Physics for all?
Whatever their later choices and future jobs, it's important that all young people learn some physics at school.
The world is full of technological devices based on physics principles and many natural phenomena can be explained using physics. For the curious, a basic physics education will provide satisfying insight into countless products and processes.
A grasp of physics can also:
- inform personal behaviour such as sunbathing, using electrical appliances, or motor car driving habits
- help people to engage in local and national issues, e.g. decisions about the location of a mobile phone base station, or the disposal of nuclear wastes
- deepen an appreciation of media reports on modern astronomy or global warming.
Whether they are aware of it or not, future sound and lighting technicians, brick-layers, electricians, and air traffic controllers will regularly exercise physics knowledge and skills.
Future scientists, medical practitioners and engineers may be inspired to pursue their careers through good physics teaching. They will need to understand their physics well, as a foundation for a range of later experiences, from using instrumentation to imaging and data processing.