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    Hi All,

    I want to apply for Physics (Oxford is the dream), but I did my EPQ on the housing crisis, which is obviously Economics based and so want to do a research essay, not an EPQ; but separate to my studies.

    My school is making us do a large project taking up a significant amount of time (vague I know), so I want to write an EPQ-type essay without the production log because that was horrific.

    Does anyone have a good idea that I can write about which will start a conversation in an interview, that is also broad enough to write a really good essay on?

    Cheers
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    I had a friend that did one on if time travel was possible and looked at all the theories that related to time travel. I did one on quantum computing which looked at what potential it has and if we would ever see a day when we were using a quantum computer in our desktop pc's. They are just a couple of ideas you may want for inspiration. My advice really would be pick a topic or a few, that you are interested in, and google it and see what you find. Chances are you'll eventually find something more specific that you can base your epq (or research project) on. If you can find a topic that you can manage to write a full research essay for, then chances are it has more than an adequate amount of stuff for them to talk about in an interview. Just pick something you find interesting and it'll make it a lot easier to write about.
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    You don't really want too much breadth as it becomes difficult to engage with the material at a worthwhile depth and reach some sort of conclusion within a reasonable wordcount.

    imo astronomical topics are good - you can get a lot of quality up to date material for free (largely cos a lot of it comes out of research funded by the american government) e.g. the paper about the discovery of the gravitational wave at LIGO which everyone can read. that's actually unusual, mostly peer reviewed papers are paywalled and you need an institutional (i.e. university) login or deep pockets to read it.

    guess the ideal outcome is something that shows you've got some research skills, some understanding of 'how science works' so something you're interested in and probably something you can start to tackle without immediately needing maths you haven't been taught yet.

    fwiw I'm reading 'Darkness at night' by E R Harrison which is an accessible book about Olbers paradox - obvously there's enough in the 'simple fact' that the sky is dark at night there to write a fairly hefty book on and you can clearly use something like Olbers that to show how cosmological theories that contradict observational data have had to go into the bin. obv you couldn't summarise the whole book, you'd have to focus on some small part of a chapter.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    imo astronomical topics are good

    (Original post by k4l397)
    I had a friend that did one on if time travel was possible and looked at all the theories that related to time travel. I did one on quantum computing which looked at what potential it has and if we would ever see a day when we were using a quantum computer in our desktop pc's. They are just a couple of ideas you may want for inspiration. My advice really would be pick a topic or a few, that you are interested in, and google it and see what you find. Chances are you'll eventually find something more specific that you can base your epq (or research project) on. If you can find a topic that you can manage to write a full research essay for, then chances are it has more than an adequate amount of stuff for them to talk about in an interview. Just pick something you find interesting and it'll make it a lot easier to write about.
    The solar system doesn't really interest me to the same level as other topics. I found the mechanics and thermal topics really interesting; is there anything I could do about the ideal gas laws as these intrigue me?

    This is a shot in the dark, but how about something about triple points. This is something I know very little about, but it would be cool to know a bit more about it!
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    (Original post by jakepds)
    The solar system doesn't really interest me to the same level as other topics. I found the mechanics and thermal topics really interesting; is there anything I could do about the ideal gas laws as these intrigue me?

    This is a shot in the dark, but how about something about triple points. This is something I know very little about, but it would be cool to know a bit more about it!
    Brownian motion? that way you've covered both bases if you decide you prefer economics.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Brownian motion? that way you've covered both bases if you decide you prefer economics.
    How does brownian motion cover economics, or were you referring to my EPQ?
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    (Original post by jakepds)
    How does brownian motion cover economics, or were you referring to my EPQ?
    same sort of maths is used to describe market fluctuations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bachelier
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    (Original post by jakepds)
    Hi All,

    I want to apply for Physics (Oxford is the dream), but I did my EPQ on the housing crisis, which is obviously Economics based and so want to do a research essay, not an EPQ; but separate to my studies.

    My school is making us do a large project taking up a significant amount of time (vague I know), so I want to write an EPQ-type essay without the production log because that was horrific.

    Does anyone have a good idea that I can write about which will start a conversation in an interview, that is also broad enough to write a really good essay on?

    Cheers
    I recently wrote a 7 page essay detailing how special relativity was thought of, including why time, distance, and mass changes. This seems like something you could do
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    (Original post by Kyx)
    I recently wrote a 7 page essay detailing how special relativity was thought of, including why time, distance, and mass changes. This seems like something you could do
    Yeah, that sounds good. I'm not going to start it until after exams but keep the ideas flowing; I am really not set on any idea at all yet!
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    same sort of maths is used to describe market fluctuations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bachelier
    What would I write about though? I couldn't model the motion in an accurate way could I?
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    (Original post by jakepds)
    What would I write about though? I couldn't model the motion in an accurate way could I?
    well you probably could if you're good at maths and coding... though I think you'd also need to have a stab at explaining the significance of Brownian Motion.

    Even after we had a kinetic theory of gasses that worked well for decades it wasn't considered proved that matter was made of atoms until Einstein's paper on Brownian motion in 1905. people thought atoms might be hypothetical rather than actual physical bodies.

    you might want to go on about statistical laws in physics

    Type a few things into google, read a few wikipedia pages- see if anything catches your eye.
 
 
 
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