By Sharmin Shanur ’16
Have you ever wondered why your body jerks forward when you evasively step on your car brakes, or how the earth rotates around the sun? If so, you are on the path of becoming an amatuer physicist.
To many high school students, physics seems like a daunting combination of math and critical thinking — the sort of class that some fear will leave them crying or feeling simply hopeless. However, what many fail to notice is that physics merely tries to explain the world’s phenomena. It provides a solid understanding of why all the physical laws of the universe unfold as they do. Unlike many classes you will take as a high school student, physics is all about asking questions (like the ones above) and trying to answer them by using your imagination as well as your understanding of various theories and equations. It is an opportunity to finally realize the inner makings of this world, and that’s what makes this class so interesting.
Thankfully, as an AP Physics students, you will be well-versed in the laws of physics. As a result, every catapult, falling object, or collision will remind you of Newton’s Laws or the Kinematics Equations. When a person tells you to calculate the force at which a ball is coming to you, instead of simply saying “fast” or “not hard” you will immediately blurt out “Force equal mass times acceleration.” You might get a few raised eyebrows at first, but you will certainly be able to engage in conversations and explain everyday occurrences on a deeper level.
While physics is a riveting subject, you may have been misleadingly convinced that the workload is unbearable. However, I can assure you, based on personal experience, that as long as you meticulously read every chapter and take the initiative to meet with your teacher on a weekly basis, you will certainly succeed in a higher level physics course. Next week when you begin scheduling classes for next year, consider a course that will allow you to interact with your surroundings and spark your inner amatuer physicist.