American Physical Society
Smiling professor

Information for Educators

Overview

Physics teachers and professors are likely to be the only physicists your students know! So when they have questions about physics and what physicists do, they may come to you for advice. In this section you will find suggestions for ways in which you can cultivate your students' curiosity for learning more about how and why physicists study the world around them.

Tools and Resources

Why Study Physics Poster

APS and AAPT worked together to create a "Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Take Physics" poster. These posters (along with other educational posters) are available through the APS website at http://www.aps.org/programs/education/posters.cfm.

Why Study Physics poster10. This is actually a joke; there is no way to get out of a black hole! But the APS outreach website PhysicsCentral has an article about this fascinating subject.

9. Many people who have studied physics report it helps them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

8. Why the sky is blue
Why the world goes round (you might have heard it was love, but Newton knew the real answer)
The physics of climate change.

7. This report shows that physics majors get among the highest MCAT scores, and the highest LSAT scores of all undergraduate majors.

6. For some of those recession-proof jobs, see our physicist profiles or the University of Texas website.

5. Mathematics provide the tools physicists use to understand the world we live in. Nobel Prize winner Eugene Wigner explored this theme in a famous essay called The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.

4. Almost a third of all physics bachelor's recipients who go into the private sector take engineering jobs. See more interesting physics employment facts.

3. Keivan Stassun explores the mysteries of the universe.
Marta Dark-McNeese uses lasers to develop new medical techniques.
Kate McAlpine became an international rap sensation with the Large Hadron Rap.
Kenneth Jensen solves the world's energy problems for Makani Power.

2. Without physics there would be no:

1. Physics makes you more attractive to university recruiters, future employers, and that cutie you have your eye on. (You'll just have to trust us on that last one).

Terence Hwa

Terence Hwa - Professor

Born in China,  Terence first came to the United States in 1979 at the age of 15.  After completing his bachelor's degree in three majors at Stanford (where he won the prestgious Apker award for outstanding achievements in Physics by undergrads),  Terence went to grad school at MIT to study statistical mechanics and condensed matter Physics.  He earned his PhD in 1990,  working on pattern formation in complex systems.

Today,  Terence continues to teach and do interdisciplinary research on the connection between the pattern description capabilities of theoretical physics,  and genomic research.  Through such research,  Hwa says that physicists face nothing less than resolving the mysteries of life created by billions of years of natural evolution."

Terence has won several awards and grants that he believes have been essential to allowing him to carry on research in a subject matters that until recently "did not belong to any fields and had no official channel of support."  Terence said,  "The career path I am taking is an unusual one,  and these awards,  starting with the Apker Award,  are crucial in helping me to overcome the many unexpected difficulties associated with pursuing my kind of path."