Feb 122013

Physics Major College Admission Essay

Personal Statement Physics Major

Tom Shared his personal statement with us. He used this personal statement to apply for a well known university to pursue his dream in getting a career with his physics major

I have always seen the world as be governed by laws we have yet to really understand. The more science classes I’ve taken, the stringer my convictions regarding this statement are. With science, everything that I learn about what we know of the world reveals more of what we don’t yet know. Despite wondrous advancements and the steady emergence of a high tech world, I feel that we have only just begun to understand some of the wonders of the natural world, and that may be a generous statement.

Gaining knowledge and understanding has never been a linear, cumulative process. As new discoveries are made, previous assumptions that once appeared to be backed by scientific proof are disproven, and old ideas need to be unlearned as new ones are assimilated.

I had very little interest in science as a boy. I developed an early love of reading, and discovered the works of Kurt Vonnegut and Henry Miller years before I could fully appreciate the subtleties of their genius. What books like Slaughterhouse 5 and Tropic of Cancer did give me was a new angle at which to view the world that had seemed so concrete and finite a few short years before.

opened my eyes to possibilities, though clearly of fictional birth in the book, that added strange new dimensions to what we had collectively called reality. The spiritual daydreams Henry Miller detailed as occurring under the most unlikely circumstances followed in kind.

Maybe everything we think we know about the world could fit on the head of a pin, and be discarded just as easily as the pin could. Perhaps all of our current knowledge would have to crumble to dust before we could catch a glimpse of the ineffable and peer into the eyes of God.

These mysteries intrigued me, and though their implications were far over the head of the boy I was at 13, they went on to shape the man I have become and planted the seeds that have sprouted into a life of curiosity and wonder. Later in high school, in my physics class of all places, the path that started with inspiration from literary geniuses took a sharp turn into the world of science.

I was enthralled by the concepts of physics, both from an intellectual and spiritual point of view. Physics peered deeply into the same deep black abyss that Vonnegut and Miller led me to as a boy, and the mysterious world of animated objects took on yet another layer of complexity. Like literature, physics appealed to both my curiosity concerning the physical world and my yearning to catch a glimpse of the spiritual reality that manipulated it as if with a pair of cosmic puppet strings.

I remembered what Einstein had said about science being crude and limiting, but that is was all we had to begin unraveling the mysteries our lives were cloaked in (to paraphrase). For me, physics holds the keys to many of those mysteries, and the chance to unlock just one of them is enough for me.


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