08 Jul Why Is H2 Physics Important?
Physics is all around us. Whether it’s building skyscrapers that reach for the clouds, generating renewable energy at a nuclear power plant or even using a personal computer, it is not difficult to find examples of physics being applied in the real world every day. This makes physics an especially interesting subject to study.
For some students, H2 physics at the A Levels provides a gateway to a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. To others, it may simply be a stepping stone towards their desired course in university.
No matter which category one might belong to, no one can deny that it’s study comes along with a host of other practical advantages as well. In this article, we will explore briefly what the H2 Physics syllabus covers, why it is useful in the real world and the career options it holds for those who study it.
The H2 Physics Syllabus
Physics at H2 level is divided into 5 main themes: Newtonian mechanics, thermal physics, oscillation and waves, electricity and magnetism and modern physics. Each of these themes are interconnected and build upon the others. For instance, concepts like force, momentum and energy which are covered extensively in Newtonian Physics feature heavily in the other five.
While many of these topics may be familiar to students of O level Pure or Combined Physics, one can expect an increase in the level of mathematical rigour. Students of A Level Physics will be expected to draw upon concepts from Elementary and Additional Math like trigonometry and calculus.
Over and above the increased mathematical requirement from the O levels, topics such as superposition or quantum physics may seem entirely alien at first. A strong imagination coupled with a willingness to observe, question and analyse daily phenomenon will greatly help in strengthening your foundations in the subject.
Areas where H2 Physics can be Applied
H2 physics serves as a good jumping-off point for those who are interested in entering STEM fields after their A levels. This is because many STEM fields draw upon the many skills acquired from learning H2 Physics. Here is a list of areas where concepts and skills from H2 Physics are often used:
Engineering is a popular route for many students with a physics background, because it is a field where the application of theory is most obvious. Engineering is concerned with the design, building and use of mechanical structures like engines and machines.
Hence, depending on the branch of engineering that you are interested in, you can draw on several different parts of your physics education. For example, if you excelled in the topic of electricity and magnetism in H2 physics, electrical engineering may be a good fit for your abilities.
Designing and constructing buildings is another area in which physics concepts can be applied. To design buildings that are safe for people to live and work in and adhere to building safety standards, architects must have a good understanding of fundamental physics concepts.
For example, they must choose building materials that can withstand high amounts of pressure, so that the building will not crumble under the weight of objects that are placed inside.
For skyscrapers, architects need to account for building sway, and design appropriate damping systems so that buildings remain standing even in the face of strong winds or even earthquakes. The importance of physics in architecture is demonstrated by the fact that many professional architecture courses in universities require students to take and pass some introductory physics modules.
Computer Science and Robotics
Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are all rapidly expanding fields, and although the direct applications of physics may be less obvious here, the skills that you learn in H2 physics can be very useful for creating and using new technologies.
Skills like logical reasoning, scientific inquiry and data analysis can be very useful in areas like computer science and robotics, where you will often have to go through many rounds of trial-and-error to get the result you want—much like a real physics experiment.
Advantages of Taking H2 Physics
Whether you are considering taking H2 physics out of interest, practicality or necessity, studying the subject has many benefits. Besides improving yourself and your own stock of knowledge, H2 physics can also boost your university and career prospects, both in the short term and long term. Some of the benefits of taking H2 physics include:
Better Understand the World Around You
Physics is defined as “the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy”. As such, studying physics will undoubtedly give you a greater understanding of the natural world: how different physical quantities can grow and change, how different materials can be used for different purposes and how something as simple as an apple falling out of a tree is governed by natural laws.
If you have always been interested in how the world works, studying H2 physics can satisfy your curiosity by uncovering its secrets, and helping you develop explanations for phenomena that many of us often take for granted. Physics is a rich field that is filled with many laws, formulas and its fair share of surprises, and studying it can be a deeply fulfilling endeavour.
Qualify for more University Courses
On the more practical side, taking H2 physics instead of H1 physics can help you qualify for a greater number of university courses, which may require a pass in H2 physics. These include popular courses that are relevant to the study of physics, such as engineering, computer science and architecture.
Any of these courses will be able to give you a leg up in the domain of careers, as the demand for STEM-educated professionals increases.
Better Career Prospects
As our world continues its onward march via the development of new technologies, STEM has become one of the fastest-growing industries, giving STEM graduates a veritable feast of career choices.
H2 physics can be your gateway to a variety of STEM careers, which are often highly stable, well-paid and constantly changing. Armed with your science-based skill set, you will be able to enter many exciting industries such as research, product development and data science.
Develop Important Skills for Learning and Working
Perhaps the best and most significant advantage of taking H2 physics is the chance to develop skills that will stay with you long after you graduate. Regardless of whichever discipline you choose to enter after A Levels, skills like logical reasoning, data interpretation and application of concepts will be useful in any field. Hence, H2 physics can be a valuable tool for your journey of self-improvement.
How TSA can help you ace H2 Physics
The Science Academy’s approach to JC physics tuition has helped countless students not only improve their performance, but also strengthen their passion for the subject. With over 20 years of combined experience, our science tutors are committed to helping our students get the most out of their science education, and instil a lifelong love of science.