*1 Not quite sure how to start the intro… I suppose with why I want to do research/my passion for physics? I’m just having trouble wording this section without sounding cliché or overdoing it.
I have been assisting Dr. ________in observing and collecting data on photometric binary star systems. This includes operating ________ University’s .61m optical telescope. During the fall semester of this year I have taken Practical Astronomy as an independent study with Dr._____ to pursue my interest in this field. This course involved calibrating, and working with the telescope and collecting, processing, and analyzing data. Obtaining the light curves for the systems often required staying up the entire night. Once the data was collected software was used to process and plot the information received from the light curve. Recently I have been involved in a project determining the stellar and planetary radii of a confirmed exoplanet and F-star. Using relative fluxes at contact locations derived from the transit of the planet, the radii was successfully confirmed.
I have worked on two projects with Dr. _______ over the past year. The first involved an oscillating granular system. Convection and the angle of repose were recorded for various frequencies of vibration, and different shapes and sizes of containers. The second project, which I received 3 credits for as ‘Physics Research’ involved working with other physics undergraduates to examine how solar cells perform under conditions of extreme cold. Throughout the semester I tested several polycrystalline photovoltaic solar cells and produced an IV curve for each. The cells were then submerged in liquid nitrogen for different intervals of time and then allowed to cool overnight. These cells were then retested, producing a new IV curve. The results produced from this experiment show that the cells that were submerged to liquid nitrogen had an improved performance. Recently an abstract with me as the second author was sent in to APS on this experiment.
Academically I have prepared by obtaining a grade point average of 4.0 in my upper level physics classes. *2 This not only involved performing well on tests and homework, but having a profound understanding of the phenomena, and the mathematical underpinning of those phenomena . *3 Simply by glancing at my transcripts, one will see a tremendous upheaval took place, academically, from the periods of time from when I added a physics major in the Fall 12’ semester. *4…
I have tutored mathematics and physics for the past 3 semesters. I spent consecutive semesters as a supplementary instructor for college algebra, and then introductory physics. This involved attending the course and holding two ‘office’ hours open for students to come either individually, or in groups, to ask for questions or recitation of lecture material. I am continuing this in the spring semester as a supplementary instructor for the second part of introductory physics. Teaching others has strengthened not only my communication skills, but my ability to explain physics to other undergraduate.
MPKU wrote:Thank you both for the replies. It is really invaluable advice.
Do you perhaps have a link to any quality SOP for Physics? All the ones I find to be 'good' ones contain the opposite of what I hear should be in the statements (i.e. quotes, stories about falling in loves with physics at a young age).
Also, you mentioned I should state my research interest... truth is, I don't have one. And I do not know how to say it without sounding like an idiot with no direction.
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