Emily Howling, a final-year physics student from RHUL, has recently been accepted to attend a CERN summer school and is soon moving on to a PhD in the physics department at University of Oxford. We wish to celebrate her success by interviewing her and find out more about her interest in Physics.
Emily smiles at the camera. Her hair is brightly coloured like the rainbow. In the background there are big instruments for accelerator physics.
Emily found herself interested in understanding how the world around her worked from a young age. Initially this manifested itself as an interest in chemistry and the way atoms bond together to form molecules. When she was young, one of her neighbors let her use his telescope, and Emily was amazed at the beauty of Jupiter and its moons. It was this experience, combined with her love for chemistry, that sparked her interest in physics.
After a bumpy experience at A-levels, Emily found a close-knit and supportive environment in the physics department at Royal Holloway, specifically how much the lecturers care about the students. This helped her through a tough time during her second year of university. Additionally she saw it as a nice mix between life in a village and life in a city, allowing her to prepare for living in a different environment. So even with some hardship along her path, the experience of studying at Royal Holloway nurtured Emily’s passion for physics, which she loves more than ever.
Aside from her studies, Emily has many hobbies. One of these is playing music as a member of the brass band. She also does stand-up comedy and often combines her passions to teach science in a more fun way.
This summer, Emily will be attending a CERN summer school, where she will be joining research teams in day-to-day work before starting her PhD in physics in October at the University of Oxford. During her PhD, she plans to visit CERN again and work on accelerator physics at the largest facility in the world.
What can a young person that is aspiring to be a scientist or interested in physics do? Emily wants you to remember that there is more than one route you can take into physics, and that foundation years and other support programmes exist for a reason. If you have stumbling blocks along your path, you can still progress and if you have passion for the subject, you can get there.