Make physics fun

Our young blogger Megan explains why she thinks physics is fun and interesting.

When I say ‘physics’, what comes to mind? The universe? Einstein? The Big Bang Theory? For a lot of people, it’s probably school and exams.

Physics is a subject. Everyone has a taste and then gets to choose if they want to further that taste, but some schools have physics as a mandatory subject. No matter what, everyone has to take it. This doesn’t help encourage passion, as most then see physics as something they have to do to get good grades in.

Physics isn’t like that, though. It can also be great fun! Physics is about answering questions, creating new questions and learning about us and our universe.

I mean, there are so many different areas. You’ve got astrophysics, biophysics, chemical physics, econophysics, geophysics, medical physics and physical chemistry.

Then there’s the fun little stories, like Newton’s apple.

Almost everyone knows about how Newton showed that the force that causes an apple to fall to the ground is the same force that keeps the moon in orbit around the Earth—that force being gravity.

Did you know that the speed of light is 299,792,458 m/s, the fastest thing in the universe that we know of? And that the closer you travel to the speed of light, the slower time passes for you in relation to someone standing still? So, if you travelled on the Millennium Falcon and hit the hyperdrive, when you arrived back on Earth your friend who was the same age as you when you left would now be older.

That’s what is known as Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

See? Physics is awesome – complicated at times – but awesome!

My dad is who I have to thank for introducing me to physics, so when I was able to pick it as a subject at school, I couldn’t wait!

Then S3 and S4 passed. I had crammed for my National 5 exams, got my results, and was back at school for my Highers when I suddenly realised that  although I was still in love with physics  I wasn’t enjoying it as much as before. The fun had been replaced by needing to know certain information so I could pass my exams, and that’s not what I wanted.

Now, I’m not in school; I’m applying to college to restart my Highers. In this time, I’ve rediscovered my love for physics. Instead of reading SQA notes to study, I’m reading books on physics, quantum theory and general science because I want to. That’s what physics is to me: fun, and so, so interesting!