What is Physics major: Definition and 332 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. S

    Deciding between physics and mathematics

    I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, so if not sorry in advance. I am a second-year physics major, thinking of switching to mathematics. I have always been interested in both, but I could never be sure whether I could become a mathematician. Understanding physics was...
  2. Kalebh03

    Courses Freshman Physics Major Struggles in University Course

    I'm currently a freshman physics major coming into university from an early college high school, so I was lucky enough to have some experience taking college level physics courses before I came to university. I didn't think that those courses were rigorous enough in comparison to what I've heard...
  3. Falgun

    Schools University Search for a Physics Major

    I will be applying to schools for a physics major in about a year or so. And so far my list of Unis consists of ridiculously competitive schools. Of course I realize that this is not realistic for most if not all people. I know about the extraordinary schools like MIT, Princeton, etc. But I was...
  4. babylonsashes

    Courses Which math course should I take (as a physics major)?

    I am entering my third year as a physics major, I have space for around 2 math courses this term and I plan on taking 2 from these courses: - Introduction to Analysis II - Functional Analysis - Introduction to the Calculus of Variations - Algebra I I am pretty sure I will take Analysis II...
  5. R

    Programs Should I continue on with a physics major?

    Intro: I have just completed my first year in college as a physics major. My first semester I had some issues with scheduling classes so I have only completed the course called Physics 1 despite attending school for a whole year. This course covered one-dimensional and two-dimensional motion...
  6. M

    Courses How much CS as a physics major does one need?

    My son is a rising college freshman who is majoring in physics (and thinking about adding a second major in math). He also has an interest in computer science and programming. Through his own research he's discovered that a lot of the day-to-day work of academic and professional physicists...
  7. Philip551

    Preparing for a Physics Degree: The Role of Programming in High School

    How can a high school student prepare for a physics degree with programming. i.e. which programming language, what packages?
  8. torito_verdejo

    Recommended mathematical courses for a Physics major

    Hi, you all, I am an undegrad Physics student and I'm choosing my optional courses for my third year. I'm looking for advice (or opinions, if you prefer) since I'm not sure what of the following mathematical, optional courses would be more "beneficial" (I know this term is abstract) to my...
  9. atyy

    How Does Bryson DeChambeau's Physics Background Affect His Golf Game?

    I don't play golf. but this caught my eye. https://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/54229887 US Open 2020: Bryson DeChambeau storms to first major title at Winged Foot, New York "DeChambeau's unique methods have divided opinion since he turned professional in 2016. Fans find them innovative, critics call...
  10. I

    Programs Physics Major with Stats/Data Analysis Minor (Is this a good combo?)

    I am an incoming university freshman in the U.S. who wants to major in physics but also wants to add a minor that will help build some more applicable skills. As the title suggests, I am looking for some insight into a stats/data analysis minor since a close friend of mine majored in applied...
  11. AryaKimiaghalam

    Courses Taking statistics courses as a physics major

    Hi, I am currently a second year physics major. I have recently thought about taking statistics/probability courses as electives for the upcoming semester. However, I don't know what types of statistics/probability classes will help me in my physics education. I am not particularly interested in...
  12. Zifan Wang

    What can a physics student expect from joining the PF community?

    I am a student in physics major, a freshman in college. I hope I would learn some advanced things about physics in the forums.:smile:
  13. S

    Studying Optimizing Your Physics Major: Navigating Math Courses for a Successful Degree

    I will be starting my B. S in physics soon and I am having a hard time deciding how many math courses I should take. At my university, there are different math courses for physics and math majors. Math students take different calculus and linear algebra courses for example - the math majors...
  14. bagasme

    Courses Introductory Chemistry Requirement for Physics Majors: Why is it Mandatory?

    Hello, I looked into lists of subjects/courses for Physics Major, and I surprised that Introductory Chemistry is in the list, as mandatory course. I suspect that Molecule and Solids and Nuclear Physics chapter have to do with chemistry Why is it mandatory to take Introductory Chemistry course...
  15. astroman707

    Programs What is the likelihood of a physics major getting an engineering job?

    I’ve been told that physics majors are looked at favorably when applying for entry-level engineering jobs. Is this true? How qualified are they when compared to engineering majors? Are applied physics majors looked at any differently? Do employers care about an undergraduate thesis?
  16. Zack K

    Programs What minor complements a physics major?

    Will having a minor in computer science or math be beneficial for the future? Specifically if I'm interested in astrophysics and the experimental field in general. Physics is at the point where you can't do much without computation power, so I wonder if having a minor in computer science will be...
  17. Dr. Courtney

    Programs Aiming High and Managing Distractions as Keys to Success for Science Majors - Comments

    Greg Bernhardt submitted a new blog post Aiming High and Managing Distractions as Keys to Success for Science Majors Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
  18. Zack K

    Programs What math subjects should a physics major master?

