24 01 2010

36. Physics personal statement

One of the most appealing features of Physics is the way that complex physical phenomena can be explained by simple and elegant theories. I enjoy the logical aspect of the subject and I find it very satisfying when all the separate pieces of a problem fall together to create one simple theory. My interest and aptitude for maths adds an extra dimension to Studying science, particularly Physics. I relish the challenge of a complicated problem both in physics and mathematics. I am also a keen practical physicist, during a degree I would like to keep in touch with the practical side of the subject.

My interest in science extends outside the classroom. I keep up to date with new developments and ideas by
reading around my school subjects in books and also in journals such as “New Scientist” and “Scientific American”. I have read books by Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins and lan Stewart, I also particularly enjoyed John Archibald Wheeler’s “A Journey into Gravity and Spacetime”. These books challenge me in a way that is very different from the way in which I am required to think at school.

Over the summer holidays of 2001 I arranged three weeks of work experience in the Department of Materials
Science at the University of Oxford. During this time I worked with three different research groups studying the atomic structure of surfaces, use of the 3D atom probe, and the structure of magnetic storage surfaces. The work on magnetic surfaces was particularly exciting because it was a new development that could have a significant impact. I also wrote some documents for them, such as a guide to help students find Materials Science resources on the Internet. The whole experience was very useful because I had to apply what I had leamt at school to unfamiliar areas, thus using my brain in an entirely new way.

I am a keen sportsman both in and out of school, having represented my school, and the Oxford Devils’ under-17 team, at basketball. For the past three years I have played cricket for the school team, being captain for two years I have been in the Oxfordshire cricket squad for my age group since the age of thirteen and have been a senior player at Bicester and North Oxford-Cricket Club since 1998. Playing team sports has taught me a lot about the importance of team work and I believe I can apply this in a working environment. Recently, I discovered an enthusiasm for scuba diving, and have achieved my open water diving license.

During my time at university I aim to get a first class education that will stand me in good stead for entering the world of work; I also want to continue my education in an environment in which I can thrive mentally. In return, the university will get a student who is hard working, always willing to learn and will put something back into the community.

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