All branches of science are unique in their way and similar in many ways. Sometimes they are studied combined like biochemistry. Many of those who study or want to study science have to choose which path they take. So, they ask questions like “Is chemistry harder than physics”. Is it?
Personal abilities matter the most
Whether something hard or not comes down to your skills and abilities first. Swimming is very easy than running a marathon for a professional swimmer. But it is otherwise for a professional marathoner. There are a few skills that most science subjects need.
- Controlling variable
- Forming conclusions
All these skills will need to study physics or chemistry. But a skill like quantifying is more valuable for learning physics than chemistry. So, if your skills will contribute to physics the most, chemistry will not be harder than physics.
Physics is more associated with mathematics. That doesn’t mean chemistry and mathematics are separate. But if you are very good at mathematics, physics can be easier. If you choose chemistry report writing, data collection, and analysis skills will save a lot of trouble for you.
Let’s learn what these subjects are and their context.
Chemistry and its hard and easy sections
Chemistry is the study of the change of matter. It is a major branch of science. All the thing you will learn in chemistry is related to one of the below,
- Properties elements and compounds
- composition and structure of elements and compounds
- How they can change
- The energy that is released or absorbed when they change
There are four branches of chemistry.
- General chemistry
- Physical chemistry
- Organic chemistry
- Inorganic chemistry
General chemistry includes common knowledge wanted in any branch like atomic structure, atomic bonds, and how to do calculations in chemistry. It is the easiest branch in my opinion. Physical chemistry includes applications of techniques but the most important theories of physics are related to chemical systems. Now you see, all branches of science are connected. Organic chemistry studies carbon-containing compounds. Inorganic chemistry studies other elements and compounds.
Both inorganic and organic chemistry is concerned with the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of matter. They look like entirely different subjects but it is only a matter of carbon compounds or not.
The last three branches of chemistry are hard for students. But all three will not be hard for one student. They will find out physical chemistry is hard and the other two easy or any other combination like that.
Physics and its hard and easy sections
Physics is the oldest branch of science. It describes the nature and properties of matter and energy. Unlike chemistry, physics had many branches. There are 11 branches of physics but we can study two major branches. Modern and Classical Physics are those.
Classic physics contains discoveries of scientists from early centuries such as Sir Isaac Newton. Most high school physics lessons are classic. We consider classic mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism as classic physics.
Atomic Physics, Nuclear Physics, Relativistic Physics, and Quantum Physics are major areas we study in modern physics. It is too complicated and needs a higher understanding of mathematics to study. You can understand why it is not taught in high school.
We use both classic and modern physics in real-world applications. We use classic physics to design a vehicle. If we want to create a GPS we have to work with modern physics.
If you asked my opinion, I would say chemistry is harder than classic physics but it is very easy compared to modern physics. I think many scholars will agree with me about that.
Section comparison instead of subject comparison
Branches of physics and chemistry are so different. The hardness of different branches of the same subjects is varied with personal skills. It is better to ask which branch of chemistry is hard instead of asking is chemistry harder than physics.
Physical chemistry and physics have many similarities in general. A student may be excel in physical chemistry and physics but average in organic chemistry. You should be familiar with mathematics to study quantum mechanics. Especially calculus, partial differential equations, and ODE’s ordinary differential equations, also linear algebra.
Inorganic and organic chemistry do not much deal with physics. But there is one challenge most students have to face. There is a lot of information there. Many compounds and all their chemical and physical properties. You may need a good memory or techniques to process all of that. Don’t worry. The most interesting part of chemistry is lab experiments. They take a huge chunk of your total learning time.
What most people say
People will give you many different answers. If we did a public survey I don’t know if many people even have an answer to the question. Who is better than high school and university/college science students ask is chemistry harder than physics.
The popular opinion among university/college students in physics is harder. But they lead with only a small percentage. High School students are the other way around. Those whose main focus is biological sciences say physics is harder. Those who study physical sciences say chemistry is harder.
That helps us understand personal preferences and skills matter the most.
Generally, physics has more complex areas of study. Chemistry has more information to deal with. But personal skills matter the most. Is chemistry harder than physics? To give a general answer we have to take personal opinions. I say most people think chemistry is not harder than physics. But it could not be your experience.
I hope you now have a better answer to the question. If you like to study any of these subjects, follow your guts. Don’t let other people’s opinions distract you. Want to know more about the hardness of physics? Checkout here. Stay curious.