    Throughout a degree as a physics major, you take a bunch of math courses, and it's safe to say that you should have a good understanding of all the calculus and algebra courses. But what math subject/specific course should I master at a spiritual level? Especially ones that are needed for...
  19. V

    Schools Applying for Physics Grad School without Physics Major?

    I've always wanted to be a Physicist and become a researcher. I'm particularly interested in particle physics and quantum computing. I have BS Computer Engineering and MS Computer Science degrees and have been working as a programmer for more than 5 years. How should I go towards a Physics...
  20. S

    How can I make the most out of my experience on this physics forum?

    Hello everyone! I'm currently a physics student in my sophomore year of undergrad. I just stumbled upon this forum and am curious about the site - very excited to explore and enjoy the ride. If anyone could give me any tips about using these forums and this site in general, it would be much...
  21. astroman707

    Programs Should a physics major take general chemistry?

    I’ve already taken intro chemistry with a lab, and general chemistry 1. Unlike most universities, my college doesn’t require chemistry for physics majors. Should I take general chemistry 2? Would it really benefit me, or should I spend my time elsewhere? Edit: I’m referring to the standard...
  22. S

    Programs Will my horrible drawing skills hurt me as a physics major?

    I'm going to return to college starting Fall, 2019 as a physics major. In preparation, I've been going though various textbooks, studying the material and working the problems. The concepts I understand reasonably well. The problem? I'm horrible at drawing. I see some problems, especially in...
  23. Neha98

    Programs Applied or pure physics major is best for an astronomy career?

    I'm willing to make postgraduate studies in astronomy or astrophysics so which major is more suitable for me applied or pure phyics?
  24. TheKracken5

    Schools Lack of physics courses at private university for a physics major

    Hi, so I am a double major in Math and just recently added physics. But going through the major requirements and my university's offerings, it seems we don't offer many courses. This is also the case for our math program (and part of the reason I added the additional degree). I am curious if...
  25. Zack K

    Programs How to best prepare for a physics major

    So in a couple weeks I'm going into university to study physics and I just have so many things going over my head. The main thing I am afraid of is failure. I'm planning to go on to a top grad school in the future and then go on to pursue a PhD in astrophysics. I've been looking forward to doing...
  26. 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?
  27. sdefresco

    Programs As a year II physics major, when should I take linear algebra

    After seeing so much higher-level physics and proofing for special relativity, I imagine I'll need to take this at some point to continue do grad-level physics. I'm taking calc III at the start of year two, and then on to diff eq. When should I take linear algebra in that case? My adviser seemed...
  28. E

    Programs Switching from a biomedical physics major to physics

    I'm currently doing a biomedical physics major because it's the best choice to follow the med school track in something physics related, and is a really good fallback plan as my advisor described it. Now my true passion is in physics and I really want to get a PhD later on, so if I didn't make...
  29. aliweesner

    Programs Help: Physics major minoring in Spanish

    Hello all, I have just finished up my sophomore year as an undergrad pursuing a major in Physics (and the accompanying minor in math). I know that it is common for physics majors to minor in computer science or programming, engineering, sometimes bio or chem, and others. However, I am...
  30. Dr. Courtney

    Programs Best Way for a Physics Major to Learn Fortran?

    A physics major I'm mentoring has been invited to join a theory group that makes heavy use of FORTRAN in their calculations. The student already knows Python and is adept at using it including integrating diff eqs and solving various challenging 1st year physics type problems. This theory...
  31. Abscissas

    Physics About to Graduate with a Double Major in Physics and Math

    Hey guys, so I am about to graduate in May with a double major in physics and mathematics and I don't really know what to do. So my grades are not the best, but they improved as I've gotten further into my academic career, and this year I am hoping to make the dean's list. I want to get my PhD...
  32. Heroguy82

    Physics ROTC along with Physics major?

    Hello everyone! My name is Tim and I am going to be a junior physics major this upcoming fall of 2018. I started college in fall of 2014 as a physics major at a junior college and joined the army national guard in the spring of 2015. I went to basic that fall and missed an entire year of school...
  33. brymcfly21

    Programs Is physics the right major for my academic passions and interests?

    Hello everyone, I am currently a sophomore at a big university in the US and I might transfer to another university soon. I have been conflicted with choosing between physics and engineering for the past 2 years. I love astronomy and is the only academic passion I have besides Earth science and...
  34. Biscuit

    Physics Internships, which one is the right one

    So I am a new student here at The Ohio State University. Every once in a while people come in at the beginning of lecture and pass around sign ups for internships. I haven't really been guided on the whole world of internships so I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could answer. I...
  35. T

    Programs What typically is considered an in-major class for a physics major?

