Physics Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated by the world around me and although it seems sometimes that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, by studying Physics at university I aim to understand more of the phenomena observed in the universe. The size of the cosmos has always astounded me, vast scales that I will probably never truly be able to appreciate. I wonder what role humans have in this immense space and whether we shall ever find a theory of everything.
As well as studying Physics at school my enthusiasm for the subject has come through reading various books by physicists such as Feynman and Hawking. A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell were very compelling to read and introduced me to many ideas such as special relativity. But it was Feynman’s book on Quantum Electrodynamics that really made me passionate about physics. The ideas seemed counterintuitive as they are not observable in every day life, which was what impressed me so much as it is down to enormous creativity that models of the universe such as those of QED have been devised.
Throughout my time at Watson’s I have been awarded various prizes from the school. I received a school scholarship at the beginning of secondary school and since then have gone on to get many prizes in maths and the sciences. At the end of last year I was awarded the 5th year Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Technology prizes as well as the prize for the Dux of the 5th form.
As well as success within the school I have also done well in a variety of National Maths Competitions. In both the UK Maths Challenge and the Scottish Maths Challenge I have attained Gold certificates for the past 6 years. In S4 and in S5 I achieved the best mark in school in the Senior UK Maths Challenge and qualified for the British Maths Olympiad. As well as these individual competitions I was also part of a winning team in the “Enterprising Mathematics in Scotland” competition in which four school pupils compete in a variety of events from solving problems as a team, to a maths relay.
In June 2008, I attended the Senior Physics Challenge Summer School at Cambridge University. The week was very enjoyable and confirmed that Physics was the subject for me. I was intrigued by the lectures on Special Relativity and enjoyed solving relativistic mechanics problems. I was compelled to look into General Relativity which was fascinating even if a little bit hard to comprehend! During the week I found that I particularly enjoyed the predictive power of Physics and felt that the problems we were set were an enjoyable application of Mathematics.
This year I am leading the school’s pupil run Science and Engineering Society as well as attending Mathletes, a school club for the most able mathematicians in each year where we tackle UK Maths Trust questions. I currently play hockey for East of Scotland U18 as well as the school 1st XI who won the Scottish Schools Cup in 2008. I am a member of the school 1st XI cricket team as well as the captain of the school’s 1st V squash team which has helped me gain skills in organisation as I arrange teams to play in matches against other schools.
From the time of the great Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle our understanding of the world has come a long way. For hundreds of years people used Newton’s law of universal gravitation as it held up so well against observation. But in the early 1900s all of that changed with Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Science on a smaller scale has also advanced hastily in the last 100 years and as the Large Hadron Collider has just been turned on hopefully our knowledge of subatomic physics will be increased further. The advancements that are being made in our understanding of how the world works are phenomenal and it is for this reason that I am drawn to Physics as it will be down to people like me to continue walking into the unknown and to uncover the workings of the universe.
Universities Applied to:
- Cambridge - AAAB
- Imperial - AAA
- Durham - AA
- Warwick - AAB
- St. Andrews - Unconditional