Top 10 Hardest Physics Topics

Here's a list where you can vote for the physics topics you find most mind-bending. From Quantum Mechanics to Electromagnetism, weigh in on what you think deserves to be at the top of this daunting list.
The Top Ten
1 Quantum Mechanics Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that deals with the behavior of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scales.

Well, Niels Bohr said that anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. Quantum mechanics is fascinating, but I know that even the greatest minds find it challenging. I love quantum mechanics, from Heisenberg to Schrödinger.

I love physics, but some of its laws are just too hard. The best example is quantum mechanics. You have to narrow your mind to understand it. It's okay to say that it's a very interesting topic.

Quantum physics is the toughest field of physics. Second comes work, force, pressure, and energy, and third comes motion.

2 Electromagnetism Electromagnetism is the study of the forces and interactions between electrically charged particles and magnetic fields.

Classical mechanics and fluid mechanics were pretty interesting compared to this. Electromagnetism can get quite monotonous. It involves all kinds of directions and lengthy calculations, which we did without a calculator. It just made sure that we don't find this interesting.

It took time and patience to learn this properly, and even then, I'm confused about when to use the Left-Hand Rule and when to use the Right-Hand Rule. But it's more interesting than any other topic, definitely.

EM is the basis of almost everything, yet there are not too many good professors who can teach it in an intuitive manner. So it's definitely the hardest topic, hands down!

3 Projectile Motion Projectile motion refers to the motion of an object that is thrown or projected into the air and is subject to the acceleration of gravity.

Projectile motion, while being one of the first things students learn in physics, is actually one of the most difficult to grasp and enigmatic subjects in the entirety of physics. Richard Feynman once said, "Projectile motion. A topic of immense importance and of utter confusion. If you throw a ball with a known initial velocity, and you know something about the medium it travels through as well as gravity, you can know exactly where it will land. How in the world does this work? It is enigmatic." The true mysteries of projectile motion have yet to be discovered and can only be postulated based on today's research.

I struggled so much with projectile motion. I think it must be one of the hardest things, besides Newton's First Law. Maxwell's Equations were wicked easy, though. I don't understand why we don't start with those.

Projectile motion is not hard. It's fairly easy. I would say quantum mechanics is the hardest.

4 String Theory String theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional strings.

One of the most specialized areas in all of physics. I've nailed most of physics and love it, but string theory just drives me in all directions! Despite this, it's still awesome, even though it's entirely mathematical and hasn't been tested yet.

How does this not top the list? The amount of mathematical rigor needed to even begin understanding this is at a master's or Ph.D. level in theoretical or mathematical physics. This is completely outside the learning experience even for people who study pure physics.

I don't think this needs a description. It is notoriously difficult. It is definitely more complex and difficult than any other topics on this list.

5 Electronics Electronics is the branch of physics and engineering that deals with the behavior, characteristics, and applications of electronic devices and circuits.
6 General Relativity General relativity is the theory of gravitation developed by Albert Einstein, which describes gravity as a curvature of space-time.

Indeed, Einstein's field equations are difficult to understand. I will just say that they're not even included in the mandatory part of a regular physics degree (special relativity is), because to grasp the numerous concepts they contain, you require many other advanced subjects first: tensor calculus, partial differential equations (which come after ordinary differential equations), special relativity, and also a very good understanding of waves (i.e., harmonic oscillators and vibrations, electromagnetism, optics). So, you may understand Wikipedia's general relativity website, but to fully comprehend the equations and their implications is another story.

It is a very interesting topic to learn, but also very confusing at times. It's the hardest of any other theory of relativity. You can't learn it just by reading. You need to see animations to get a glimpse of what's happening, unlike many other topics in physics.

7 Relative Velocity Relative velocity is the velocity of one object as observed from another object, both of which are in motion.

This topic has always made me suffer in physics. The rest of the topics mentioned are quite easy. This is not a topic in modern physics. Slope problems are extremely easy.

8 Radiation Radiation refers to the emission and transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or a material medium.

It's actually not difficult if you love the amazing world of physics. Then it's certainly not difficult. Trust me, it's great.

It is interesting.

9 Force Force is the interaction that, when unopposed, will change the motion of an object.

The interaction between objects is known as force. It may be a push or a pull. It depends on the nature of the interacting objects.

10 Rocket Science Rocket science is the field of study that deals with the design and principles behind rockets and their propulsion.

Rocket science is very hard!

You know the saying.

The Contenders
11 Black Holes Black holes are regions of spacetime where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape.

What you need is imagination and patience. If you have these, you're on the right track.

Fascinating young topic.

Just think about it.

12 Thermodynamics Thermodynamics is the study of the relationships between heat, work, and energy in systems.

I would argue that this one is as hard as quantum mechanics. But thankfully, the equations aren't that hard. Still failed at this, though.

The first law is wrong.

13 Motions Motions refers to the change in position of an object relative to its surroundings in a given time period.

Most horrifying and crazy of all!

14 Dark Energy Dark energy is a form of energy that makes up most of the universe and is responsible for its accelerated expansion.

Why can't it be on top when it can't be found out?

Waste of reading time.

15 Astronomy Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects, space, and the universe as a whole.

There's so much out there that even college can't cover it all. It's something amazing if enjoyed and studied well, but it can be tricky!

16 Special Relativity Special relativity is a theory developed by Albert Einstein that describes the relationship between space and time in inertial frames of reference.

What's the meaning?

17 Classical Mechanics Classical mechanics is the branch of physics that deals with the motion of macroscopic objects under the influence of forces.
18 Simple Harmonic Motion Simple harmonic motion is a type of periodic motion where a restoring force is proportional to the displacement from equilibrium.

Once understood, nothing can stop you.

19 Pressure Pressure is the force applied per unit area on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface.
20 Electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena related to the presence and flow of electric charge.

Actually, this is vast yet very easy if you use the laws in a practical manner, like Maxwell's laws, Fleming's law, Ohm's law, etc. First, understand the concept and try it practically. It will sink into your brain.

21 Chaos Theory Chaos theory is the study of systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, leading to complex and unpredictable behavior.
22 Cosmology Cosmology is the scientific study of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe.
23 Waves Waves refer to the disturbances that transfer energy through matter or space, often characterized by oscillation or periodicity.

They are a bit difficult.

24 Virtual Particles Virtual particles are particles that exist temporarily during interactions but do not appear as free particles in observable states.
25 Statistical Mechanics Statistical mechanics is the branch of physics that uses probability theory to describe the behavior of systems composed of many particles.
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