I feel like I don't know anything

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:33 pm

I feel like I don't know anything

Post by Zeeman206 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:33 am

I'm currently applying for a master's of applied physics. They ask me to write a statement of purpose that includes what research in the department I would want to participate in if admitted.
When reading the research and the published research made by the groups of the department, I find myself very lost.
I can somewhat make out what the purpose of certain research is, but I certainly have not covered things similar to the research during my undergrad. Thus, I find myself barely knowing what research I want to participate in and how to express my interest in it since I don't know how to expand on the research nor formulate original ideas when it comes to such topics.
Any tips on how I can write something somewhat attractive to the committee?
How can I learn more about these subjects since I didn't really cover them in my undergrad courses?
I'm certainly interested in the science taking place but feel like an imposter who doesn't understand physics.

Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Re: I feel like I don't know anything

Post by occamsshaver12 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:11 pm

Hey, first of all, I would like to say it's alright. It's hard to understand the research any group is doing unless either you are the one who did it or you are in the same sub-field. If you are studying Galaxies, you would have a hard time understanding research being done in planetary science even though both would come under Astrophysics, so you are okay. When you are supposed to write about your interests, you generally write about which area attracts you the most. Is it Condensed matter, Astrophysics, or any other field. No one expects you to write specifically what you are interested in, because no one knows that till you actually try it. So go through research of each group in a superficial way, at most read the abstract of two-three papers, and write down what you understood in a notebook. Now you read through it (multiple times) and if you like one of the groups try to read more abstracts. If you see yourself doing it whether it is computational, experimental, or pen-paper, that's the one you write about. I hope this helps and all the best!

Post Reply