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Is Physics Boring? - From a Teenager's Viewpoint
By Prithvi S J Monteiro

November 21, 2013

Many of us may feel that physics is rocket science. Perhaps, we don’t understand it or maybe we think that there is nothing interesting in it. A usual definition of physics that a crazy person would give is- “physics is the study of matter, energy and study of the concepts of space-time which are experimentally proved and mathematically formulated.” Well, the definition is likely to be correct but it is inappropriate. Physics is actually purely using human intellect to understand our world better. It is a test of our common sense. Now you may be wondering how this so called ‘famous’ equation i.e., E=MC2 be understood by common sense. Yes, the trouble starts over here; mathematics.

- In many of our cases we don’t understand physics simply because we don’t understand mathematics. According to me, mathematics is a language, a universal language. It is used in physics to act as a medium of communication between the book and the reader. It is so beautiful that it gives the whole concept we are learning in a nutshell in the form of an equation or an expression (that’s what Einstein did in E=mc2). Nature communicates with humans through this language of maths. So from now on let us approach mathematics in a right way. Let us not forget that doing maths is an art of converting complicated stuff into simpler expressions. Hence maths is just a representation of our common sense and can be used as a very powerful tool in physics to check whether our guesses are logically right.

- Now since we are done with maths the actual issue was “Whether physics is boring”. The second reason is Examination. For people with exam problems I would like to give a possible solution. Physics can be learnt without actually opening the books and sitting for hours.

The following are four simple steps to prepare for exams:

Step 1: All what you have to do is to choose an interesting topic from your text book (if nothing interests you choose any random topic).
Step 2: If you come across any formula firstly understand what each letter or symbol means and in what context, e.g. in E=MC2, E is energy, M is mass, and C is speed of light in vacuum. Once you are done, brief through some examples that use such a formula. Correlate this with examples from your daily life.
Step 3: If possible try to perform and create simple experiments to understand the concept better.
Step 4: Spend most of your study time in discussing doubts and sharing your knowledge with others.

However preparation cannot be a one day struggle, it has to done every day. The above mentioned steps would make physics more fun and an enjoyable subject. Don’t simply memorise things, understand what the book is telling you. During your leisure time, try to make your own theories and formulate them mathematically if possible. The most important factor that differentiates between a common man and a physicist is wide observation, imagination and the ability to view nature from a unique perspective. Anyone who has these three capabilities is a physicist in himself/herself. So from now onwards try to cultivate these habits in you.

- The third reason why people find Physics boring is due to peer pressure. Many of us as students have our own group of friends .Some of us may fall into a society which does not encourage Physics. This causes the interest in physics to slowly fade out. Hence people those who are really interested in the subject must know to choose friends wisely. But for people who are stranded in such an awkward situation, there is no specific solution because it depends on the personality and interests of each person. The only way out is to learn in our privacy. Determination and will-power are two virtues that would help us overcome against all these peer pressures in our very inconvenient teenage life. These are the days which are not only the most memorable and cherished days of life but is also a time where we need to plan and work to make our future memorable and cherished.

This means that if we are really going to take up physics as our job stream we have to really work hard to assure a secure future. For people who are interested in some other subject of research, entertainment, skills etc., you would very soon realize that physics is hiding very inconspicuously in every job stream you choose.

Coming back to the same old question, Is physics boring? Could hurdles like mathematics, examination and peer pressure slow down our race to progress in Physics? Well, the answer is ‘no’ from my view point. But readers may have their own viewpoints which should not be inhibited. However physics is the philosophy of life. It is such a vast subject that the more we slip into it, the more deeper it gets.

It’s so beautiful that it acts as an interactive bond between man and nature. Nature is all around us and is eagerly waiting for us to discover and unlock its secrets. Thus I would like to conclude that in the process of learning if you find anything boring and dry just remember that:

The universe is not about formulation
It’s the extent of your imagination
Humans study it
Leaders create it


Prithvi Monteiro Archives:



Comments on this article
Patrick g f, mangaloreThursday, November 28, 2013

Congragulation's, here’s is a list ,for children interested :

What breaks electroweak symmetry?
What is the ultraviolet extrapolation of the Standard Model?
Why is there a large hierarchy between the Planck scale, the weak scale, and the vacuum energy?
How do strongly-interacting degrees of freedom resolve into weakly-interacting ones?
Is there a pattern/explanation behind the family structure and parameters of the Standard Model?
What is the phenomenology of the dark sector?
What symmetries appear in useful descriptions of nature?
Are there surprises at low masses/energies?
How does the observable universe evolve?
How does gravity work on macroscopic scales?
What is the topology and geometry of space-time and dynamical degrees of freedom on small scales?
How does quantum gravity work in the real world?
Why was the early universe hot, dense, and very smooth but not perfectly smooth?
What is beyond the observable universe?
Why is there a low-entropy boundary condition in the past but not the future?
Why aren’t we fluctuations in de Sitter space?
How do we compare probabilities for different classes of observers?
What rules govern the evolution of complex structures?
Do quantum mechanics correct?
What happens when wave functions collapse?
How do we go from the quantum Hamiltonian to a quasiclassical configuration space?
Is physics deterministic?
How many bits are required to describe the universe?
Will “elementary physics” ultimately be finished?
Comment on this message     

Kenny and Kate, Bejai,MangaloreWednesday, November 27, 2013
Dear Prithvi
Good article and well written. Excellent blend of thoughts. Especially the tips given by you that will make Physics all the more interesting. Good luck.
Comment on this message     

Dave, MelbourneTuesday, November 26, 2013
Good article.. Congrats
Comment on this message     

