Physics Personal Statement (International Student)

Whenever the night sky is clear I take the opportunity to stargaze through my Dobsonian telescope. Once, whilst observing the Bode's Galaxy I found it fascinating how the light is said to be 11.6 million years old. What kind of theories were put together to let physicists 'confidently' say this specific number? For me it was incredible to realise that the measuring method such as 'standard candles' is built upon the relatively simple method of parallax. Not only that, this question showed me the interconnection of knowledge in physics. The luminosity equation of F=L/(4PD2) (inverse square law, power and intensity) used to find the distance is simply the byproduct of the Intensity equation. Seeing general physics being applied to astrophysics really made me appreciate the consistency and extensive applicability it offers. My summer internships reinforced this idea where I saw the application of physics in the areas of medicine and construction. This universality of knowledge produced by physics is what I value most.

I was very fortunate to witness the applications of physics beyond the classroom during my summer internships at the Champalimaud Nuclear Medicine Department (a leading cancer research centre in Europe) and the Portuguese engineering construction company Tecnovia. I saw Positron Emission Tomography (PET) being used to detect cancers and various brain related disorders. In addition, I discussed the working of PET with the team's physicist. It was really gratifying to see the knowledge I gained on Positron decay and matter-antimatter annihilation in IB Physics was useful to understand how PET works. The Tecnovia experience developed my understanding of logistical systems and the complexity of any construction project. Seeing physics being applied to save and improve people's lives motivated me to study physics at university level and positively impact the world.

In my Physics IA "How does the change of a polyethylene strip width affect the maximum tensile force it can experience?" I had to answer the question both theoretically (using equations) and practically (experiment), which showed me the link between those two aspects of physics.

Physics helps us explain many natural phenomena. Mathematics is one of the most common ways of describing them. My Math IA of producing an equation to plot the concentration of a Caesium 137 in the Chernobyl cooling pond demonstrated how easily the maths could get complicated and taught me to enjoy the process of reaching the final result. In addition in 2018, 2020, 2021 I received the Bronze awards in the UKMT challenge and the Silver in 2022.

Modern scientific research is impossible without the tools provided by computer science (CS). For example, machine learning (ML) algorithms are used to analyse petabytes of data in astrophysics. In my Extended Essay in CS I evaluated two supervised ML algorithms in their ability to diagnose Parkinson's patients using a dataset from the Champalimaud Research Centre. This experience gave me greater understanding of this important tool and improved my skills in Python coding which I believe will help me in future. In CS I achieved the 2020 BEBRAS with 116 points, the 2022 BEBRAS certificate of distinction with 106 points, and 4th place in the ToPAS Lx 2022 (NOVA University Competition).

The IB Group 4 Project, my CAS project and the Bronze DofE have developed my teamworks skills. Whilst Physics, Maths and CS challenge me mentally, sports challenge me physically. Surfing, being more of an individual sport, helps me develop strong independence and persistence. Being a social and responsible person is very important for me. I enjoy helping others in school, sport and volunteering e.g. children's football training, charity collections, beach clean-ups, etc.

I am very excited at the possibility of developing my knowledge of physics at university and seeing how it can be applied to extensive real life contexts.

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IB 38 Predicted

Offers: St Andrews, Glasgow, Lancaster, Loughborough.

Edinburgh - pending


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