    I was just wondering what typically is considered an in major class for a physics major? Is it only classes designated as PHYS? Or do math and chemistry classes also count? I can't seem to find a list of in major classes for physics majors on my universities website. Thanks.
  36. G

    Programs Should I pursue a Physics Major?

    I am currently in 9th grade and have been into astronomy and basic physics for a few years now. I'm thinking about (once enrolled obviously) majoring in physics. Only problems are: 1: Pretty good at math but struggle a bit and end up forgetting a lot of information (at least in algebra) and I...
  37. R

    Programs Physics Major, EE Minor: Making the Decision

    I've been struggling for a long time, trying to decide between Physics and Electrical Engineering. My practical side says I should major in EE, but I'm not sure anymore. I was browsing the catalog of my university the other day and noticed they'd added an option to minor in EE. This was never an...
  38. RJLiberator

    Programs Every website that a Physics Major should check?

    I had a curious question. I am wondering where physics majors and physicists obtain their "physics news". Essentially, I am wondering on any given day/week/month, what are the websites (related to physics) that you check/read? Thank you.
  39. D

    Programs Minor in computer science w/ a Physics major?

    I'm working on a physics major but have been thinking of doing a minor in cs or maybe stats? Would either of these be beneficial or would one be more useful than the other?
  40. GoldenBear

    Programming advice for a physics major?

    I will be starting my undergraduate career this coming fall and was wondering how I should prepare for the programming that I will need for my studies. My first computational physics course will be in my second year, therefor I have quite a bit of time to practice my coding. I have taken two...
  41. Jacob T Anderson

    Programs Computational Physics Major?

    Hello, I really want a major in Computation Physics but I don't think my University has a class. Should I instead go into a double major in Computer Science & Physics? Or should I go into physics at all? I live in Iowa so it's not the best location for jobs in physics.
  42. P

    What career options are available with a degree in physics?

    Hello, new member here. I am currently enrolled as a freshman for a pure and applied physics major. however, there is yet much information that i need to attain to clarify my pathways since physics is a very broad body of knowledge with many applications. At the same time, I want to be as...
  43. John Jacke

    Programs Advice for getting through the physics major?

    I'm currently a double major in physics and mathematics. I am about to finish mathematical physics, mechanics 1 (not "general physics 1"), linear algebra, and an intermediate physics laboratory course. This summer I will be taking a programming course for applied math and PDE and in Fall I will...
  44. Ian Baughman

    Courses Numerical Linear Algebra or Modern Algebra

    So I am working out a course schedule for my last two years of undergrad and have room for only one more math class but do not know which would be more beneficial. The two courses are Intro to Modern Algebra or Numerical Linear Algebra. I am working towards a bachelors degree in physics and plan...
  45. N

    Programs Is the ivy league education worth it for a physics major?

    Good Afternoon. My name is Nicolas Beltran. I am a high school student who would really like your advice on an issue I have. It has always been my dream to study physics, however I never saw it as a feasible choice because in my country, Colombia, there are little to few options in which true...
  46. Y

    Programs Is a Physics Major with a Chemistry Minor a Good Combination for a PhD?

    Hello How is this degree? Is it hard? Is this combination is good? I would like to do a PhD on physics and for now I know the basics of C++ programming and in the future I want to expand my knowledge with Microsoft courses or something like that.. Thanks!
  47. I

    Programs Am I a good fit for a physics major?

    I wanted to see if someone could tell me if I would fit well into a field in physics. I feel like it would be an amazing experience in college and is something I could really do for the rest of my life. The only thing is I don't know if I have the intelligence to make it happen, or the work...
  48. Arman777

    Is this coursebook good for a physics major student?

    My major is physics and our professor choosed this book for electromagnetic course, http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/educator/product/Physics-for-Scientists-Engineers-Vol-1-Chs-120-Pearson-New-International-Edition/9781292024431.page Any ideas about the book ?
  49. J

    Programs AP Stat or AP Bio for a physics major?

    So I'm an upcoming freshman at my local high school (class of 2021) and I know without a shadow of a doubt I will pursue a physics major in college and eventually a career in the field. At this point I've managed to set up a pretty solid four year schedule (which I will post below), but I still...
  50. J

    Physics Benefit of a physics minor or major in Computer Science

    I'm currently a Computer Science major, but I'm really into physics and I was wondering if there is any practical benefit to getting a physics minor, or even a major. Is there anyone looking for people with a background in both physics and CS? And would a minor (or even a major) be enough...