3 Skills Needed for College Physics
September 28, 2021
One of our recent podcasts is "What is Physics?" with Sridhara Dasu, Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin Madison.
Professor Dasu shared the 3 key skills high schoolers need to build, to study Physics in College:
1. Persistence to Solve Problems
This is vital. What the problem is, in principle doesn't matter as much. But that persistence is the most important thing. If you're willing to spend time and effort to get to an answer, that's the most important thing, in Prof. Dasu’s opinion.
2. Abstract Reasoning
Ability to understand and think about complex concepts not tied to concrete experiences or things. Physics problems start out by saying, ignore the resistance, ignore friction and things like that. For instance, when Galileo observed that an object keeps on moving unless some force acts on it and Newton codified in wonderful laws, they did so by abstracting away the situation. In reality, even on flat ice, an object will stop moving. So abstraction is an important thing, both from an experimental point of view and in model building and theory.
3. Aptitude for Mathematics
Physics being a quantifiable science, you have to be able to build Mathematical Models. Depending on how well you do mathematics, you may become a theoretical versus or an experimental physicist. There's a range there, but without mathematics, it will be very, very difficult. College level mathematics is an absolute necessity.
In the Podcast with Prof. Sridhara Dasu, “About Majors: What is Physics?” we discussed:
If you are college-bound, this Podcast is a must listen.