American Physical Society
Smiling professor

Information for Educators


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

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).

Fred Begay

Fred Begay - Research Physicist

Fred Begay was born on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation in Colorado. His parents were Navajo and Ute healers and spiritual leaders,  and taught him their ceremonies and religious beliefs. When he was ten,  he was sent to a government-run boarding school where they forced him to learn farming; "our parents didn't speak English,  so they couldn't say,  'I want him to take physics.'" says Fred. At the school,  speaking in Navajo or Ute was discouraged,  and any recitation of traditional prayers was threatened with punishment.

After eight years learning about farming,  Fred joined the Air Force and fought in the Korean War.  After returning from the service,  he took advantage of Veterans benefits and started classes at the University of New Mexico. Unfortunately his schooling had not prepared him for the course work,  so he had to take high school classes at night.

According to Fred,  there was a lot of overlap between what his parents had taught him,  and what he learned in physics. "It turns out many of the prayers and songs have built in lots of science,  " he says."I was immersed in all that knowledge before I even got to the first grade. "

Fred earned his undergraduate,  graduate,  and doctoral degrees from the University of New Mexico,  and went to work for the Los Alamos Nuclear Research Labs.