Tom’s Physics degree has helped him to connect all aspects of physics.
The Synoptic Physics module asks students a physics question in an interview setting. The questions can be random and are designed to make students apply all their
knowledge of physics to abstract constructs.
Tom was asked how bubbles would move in a beer glass on a train. The answer depended on whether the train was accelerating or moving at a constant speed.
This module showed Tom that he could solve any problem with his knowledge of physics. A reassuring thought to take with him after graduation.
What are the top attributes you’ve developed through your degree?
Engage with the professional world:
This year in my 3rd year doing my degree I had the opportunity to do a module, or everyone has to do a module that’s called Synoptic Physics which gives you a real chance to connect lots of different aspects of your Physics degree. It was really useful because it gives you a real opportunity to sort of get what an interview would be like if you went for a job interview for Maths or for Physics or something that involved those. They can be some really abstract concepts that they ask you about and then you have to use all of your knowledge in Physics to start thinking about them – there was one example about having a beer glass on a train and how did the bubbles move and it depends on whether the train’s accelerating or moving at a constant speed. Out of anything you can then solve it with a Physics problem.
Connect information and ideas within my field of study:
I think it really helps build your confidence for things like interviews because it ended with a mock interview with one of the academics in the department. It was just useful to pull together all of the things you’ve learnt over 3 years and condense it into one.
What are the top attributes you’ve developed through a chosen module?
Grasp the principles and practices of my field of study:
If you do the undergraduate Masters in Physics you have to do, in your 3rd year, a review project. The idea is that you read around a specific topic and then you have to do a critical analysis of everything within that topic and write a summary paper. It gives you an opportunity not only to learn independently a topic in Physics that you typically haven’t really covered before in your degree but it also gives you an opportunity to see the style of papers that you get in Physics and how you should write them.
Apply my analytical skills to investigate unfamiliar problems:
Within the Physics department there are many opportunities for doing summer internships and things in-between your study. This year I actually did one with the Physics Department developing an app for the department which gives information to students. It gave me a chance to work in a team of 3 and it was nice to apply my knowledge to something else. I’ve done programming before but it was unfamiliar, and involved having to think about a problem and then trying to solve it in the most logical way.