Hello aspiring physicists, my name is Ewen and I am going into my second year of studying physics at the University of Bath. I am going to talk through some reasons why I think everyone reading this blog should consider studying physics and why I believe that the University of Bath is the best place to do this.
1) Physics is a Fascinating Subject
I chose to study physics because it is a subject that never bores me. Physics is constantly expanding with an endless amount of fascinating problems to be solved and I know it will lead me to a career that will be truly fulfilling. I especially enjoy quantum physics because it differs so greatly from our everyday experience of the world.
This is a subject that you will learn about in your first year at Bath as well as other mind-blowing physical phenomenons such as electromagnetism, special relativity, and astrophysics.
2) Range of Different Courses
The University of Bath offers a range of different physics courses: Straight Physics, Physics with Astrophysics, Physics with Theoretical Physics and Physics with Maths. I personally chose to do straight physics because I wanted to study the topic more broadly. However, if you are uncertain of what aspect of Physics to study- there is no need to worry. It's easy to switch between the physics courses during your first year if you feel like the course isn’t for you.
You are also given the choice to take the MPhys course which is a 4-year course with an integrated masters or the normal BSc course without the masters. As someone who is keen to continue studying physics after graduation, I decided to pick the MPhys option. However, the University will allow me to change to the BSc course at any point during the first 2 years if I no longer feel like doing an extra year of study.
3) Gaining Valuable Work Experience
The physics course at Bath doesn’t have to be just studying. You are given the choice to do professional and research placements integrated into your course. These placements give students valuable experience of working in a company.
I will be doing my placement after my second year of study and hope to do this placement at CERN, working with the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). Particle physics has always interested me and it would be a life-changing experience to work on some of the biggest mysteries of modern physics.
4) Physics is Satisfying
The best part about physics for me is how satisfying it can be. I find it incredibly rewarding to work tirelessly on a difficult problem and finally to reach the answer or to conduct an experiment and to get interesting results. The University of Bath has excellent Lab facilities and, for me, conducting these experiments was the most interesting part of the first year. I especially enjoyed the experiment where I measured Planck's Constant as this is a topic I studied at A level. However, here at Bath, I have built on my knowledge from A level and covered the theory of the experiment in greater depth.
5) Bath has a Big Community of Physicists and Aspiring Physicists
You really feel like you are part of a large community when studying physics at Bath. From small tutor groups of five people to large online lectures of 100 people (due to the pandemic this year), there are lots of chances to meet like-minded people when studying physics.
Tutor meetings are the time I find most useful because you can get one-on-one help from your tutor, who is a physics lecturer, as well as discussing problems with other members of your tutor group. My tutor was always very helpful and during the year I would always bring difficult questions to tutor sessions which we would discuss as a group.
It is this kind of collaboration that helps you to feel more confident while studying physics and to make friends who share your passion for the subject.
Studying physics at the University of Bath has strengthened my interest in the subject. There is astounding beauty in how the laws of physics govern the reality in which we live. Studying this beauty is a thoroughly rewarding experience and can benefit all aspects of your life.