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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The magical world of physics

Article Collected by - Education is My Passion

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A crucial subject among the sciences, physics has evolved over the years, stretching its applications to numerous areas. And keeping pace with the evolving science, higher education institutions are constantly upgrading. Nonetheless, experts underscore the need to inculcate scientific temper in students at an early stage to kindle the spirit of research.

Physics, according to the French researcher Nicole Ostrowsky, is alive and constantly changing. “You need physics for a wide spectrum. The research of human genome cannot do without physics. The subject plays a huge part cutting across disciplines,” she said.

She felt that India was well-placed in the field of physics and Indian physicists were strong theoreticians. “Physics has applications from astronomy to biotechnology and computer science. There are many highly visible now such as management, banking and marketing and students should understand that pursuing physics is definitely not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job,” she said.


According to experts, studying physics requires the following attributes — a logical and numerate mind, the ability to solve problems, communication skills developed through report writing and presentations, computing and practical skills, teamwork and flexibility.  But how do students perceive physics nowadays? Quite a few students are really interested in studying physics.

They can fit into any system and gain good employment whether in computer industry, semi-conductor industry and national research laboratories. Approximately, about 40 to 50 per cent of students go for further studies after completing M.Sc, 20 to 25 per cent opt for Information Technology field, some go as college teachers and five to 10 per cent go abroad for higher studies.

Varied fields

Physics has applications in many fields such as lasers, global positioning system, medical imaging and computers, he said, while Ms. Ostrowsky observed that it extended its applications to biology, biophysics, geophysics, geology, astrophysics and sustainable development.  The experts laid stress on enabling young students to understand the subject better while in school.

The French physics researcher, following an interaction and demonstration of experiments with a group of school students , said, “Teachers play a huge role in encouraging students. Students should be given an opportunity to have hands-on experiments in schools. Experiments will help the student understand better and schools should involve students in taking up simple science experiments,” she insisted.

Through this, students will be interested in knowing more, she said, adding, “There is no use in learning science by-heart.”  It is the responsibility of teachers to create interest and see that the subject is exciting for students.
Source : The Hindu

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