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Physics is a fascinating subject, which explores and seeks to understand how nature behaves. In physics we measure what happens in natural phenomena and use our knowledge to predict future behaviour. This allows us to harness the forces of nature to design things we need in the modern world such as iPods, mobile phones, TV, the internet, electricity, optical devices. People use physics in many varied careers including those listed below and it is a basic first year college subject in many medical, science or engineering courses offering qualifications in these areas. Students who study physics may discover an interest in these areas.


In physics class we learn the theory behind the areas listed below. We do experiments to see how nature behaves, for example how the pitch of a musical note changes when you increase the tension in a guitar string. We do a mandatory experiment every few weeks and we understand how things work in reality in a practical way. From this we learn some formulas which help us to do calculations based on our results. Students need basic maths skills which they will have from Junior Cert pass maths. These include rearranging formulas and using the calculator properly. Students learn problem solving which is a skill highly prized by many employers in the real world. They become skilled in thinking since there is more understanding and practical work and less learning off than in other subjects.

Areas studied and examples of how these are relevant to everyday life include:

Light (optics, optician, telescopes, astronomy, photography) 
Waves and sound (music, sound engineering, special effects)
Mechanics (motion, forces, acceleration of cars, bullets, ballistics, engineering) 
Heat and temperature (how a fridge works) 
Electricity, static and magnetism (modern technology as above) 
Nuclear energy and radioactivity and particles (may prevent global warming) 
X-rays, TV tube, transformer….


Architecture, Biophysicist, Computer careers, Dentist, Doctor, Electrician, Engineer (all types especially Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical and Civil), Geophysicist, Medical Laboratory Technician, Metallurgist, Optician, Pharmacist, Photography, Physiotherapist, Plumber, Pilot, Radiographer, Electrician and any high level careers that involve problem solving e.g. Marketing, Business, Management.


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