Physics is defined at the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them.
But what does that really mean?
Physics is the most fundamental of all the science subjects. It aims to describe the behaviour of everything in the physical universe. It has such a large scope that it can be found at the core of many different subjects such as Medicine, Engineering, Computers and Astronomy.
Physics seeks to understand the world and physicists ask really big questions in life such as
- How did the universe begin?
- How will the universe change in the future?
- How does the Sun keep on shining?
- What are the basic building blocks of matter?
If you think these questions are fascinating, then you’ll like physics.
Who is suited to Physics?
- Students who wonder why and ask how
- Students who have a strong head for numbers, a good grasp of scientific principles and a keen interest in discoveries relating to the physical world, at particle and/or cosmic level
- Students who are interested in the following careers would be advised to study Physics: Electrician, Optician, Doctor, Dentist, Engineer, Computer Technician and Programmer.
Considering Physics for Leaving Cert?
- Pupils who will gain the most from studying physics are those who have an interest in science at Junior Cert level and those who enjoy learning about how things work. The science, technology and society section allows students the chance to see where the physics they are learning applies as in TVs, car motors and electricity in the home and also, to see some of the industrial applications of certain topics.
Leaving Cert Subjects that compliment Physics
- While there is an element of maths in the physics course, honours maths is not a requirement to do honours physics. Students should not avoid physics on the basis of not having honours maths. It is entirely possible to get on well in honours physics without honours maths.
- There is strong overlaps between Physics and Applied Maths
- The physics syllabus has strong links with the other science subjects especially chemistry. There are strands of physics which overlap with woodwork and construction especially the electricity and heat sections.
What do Physicists do?
Many graduates of Physics will continue with their studies and seek employment in research. Others will seek employment in any number of STEM related careers. Physics is a springboard for many careers across a diverse spectrum. All of the technology we take for granted today, including games consoles, mobile phones, mp3 players, and DVDs, is based on a theoretical understanding of electrons that is derived from studying physics.
Image courtesy of Institute of Physics Ireland
Careers in Physics
Physics is applied in every sphere of human activity, including:
- Development of sustainable forms of energy production
- Predicting the weather
- Understanding climate change
- Insulating our homes
- Testing and improving our eyesight and hearing
- Treating cancer, through radiotherapy, and diagnosing illness through various types of imaging
- Developing computer games
- Design and manufacture of sports equipment
- Understanding and predicting earthquakes
- Launching a rocket
- Solve crimes
- Investigate how animals communicate
…in fact, pretty much every sector you can think of needs people with physics knowledge.
For more information on careers with physics click here
Image courtesy of www.physics.org
Interested in Studying Physics at Third Level?
Use the Coursefinder on CareersPortal to find courses in Physics in Institutes of Technpology and Universities across Ireland.