Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

In your education system, is physics closer to maths or to chemistry?

  1. Oct 12, 2014 #1
    Here in Spain all of them are independent subjects at university and last year of high school, but in the first years of high school the contents related with physics and chemistry are joined in the same subject. The same happens with biology and geology. Therefore, high school physics teachers are usually chemists, and people teaching geology are often biologists. Maths are taught always as an independent subject.

    I have been told that in Russia they are grouped in a different way: physics with maths, chemistry with geology. How is the situation in USA and other countries?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    In the USA, they are all separate courses
  4. Oct 12, 2014 #3
    In England they are all taught as separate subjects.

    Naturally there is some overlap, and learning one can compliment the others.
  5. Oct 12, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    In New Zealand science is divided into physics, chemistry, and biology for the final two years (years 12 and 13).
    I don't recall ever doing geology but may have.
  6. Oct 12, 2014 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Separate subjects, but in a way grouped - in lycees there are math-phys and bio-chemistry classes.
  7. Oct 12, 2014 #6
    It's strange to hear about grouping distinct subjects. Is learning about how a human heart works physics, chemistry or biology related then ?
    I claim it's maths.
  8. Oct 13, 2014 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    High schools (maybe depending on country) will have or did have in the past, courses simply named or identified as Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The Chemistry and the Physics were for the "college preparation" students and as you would expect, they cannot be more than introductory or "elementary" in level. The biology course would/was much like an introductory Biology course from college and would actually very likely address some human anatomy, including the mentioned 'how the human heart works'.
  9. Oct 13, 2014 #8
    Yes, the "grouping" is only in the most basic or elementary levels. For example there may be a subject called "natural sciences" or something like that with contents about basic biology and geology, and another subject called "physics and chemistry" in which they teach the basics of both. I suppose that's because of the way high-schools are organised here: a few subjects lasting the full academic year instead of a lot of smaller subjects.

    Only in the last year before university they are separated courses (and not compulsory to everyone, only to those who choose the "science" or "technical" branches).
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  10. Oct 13, 2014 #9
    Mhh, in the UK some universities still offer Natural Sciences as an undergraduate degree. At secondary school they're usually taught as separate subjects though.

    Over here physics seems to be viewed as closer to maths than to chemistry, I think.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook