Physics is "a natural science based on experiments, measurements and mathematical analysis with the purpose of finding quantitative physical laws for everything from the nanoworld of the microcosmos to the planets, solar systems and galaxies that occupy the microcosmos."

Those who research physics have the job of bringing us a better understanding of the world around us.

Because physics encompasses such a big part of modern science, it is important that students take part in learning about physics throughout their education. 

Younger students in Philadelphia can study physics at their local middle and high schools. Middle school lessons on physics are typically very vague and only explain the most basic of physics theories.

As students reach high school, students take a year to learn the fundamentals of physics similarly to how they learn biology or chemistry.

In high school, Philadelphia students are presented with multiple options for learning physics including an Advanced Placement program.

By college, physics classes require a more in-depth understating of physics and its subtopics.

Physics lessons are available to students across the United States.

Branches of Physics Studies

Like most other subjects, the study of physics can be broken down into multiple subtopics. The three main subtopics in physics are classical, relativistic, and quantum physics.

math tutoring
The language used when teaching physics is math. (Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash)

Within each of these sub-topics, there are multiple “central theories”. These central theories have been experimented on numerous times and are greatly accepted as a description of nature.

The central theories include:

  • Classical mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical mechanics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Quantum statistics
  • Quantum electrodynamics
  • Quantum field theory

The basics of these topics will likely be covered in a high school physics class. As you get into college-level classes, these topics will take a whole semester to cover. Students who choose to fo further in the specialization of these subtopics can choose to take more detailed courses at their university or even dedicate a master’s degree to the study of one of the theories.

No matter what level of physics you are enrolled in, you might benefit from working with a physics tutor. Hiring a physics tutor can help you better understand those ultra-complicated topics in physics. A tutor can provide the best reviews for an upcoming exam or simply be able to answer any questions you might have.

Private teachers can also propose a program that will mold the lessons to how you best learn over time. Tutors with experience can help you feel more comfortable with upcoming work.

You can study the different branches of physics in other major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago.

Honors and AP Physics in High School

If you attend a public high school in Philadelphia you’ll likely be able to choose from three types of physics education. The first course is a regular course which includes on level curriculum and speed. The second option is an honors course, where students learn the same curriculum as the honors class but they go into more depth on certain topics, go through lessons faster, and are expected to receive higher scores. The last option is the advanced placement courses provided by the College Board.

high school physics
A high school physics teacher will likely require you to read multiple textbook chapters throughout the year. (Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)

The Advanced Placement or AP classes usually follow a different curriculum, set by the College Board, that allows students to earn dual credit. Students who successfully pass the AP end-of-the-year exam receive high school credit for the course, as well as a college credit that they can use once they reach university.

Other Advanced Placement courses students can take are AP Chemistry and AP Biology.

Within the Advanced Placement program, a school can offer three different classes. The classes are as follows:

  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP Physics C - with Calculous

Each of these classes has a specific curriculum that you can check out on the College Board website. To enroll in an AP Physics course, most students need to be recommended by past science or physics teachers.

If your high school does not offer AP courses, but you are still interested in taking on the course, The College Board offers online instruction. These online AP classes can be taken over alongside your normal school curriculum.

Students taking any of these physics classes could greatly benefit from hiring a private physics tutor, especially those enrolling in an online class. Maintaining a solid grade in an AP class can help boost your college application.  You should make sure that the private teacher is aware of the changes in curriculum and exams that the AP class has had over the years. 

Tutoring can provide material for you to read and review in between sessions that can help you prep for the following lesson.

These high school class options for physics are similar in other cities like Houston.

Why Hire A Physics Teacher?

In some Philidephia public schools, some students may not receive an adequate amount of attention they need to successfully navigate through their classes. Having time for individualized attention and having someone ready to answer any questions regarding the subject, can help increase a student's confidence in the material.

physics tutor
Read reviews by past students to help your narrow down choices for a private teacher.  (Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Uns)

Private tutors with experience do just that. A session with a tutor is an opportunity for the student to have all the necessary attention and have all of their questions answered. Tutors will also be able to adapt their lessons to the student’s preferred learning method. In a full-sized classroom, a teacher can not adapt to each student's way of thinking, there simply isn’t enough time. A physics tutor will be able to mold the instruction to however the student learns best.

Having more understanding during a lesson typically reflects itself in a student's grade and test scores. Tutors also aid in developing a student's critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Both are transferable skills and can be used in a future job.

Comprehending physics is highly important as physics is a fundamental science and a lot of what is learned in physics can be applied to other sciences like chemistry, biology, and astrophysics. A private tutor can help you set a strong foundation for any future science studies.

Physics teachers are also of great help for students because they can provide a wide range of additional sample questions and reviews.

Tutors equip students with appropriate educational material to help them succeed in their classes, including reviews on math formulas that may come up during a physics lesson.

You can find private tutors in Philidelphia using Superprof. Superprof gives you access to tutors based in Philly as well as tutors from around the world who offer online education.

You can check out a tutor's level of experience, education certifications, and tutoring prices on their Superprof profile.

Tutors are also available for other subjects like math and biology. 

Physics At A University In Philadelphia

Students hoping to study physics in Philadelphia can do so when enrolled in universities like UPenn and Temple University as well as other colleges in the city. Both schools offer a wide variety of physics programs with the opportunity to specialize in subtopics.

Earning a physics degree can take years but it can be one step closer to being qualified to work in scientific research or as a physicist. 

These schools also offer programs in math and English which you can take alongside your physics courses.

physics degrees
Multiple universities in Philadelphia offer physics degrees. (Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash)

University of Pennsylvania

This Ivy League school bases its curriculum on the strengths of its faculty which include Condensed Matter Physics, Medical Physics, Elementary Particle Physics, Cosmology, Astrophysics, Biophysics, Nanoscience, String Theory, and other fields. A majority of its students participate in research. Students may also join clubs like the Society of Physics Students and the Women in Physics Club which promote physics-related activities outside of the classroom and hope to socially connect students with similar interests in physics. Both clubs hold events and notify their members of possible research opportunities and internships.

Teaching and tutoring job opportunities may also be available at UPenn for graduate students. Grad students also have the chance to read and participate in scientific reviews that apply to their specialization while attending this university.

Temple University

The study of the natural world is the foundation on which the Bachelor of Science in Physics or Bachelor of Arts in Physics in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University stands on. The school supports students in building a foundation of knowledge on the topic and then focuses on specialized fields of study. At Temple, students can explore subspecialties such as studies of atoms, macroscopic systems, properties of nuclei, the structure and origin of the universe, and subatomic particles. Temple University also hopes to teach students transferrable skills that they may use in any career choice that they make. Temple offers both a BS and a BA in Physics.

Teaching opportunities are also available at Temple for students seeking a graduate degree.

If you happen to attend other local universities, make sure to check out their course catalog to see what kinds of physics classes these other colleges might offer.

For those students not living in Philly but other cities on the East Coast like New York or Boston, Superprof can also help you find physics college-level courses in these areas.

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