Physics Personal Statement
I find the world more beautiful, more vibrant, more electrifying through the eyes of Physics. The subject leaves me in awe because it unveils not only the complexity of the universe but also the capacity of the human mind to unravel such intricacies.
Physics first caught my attention when I came across the field of Quantum Mechanics. The theories boggled my mind and I was entranced by its weirdness. In my free time, I would watch university lectures by Allan Adams as I tried to wrap my head around wave functions and operators. Walter Lewin, another professor brought Classical Physics to life with his dynamic demonstrations. These passionate individuals altered the way I viewed science, not as information that needs to be memorised for a test but as a natural extension of human curiosity.
My fascination with particle physics led me to read ‘Deep Down Things’, which acted as a foundation for further exploration. I shared Richard Feynman’s contagious enthusiasm while reading his book on QED, captivated by the way it validated everyday phenomenons of light like reflection. While watching ‘Absolute Zero’, a documentary which touched on the technique of magnetic confinement to create bose-einstein condensates and reading about the underground mines used to detect neutrino’s in ‘Neutrino Hunters’, I was amazed by the ingenious ways physicists reach scientific discovery.
This summer break, I ventured off to the University of California, Santa Cruz to work as an astrophysics research intern. I spent two months with Tuguldur Sukhbold, my mentor, exploring constraining convection physics through eclipsing binaries. I adapted quickly to alien programs from running stellar models on MESA to writing scripts in python to summing up conclusions using lateX. I took on numerous tasks; one week I rifled through hundreds of papers to compile data for observed stars, while in another I helped decide the minimum mass and mass loss variables for our models. I also analysed results myself. For example, when our plots for chi square values showed two dips rather than the expected one, I accurately concluded that it was due to pre-main sequence contraction. When things didn’t go right, I backtracked and tried a different route, satisfied only when I found a way.
As exciting as conducting research was, I take equal pride in the more mundane achievements I can attest to. I have a penchant for creating simple solutions to meet my needs, whether it be using a fabric for petticoats to create an earring holder or setting up my own contraption to hang my artwork. Sometimes I fiddle with experiments like creating cloud chambers or verifying constants. I enjoy contemplating how physical laws arise in reality like the time my friend and I were debating the technical reason for why her sister’s swing would break if we sat on it. I also strive to improve my critical thinking through puzzles I find online.
In school I’ve attempted to grab every opportunity available. I’ve been a member of student council, a leader of our recycling group, an editor in chief of the school newsletter and even a mentor for 7th graders. Juggling many extracurriculars along with classwork has given me time management skills and confidence to undertake a heavy workload. And tutoring students has indirectly made me better at grasping concepts as I was forced to think of interesting, lucid ways to explain the ideas I taught. Writing multiple novels and self publishing two of them initiated my desire to challenge myself in everything I do.
At university, I aspire to continue stretching beyond my limits and immersing myself in a subject I admire greatly.
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I spend quite a bit of time figuring out how to get it into the final draft and it took a lot of rewriting but I'm happy with it as it is now.
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