Donald Roche, Mangalore/RuzaiSaturday, November 23, 2013
Prithvi dear, do you know what did the male magnet say to the female magnet? Ans. From your backside, I thought you were repulsive. However, after seeing you from the front, I find you rather attractive. (just for a physics joke.) So here I say science student should make physics as their interesting (attractive) subject. Physics is also called the fundamental science because the subject of study of all branches of natural science like chemistry, astronomy,geology and biology are constrained by laws of physics.
Dear Prithvi, I think schooling and writing are the most amazing experiences of your life. Be sure to get the best of both worlds and find the healthy balance between the studying and the writing. My best wishes to you.
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John DSouza, MangaloreSaturday, November 23, 2013
Physics is not chemical and biological, but purely natural, environmental, mechanical and yogic.
It can be boring, exciting, fun, joke, entertainment, solution and revolutionary

Below statements - True or False:
Gravity is a powerful natural force, free, abundant and not exhaustible, available 24x7
Elephant’s load on wheels is controllable during its downward movement
Direction of racing horse is handled by a tiny rider
Rabbit can run several times faster than the tortoise, even on hills
Things move from up towards the downward slopes freely on land
The force of the waterfalls from hills generate electricity (energy)
The athlete gets ready with a bending position to run the race
Aero plane changes the angle while taking off to be on air

The heavier side of the seesaw always goes down
Imbalanced weighing scale is due to unequal weights in two sides
The side with more force wins the game, in the tug of war
The earth rotates and moves in 23 degree angle in its axis.

Why all vehicles in the surface transport sector are maintained parallel to the level roads of 180 degree angle?
Why not there is clear separation of bull (engine) and the cart (commuters and goods) in two parts, to have excellent solutions and amazing benefits?
Why the dead weight on wheels has been considered and carried as a heavy burden and why not it can be used as a strong pushing force and save a huge volume of fuel?
Comment on this message     

Rita, GermanySaturday, November 23, 2013
Well written ,but for People like me Physic, chemistry is only a mystery as once my Chemie Tutor told me.After all it is for some People like you a good and interesting subject.Keep up and go Forward with your studies .The Nation Needs Young People like you.
Comment on this message     

Ronnie, Kinnigoli/CanadaSaturday, November 23, 2013
Let us make Physics humorous: I would like to share a few jokes that I heard during my college days…
A hydrogen atom lost its electron and went to the police station to file a missing electron report. He was questioned by the police: "Haven't you just misplaced it somewhere? Are you sure that your electron is really lost?"
"I'm positive." replied the atom.

A physics student was hit by a brick falling from a house. He fainted, but came to after a while and started smiling. The onlookers were worried, so they asked him why the smile. "I just realized how lucky I am because the kinetic energy is only half m v squared."

What's the difference between an auto mechanic and a quantum mechanic?
The quantum mechanic can get the car inside the garage without opening the door. (remember the wave nature of the matter?)
Comment on this message     

lance, mangaloreFriday, November 22, 2013
Good writing!!
Next you should look at ALGEBRA that that we never use in day to day life... at least I have not used in 50/55 years.
Comment on this message     

ujwal, mangaloreThursday, November 21, 2013
Excellent thoughts, Well written.
Comment on this message     

geoffrey, hat hillThursday, November 21, 2013
Any lay person can enjoy reading HG Wells’ ‘Time machine’. But to really understand the concept like space-time the 4th dimension, it takes qualities like abstract thinking and spatial reasoning and all brains don’t have these qualities. Those who do, don’t require the aid of great teachers anyway. All said and done, will man ever find answers to the ultimate questions? The answer seems to be no, but the quest itself is extremely exciting and gratifying.
Comment on this message     

John DSouza, MangaloreThursday, November 21, 2013
Congratulations Prithvi, physics is boring to read but exciting to feel
Excellent, though teenager’s viewpoint, it is really a matured thought
Being a layman, I have few questions with curiosity to find answers
If you have some time, please provide them with one word for each

If our Earth (Planet) rotates and moves around the Sun carrying huge oceans and continents, why we cannot roll objects on free wheels from top to bottom (or up to down), without air pollution and sound pollution?
If the falling apple introduced the gravity force and the force of waterfalls generates electricity, why we need to consume huge volume of expensive fuel to carry and move the huge weight and enjoy unhealthy pollutions and bear rocketing transport costs?
If a man can pull six trucks from a standstill position, why a two wheeler cannot pull a car or SUV? And if a man can pull an aero plane, why not a SUV or car can pull a heavy vehicle?
Do we see any bull carrying the load of cart? Why the surface transport sector is carrying and moving the bullock cart on wheels, since the introduction of vehicle engine?
If a cone and cylinder rolled on a flat ground, at what distance they will make a circle?
Do you agree that wheels use the cylinder format in all vehicles on surface transport sector, which never make a circle, even if they moved around the globe?
When the vehicle engine was invented and why it preferred to keep to bullock cart on wheels, instead of merely replacing the bull with engine?
Comment on this message     

Prashanth, MangaloreThursday, November 21, 2013
Good article. Physics will be interesting if someone find good lecturer in college. Poor teaching skills ruined many students' lives especially in rural areas.I was very good and top scorer until SSLC.while studying in PUC had very tough time to understand chemistry and maths due to poor lectures.Paying very high prices for that, my entire life.
Comment on this message     

Sean Fernandes-A Level, Mangalore/DubaiThursday, November 21, 2013
If you want to become next Steve Jobs nothing is boring in life!!!
Think of the positive aspects physics has helped mankind.
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