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Chemistry Vs. Physics

DannyNobelDannyNobel Posts: 608- Member
edited December 2010 in Science Majors
So we all now chemistry and physics are superior to biology obviously...


But the real question is between chemistry and physics. Which one is the true science that will lead mankind to the truth behind the universe and the fundamental question that mankind has that so many of us often turned to religion to fill the void.

Chemistry or physics?


Can anyone persuade me toward one side? :]
Post edited by DannyNobel on

Replies to: Chemistry Vs. Physics

  • MathPhysicistMathPhysicist Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    In all honesty, you sound more of a Philosophy major. It sounds like you've been reading too many pop Physics books rather than actual "doing" Physics books.

    If you like math heavy subjects then pick Physics, if you like more conceptual subjects then pick Chemistry. Both will teach you how to grind out the details of doing science through experiment and theory. Things like formulating and testing ideas, not "the truth behind the universe." You'll spend most of your time proving mathematical relationships in your Physics classes and setting up lab experiments in your Chemistry classes.

    If you want to discuss "religion to fill the void" topics then pick Philosophy of Science.

    Philosophy of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Good luck.


    P.S. - You might want to rethink your first sentence. Feynman himself was very intrigued by Biology late in life. No true scientist in any subject would bash anothers because we're all in it together: to observe and predict nature.
  • Lemaitre1Lemaitre1 Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    I majored in Astronomy as an undergraduate and had no trouble understanding and doing well in even the advanced Physics courses I was required to take. Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are somewhat counter-intuitive but once you accept that if you follow their rules they make sense they are understandable. Chemistry did not make sense to me in the way Physics did. Chemistry, particularly Organic Chemistry, seemed very arbitrary and lacking in unifying principles and concepts. Physics required more math but Chemistry required an intuition that I just did not have.
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Posts: 961Registered User Member
    Physics and Chemistry are both highly conceptual. If you do not have a good conceptual understanding in these subjects, then it will definitely impact your computation. Physics demands more from your computation due to the fact that it is a math intensive subject. The biggest difference for me between these two subjects is that Physics requires you to be able to differentiate between many concepts at a time in order to find the best way to start and solve a problem. This is where many people get in trouble with physics because they simply do no know the correct way to start a problem.

    If you take a physics course and a chemistry course it will be easy to figure out which one you enjoy the most. Some people are better with chemistry while others are more suited for physics while others are gifted at both. It is all a mindset, and just by reading your original post it is impossible to say which one you fit under. "The truth behind the universe" isn't really a viable reason to pursue one over the other, and I would agree with MathPhysicist that this "truth behind the universe" is more of a philosophy not a science.
  • flemmydflemmyd Posts: 525Registered User Member
    the problem with characterizing chemistry is that the field is SO broad (it's called the central science for a reason) and it's hard to narrow. doing organic reactions and how it might occur in a cell- yeah that's chemistry. blasting lasers onto a molecule and seeing how it reacts based on the quantum mechanical properties of the electron bonds? yeah, also chemistry....
  • LastThreeYearsLastThreeYears Posts: 480Registered User Member
    Broadly speaking:

    Chemistry is the study of materials in all phases and properties applied to its interactions with other materials and its transformations.

    Physics is the rigorous and quantitative study of the basic properties of matter, energy and space.

    If you want to have any hope of understanding the "ultimate truth"... chemistry is not for you, because chemistry is an applied science and borrows alot of underlying theory from physics but adapts them to chemical needs.
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