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Is chemistry easier than physics?

  1. Dec 14, 2003 #1

    ShawnD

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    The homework section always has lots of people asking for physics help but there's never anybody asking for chemistry help. The chemistry section of the forums is not very active yet the physics sections are very active.

    When I went to school, there were just as many kids in physics as there were in chemistry. Is chemistry just easier to understand or something?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2003 #2
    Its alot easier to understand chemistry than its physics, chemistry is more to do with knowing and not so much understanding, whereas with physics you need to understand before you can know.

    Well thats what i found anyway.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2003 #3

    jcsd

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    Chemistry is defintely the most difficult A level subject to take and as Andy says it's mainly about just remembering stuff, physics is much more intutitive.

    Whether someone finds physics or chemistry easier just depends on the person, but I know that I always found physics alot easier than chemistry.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2003 #4

    Monique

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    My idea is that chemistry is a much more established subject than physics. Chemistry questions and problems all get dealt with in class, while physics stays more on the surface.

    Curiousity is aroused and people go out in search for answers on the internet.

    Also, it is a media thing. Chemistry is much older than physics. Can you name me some famous chemists? Now name me some famous Physicists. Physics has given us revolutionary insights over the past years, chemistry did that a few decades ago.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2003
  6. Dec 14, 2003 #5

    jcsd

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    Chemistry and physics are about the same age and orginally there was much more of a crossover between the two (for example many chemists would think of Lord kelvin as a chemist but physicists know that he is a physicist).
     
  7. Dec 14, 2003 #6
    Please...

    I have a quote from my High School physics teacher, specially for Monique:

    "Chemie is een uit de hand gelopen grap van de fysica"

    Chemistry and older science then physics? Is alchemy considered chemistry these days? Chemistry has been chemistry since the days of Dalton & Lavoisier, but physics (natural philosophy at the time) had already discovered many facts about the world around us.

    Chemistry did not have a good theoretical basis before the advent of Quantum Mechanics. In essence, it has been reduced to a branch of applied physics.

    As for difficulty, chemistry is a lot less hard then physics. Not because of the subject itself though, but because the community seems to do just fine without the levels of rigour physicists need to use.

    And btw, Monique, little tip: Physicians are doctors, people doing physics are physicists :wink:
     
  8. Dec 14, 2003 #7

    selfAdjoint

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    Of course you can push both sciences back to old-time practices. Which is older, dyes and cosmetics, or the wheel? Beer or the lever?
     
  9. Dec 14, 2003 #8

    Monique

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    I was talking about the recent theories of the atom vs the strings. It all depends how you define both sciences since they have a large overlap.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2003 #9
    If you only consider string theory when considering physics, I agree that is all pretty recent. But the again, some physicists would argue that it is hardly physics at all because of the lack of testeable predictions.

    Paradigm shifts have been happening in physics since Newton. Chemistry does not offer any new fundemental ways of looking at the atom, just a practical way of dealing with them.
     
  11. Dec 14, 2003 #10

    Monique

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    To illustrate why I say why chemistry is more established: in highschool I had to learn all the complicated stuff of chemistry, while all the physics I received is Newtons laws and V=I*R.

    When I read the book by S. Hawking and B. Green on my own a few years later, I was facinated by the new concepts.

    This is where the questions and curiosity arose, not from schoolbooks which state the facts.
     
  12. Dec 14, 2003 #11

    I think you got Medicine and Physics mixed up. There is no "physician" in physics, but there is Physicians in Medicine. And there is no famous physicians. Only famous physicists.
     
  13. Dec 14, 2003 #12

    Hawking's books are written for general readers... People who knows just about how to count numbers and probably read a few nonsense graphs.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2003 #13

    Monique

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    Spelling mistakes can be made right? English is not my first language.

    If a book does not provide all the answers in great detail, what happens? As I said, you become curious of the details to the questions.
     
  15. Dec 14, 2003 #14

    OK OK, don't get mad lol, i'm just saying.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2003 #15
    Sad, but it sais more about you school then anything else. I had (amongst other things) a decent introduction to electromagnetism, using (rudimentary) vector calculus, and seeing Maxwell's laws describing all of EM on a blackboard when you're 17 really makes you feel physics is "established".
     
  17. Dec 15, 2003 #16

    ShawnD

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    At my highschool, 2 years of physics went over V = IR, resistance in parallel and series, electromagnetism, waves, forces, momentum, energy, nuclear reactions. We actually went over quite a bit.
     
  18. Dec 15, 2003 #17

    Monique

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    Yes, I also went over those things, except the nuclear reactions, which was in chemistry. So are you saying these things are difficult?
     
  19. Dec 15, 2003 #18
    In my view Chemistry is little bit different in respect that it hasn't got symmetry in the theory.Whereas there are various laws of physics which are symmetrical and u get enjoyment while doing maths and physics problem. But in case of chemistry there are lots of exceptions which one has to consider, just look at Organic Chem, lots of exceptions and incomplete work is still to be completed
     
  20. Dec 15, 2003 #19

    Monique

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    So again, that would mean that chemistry is more difficult than physics. I mean, symmetry is logic.
     
  21. Dec 15, 2003 #20
    Yes to me it is definitely difficult
    each momement u have to think differently for different mechanisms etc.

    But Physics has got its own taste
     
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