Physics Personal Statement

Physics truly captivates me because of its multidisciplinary nature: When studying physics I am challenged to think logically and methodically about the mathematical equations that govern all physical phenomena. However, even from an early age, I have always had a great appreciation for how mathematics has sculpted and aided our abstract thinking on more philosophical concepts of physics, such as reality and determinism.
During my A level studies, my desire to acquire more knowledge grew beyond the details of my specification; this was when I knew I wanted to pursue an academic career in the research of mathematics or physics.

In order to remain current with progress in the field of scientific research, I attend public conferences, presentations and lectures. Recently, I attended Professor Greame Reid's lecture: 'Why Should the Taxpayer Fund Science and Research' at University College London. During this lecture, I gained an insightful contextualised view on how different types of scientific research affect all members of society. For example, at the University of Bristol researchers discovered a quantum algorithm called Boson Sampling which could bring forward the development of a quantum computer. For me, this piqued my interest because it demonstrates how research into mathematical physics directly leads on to innovations which would ultimately benefit society as a whole. During my undergraduate study, I would like to study modules that focus on the context of physics and science as I believe the importance of this can be overlooked.

I have always enjoyed practising science: The complementation of mathematical theory and experimentation used together to solve problems intrigues me. My A-level coursework on simple harmonic motion followed this idea: I merited a high grade for this coursework because I was able to collect accurate, precise and reliable results showing excellent experimental technique. And I reinforced the validity of my results with an in-depth understanding of how calculus and trigonometry apply to a weight oscillating on the end of a spring. I am currently reading Jon Butterworth's: 'Smashing Physics', after attending his lecture - 'A Particle Physics Evening' at University College London. In his book he explains the power mathematical symmetry has in solving problems in physics - especially using Supersymmetry to predict that the Higgs Boson particle will be found experimentally. This resonated with me as I had also used symmetry in a mathematical context: studying Permutations, Lagrange's Theorem and Eigenvectors in Group Theory. As an undergraduate, I will seek to develop my understanding on the link between mathematical theory and practical experimentation.

Outside of my academic studies I like to keep very active: I play football semi-professionally for Leytonstone United FC, I am in the process of completing my Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, and I also work part-time at Schuh. The ability to work effectively in a team is the underlying theme of my extracurricular activities; the idea of operating as a collective towards a common goal appeals to me. Using my excellent time-management skills, I wish to engage in additional programmes alongside my degree, such as management and language courses - to add extra dimensions to my skills-set, which would make me a more marketable graduate.

I believe that what makes me a strong candidate is my inherent passion for physics, which will be the source of my determination when overcoming obstacles I encounter. I realise that I am at the beginning of my academic journey with still plenty to learn. I feel I possess the self-motivation, dedication and maturity to undertake such a challenge of studying physics at your institution. I look forward to the future where hopefully I will make a positive difference in the world of science and society through mathematical or physical research.

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Author's Comments

Strong personal statement using books read, lectures attended, and articles examined to articulate my interest Physics/Mathematical Physics. I received two offers from Kings's College and two from University College, and a rejection from Imperial College.

I am currently studying straight Physics MSci at University College and I am thoroughly enjoying the course! :)

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