Hi, I’m Courtney and this is my first post on YS Journal. I thought I’d start by saying how I got into physics in the first place. My story isn’t as cool as being a child maths prodigy or having a crazy inventor relative who inculcated me with a love of science in addition to blowing up the garden shed, but hey!
I got into physics about two and a half years ago, whilst doing my GCSEs. In my spare time during my two years doing GCSEs, I studied for an AS Level in Science for Public Understanding (SPU). GCSE Double Science was terrible; I have no qualms about saying that. If it were not for SPU, I’d most certainly not be here now.
I mean here, blogging, in case you were concerned for my sanity.
Anyway… SPU looks at science in various contexts – for example, we debated the pros and cons of vivisection in the first year, when we covered the life sciences part of the curriculum, and learned about how theories about the Universe have evolved in the second year, when we concentrated on the physical sciences. These two topic areas were examined, but there was also a coursework element.
The coursework consisted of two pieces – a report on any scientific issue (mine was on the possibility of life on Mars) and a book review. I chose to review “Warped Passages” by Lisa Randall. First off, you should read it! It’s hard in places, but worth it (if only for the song lyrics and vignettes at the start of each chapter). Secondly, reading this convinced me to do physics. It showed me that, actually, physics could be creative and beautiful and exciting and [insert various positive adjectives that I didn’t associate with physics when younger here] and above all it was something worth continuing with. From then on, I’ve been hooked, and have wondered how on earth I could have lived for so long not knowing about this wonderful subject and all it has to offer. One day I’ll try and articulate all this a bit better. Hopefully, despite my ineloquence, it’s clear why I’m a few weeks away from starting a physics course at university.
(Got full marks on that coursework, too. That might’ve helped a tad.)
Now I’m going to stop rambling. Tune in next time for the next exciting installment – the Nuffield Bursary, Sheffield, ACoRNE and the Big Bang Fair!