  36. C

    Are There Opportunities in Physics Education Research in Los Angeles?

    Hello all! I'm a fourth year grade student in physics (specifically theoretical cosmology). Over the years I've become more and more interested in education. I even applied and was accepted as a STEM instructor for a local high school...which probably takes up more of my time than my...
  37. S

    Information on the German mathematics and physics education

    I am currently studying in 12th standard in India. My subjects are English, Bengali, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science. I am quite good in mathematics. I would like to study maths and physics in Germany. Please give me some detailed information about the maths ans physics curricula...
  38. A

    Why does it take so long to get to modern physics in US high school curriculum?

    I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this post, but here we go. This guy (who usually makes great videos) posted this on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGL22PTIOAM&feature=g-all-u First of all, is it true (I'm not American)? Second, do you agree? Any comments are welcome :D I...
  39. S

    How to acquire a physics education by self-effort

    Hello, I live in an area where the local university does not have any night classes. I want to restart my education and any courses in physics are not available when I am not working. I am posting this message here in order to test the feasibility of acquiring the textbooks, notes, lab...
  40. N

    Help Deciding future of physics education.

    I have been interested in majoring in physics since high school however, i have kinda had a crappy go of university thus far. I was treated like crap by my school and had 2 math/physics teachers depress me so bad that i basically gave up on the school. left after my first semester and went to a...
  41. A

    Schools Applying to Graduate School in Physics Education Research (3ish GPA)

    Due to switching majors during sophomore year, my Physics curriculum was pushed back and I am forced to have one more semester beyond my senior year to take 2 more Physics classes to finish my degree. Right now, I have a 3.21 overall GPA with a Physics GPA hovering dangerously above a 3.0. The...
  42. Q

    Programs Physics Education: Middle East vs. Europe, US, & Australia

    i just want to know what is the diference between the first year in physics in one country like middle east and from europe and us and australlia?? and can that person if he want s to study abroad to switch into masters in professional engineer ?? thank you
  43. J

    Comparing US & UK Graduate Physics Education

    I read stuff on this website all the time where people have given accounts of how they've had to study 80 hours a week or whatever to get an A or to maintain the GPA required for the top grade. Also, I'm aware that a PhD takes much longer to complete across the pond than it does over here in the...
  44. B

    Active Teachers and PhD Programs in Physics Education

    Seeing how dead the educators and teaching forum is, I was just wondering how many active members of the forums are current teachers, and what level? I am currently a high school physics teacher, with some experience as a class TA during undergrad. I am starting on a master in science...
  45. F

    Why is my physics education at Texas Tech University lacking in actual physics?

    I'm going to Texas Tech University (if anyone else is thinking about it, do not go to this school) I'm currently enrolled in Physics II and Calculus III. I'm making A's (well, at least close to that) in both. Here's my problem: The amount of actual 'calculus' that we use in the course is...
  46. P

    Effective approaches to physics education

    My professor and I were talking today and he was suggesting that most physics texts are laden with math that is sometime unrelated to the problems at hand. His specific example was a question that asked the student to find the electromagnetic field at x if the field increases by a given...
  47. C

    Need Advice on Unorthodox Approach to Physics Education

    Hi. I recently graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. I've been accepted into a pretty decent law school and could head my life in that very comfortable and secure direction. However I've always had a passion for physics, I spend so much of my free time reading about it, watching online...
  48. C

    On Physics Education of the the 21st Century

    I don't have a question but wanted rather to start a conversation about the problem of our Physics Educational Program at all levels here in the US of A. Let's take a trip down my memory lane and see a the type of physics education a privileged citizen like myself received : Junior High...
  49. P

    Vince's Search for Online Physics Education

    Greetings all. I graduated with a math degree about a decade ago, but what I'd really like to do is study physics. The problem is that I don't have great options locally, but my day job is going to keep me here, at least for now. I'm hoping to find something good in terms of online education...
  50. S

    Learning Advanced Topics in Physics: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Hello, I have a question about learning advanced topics in physics. To start, I am currently working through introductory calculus and physics (calculus-based), and I will eventually get into linear algrebra. However, I do not know what to do in order to learn, say, introductory quantum...