PhD Calls But First The Master’s Thesis

My last year at University College London is inevitably coming to an end, my master’s project is finishing, and my future for next three to four years is decided. I can hardly believe myself what all has happened in the last few months.

At the beginning of the academic year, not so differently to my friends, I have started the application process to pursue a PhD in the UK. Fortunately for me, at that time, I had already secured a PhD offer in Switzerland which helped to make the entire process a bit less stressful. I had my first interview quite early on at the end of November at Imperial College London, which has almost immediately become my first choice. In January and early February, the interview “storm” broke down, and I came out victoriously with 100 % success.  If someone told me few years ago (probably even few months ago), that I would have the opportunity to decide whether to pursue my academic career at Oxford or Cambridge, I would hardly believe it. Perhaps even more surprising would be that I did not decide for either. The PhD project at Imperial along with its supervisor and the doctoral program became a clear-cut choice for me. Therefore, I will still be able to call London my home away from home for at least the next three to four years.

Imperial is a pioneer in the development of new technology that will lead to a better understanding of what happens when a neutrino encounters the nucleus of an atom. This is important for reducing the statistical errors in the measurement of neutrino oscillation, as well as for going ahead and trying to observe a violation of the so-called CP symmetry that could explain why we have an excess of matter over antimatter in today's universe. This is the end of introduction to particle physics, I promise.

Life in London is otherwise calm - as calm as it can be in this metropolis with almost 9 million people, i.e. the usual morning and evening queues for the tube, the signature puzzled head twist when one has to wait for a train for more than two minutes, the traditional fish & chips every Friday and the long hours in the library. The latter mostly because of the deadline for submission of my master’s project that is inexorably approaching – there is only a month left. Therefore, it is time to start typing all the theoretical, originally handwritten, calculations of exotic decays of particles, and squeeze the most out of my code that solves some long algebraic and differential problems which I can’t be bothered to do manually. And then? Then it is the exam season, long two months of waking up and falling asleep with my textbooks. And then perhaps holidays – for the first time in four years without a summer internship.

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