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Sample Personal Statement for Physics

It is my conviction that persistent hard work is the most important key to success. I learned this belief from my own experience. Years ago, while I was preparing for the national physics contest for high-school students, I fell ill with nasosinusitis, suffering migraine, insomnia, and memory retrogress. I had thought of giving it up, yet with strong will and perseverance, I overcame the pains and kept study hard, and won the first prize in my province in the contest.

That experience will live in my memory for my whole life. Now I am a senior undergraduate student in the Physics Department of Peking University. Just like many other people, I have had a dream about science since my childhood. It is this dream that has made me interested in physics and choose the Physics Department of Peking University and make physics my life goal. To me, four years' study is much like a spiritual journey into the magnificent palace of physics, enjoying its wonders by taking every step. From Mechanics, Electrodynamics to Statistical Physics, again Quantum Mechanics, I realize the ever-deepening process of human understanding of nature; meanwhile I cannot help marvel at nature's beauty of simplicity and harmony. During this journey, I have acquired the fundamental knowledge about physics and developed basic physics experimental abilities and physical thinking. I have earned the excellent academic records of overall GPA 3.53 and major GPA 3.84. Moreover, I have scored points above 90 in most of the kernel specialized courses. Yet most important of all, in this process I have enjoyed both the ideas of previous physics masters and the beauty of harmony and simplicity in nature's evolution and function, i.e., what the masters have termed the beauty of nature.

In order to satisfy my passion for physics, I have furthered my studies from two aspects. One is to broaden my vision by reading extensively. In the past three years, I have read much works about physics, especially those of the masters, such as The Eeynman's Lectures on Physics and Dirac's The Principle of Quantum. Through reading I have obtained not only much knowledge out of the textbooks, but also those masters' peculiar thinking in analyzing and solving questions, which have provided guidance to my studies. The other is to try to get as many as possible experiment opportunities. It seems to me that experiments are helpful for my acquiring much perceptual knowledge about physical phenomena and developing powers of intuition in physics. Bearing this in mind, in addition to finishing every in-class experiment, I have made use of my vacation to conduct other experiments in other laboratories. For instance, during the winter holiday in my second year in college, I went to the provincial key material laboratory at Zhengzhou University to make some test of the fatigue properties of aluminum-silicon-titanium. In this experiment I adopted the probability theory made a detailed analysis of the experiment results and arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. Thanks to my outstanding performance in this experiment, in the summer vacation of grade two, my teacher recommended me to conduct experiment at the icon beam bioengineering laboratory of Zhengzhou University. There I made an analogue computation of the function of low-energy ion on the surface of organism and mastered Monte-Carlo algorithm. Earlier, I have participated in a research work chaired by an associate professor of my university. The purpose of the research was to sinter superconductor by means of resistor furnace and measure its temperature and resistance with computer-controlled circuits.

These experiments have helped develop my practical ability in the laboratory. Through them I can ponder on the fundamental physical phenomena and the laws behind them. Moreover, they have fostered my habit of independent thinking and analysis.

Yet I am fully aware that physics itself is far from enough. A person's success depends not only on his professional background, but also on his overall quality, such as ability of self-study and communicative skills. So I have tried my best to enlarge my range of knowledge and improve my overall quality. In order to master computer knowledge and to test my ability of self-study, I have grasped the PHP and MYSQL languages in one week and wrote with other people A Guide to PHP Programming in three months (a press has promised to publish it). Owing to my excellent academic performance and outstanding work in the student union, I was awarded a P&G scholarship and two Three-Good Student scholarships.

These achievements, however, are just illustrations of my past. Looking forward I find that I have just started my new journey. Modern physics has a history of several hundreds; yet it is still full of contemporary vigor. In the past ten years, the introduction of methods such as MBE and MOCVD have made it possible for various devices with distinctive quantum effects possible; meanwhile, they have resulted in numerous novel phenomena, including electronic interference and conductivity oscillation. And the issue as to how to explain theoretically the properties demonstrated by quantum electronic and opto-electronic devices of or under the size of 100mm has become a very challenging novel sphere of physics. This is just the field in which I am interested and hope to achieve some breakthroughs.

To undertake future research in those areas, I have equipped myself with some necessary qualifications. My long-time interest in computational physics and my extensive study of this subject have enabled me use Monte-Carlo simulation and Molecular Dynamics simulation skillfully. I also discovered a way to improve my understanding of those algorithms. I have subjected myself to trainings in several aspects of mathematical physics such as the real analysis, Green function and the differential coefficient equation. By learning C/C++ programming, I have made my knowledge of mathematics more practical.

It is precisely the existence of these questions and challenges that have made me choose to pursue advanced studies on physics in your honorable institution. I have learned from my former classmates now studying in the United States and from media that the University of Michigan has strong background in physics. The education and research are renowned for their excellence and creativity. I believe that studying physics there will help me tap my full potential. I will be able to learn advanced physical sciences and, upon completing my Ph.D. degree, I will return to China to devote myself to both research work and to a teaching career at one of the first-rate institutions of higher learning in the country.

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