Case study

Research scientist — Dr Lara Bogart

Lara studied an MSc in Theoretical Physics at Durham University. She is currently enrolled on a PhD in Physics at the same university

I decided to continue to study Physics at university as I felt like there was so much more I had to learn and was armed with hundreds of unanswered questions: I wanted to know everything from understanding the big bang and the intricate processes that occur within stars, to quantum mechanics and the inner workings of the atom.

It's a great feeling to finally 'get it', and it's that feeling that makes it worthwhile

The course was really intense, and I often struggled through some of the abstract concepts, but I enjoyed it and have always been determined - if other people can understand it, then I won't stop until I do too! It's a great feeling to finally 'get it', and it's that feeling that makes it worthwhile. Plus, I knew that if I'd had enough of physics at the end of my degree, that I'd have picked up some great skills that would be useful for all sorts of more 'conventional' jobs if I decided that was what I wanted. At the end of my degree, however, I found I wasn't ready to stop learning about physics and was keen to get my teeth stuck into my own research.

I'm now three years into my PhD and although I'm regularly stumped by some of the physics I work on, I'm still as keen as ever and am not any closer in applying for that 'conventional' job. I have always said I will stay studying science as long as I find it fun and can still understand it, and after almost seven years of physics I am still hungry to learn more.

All clich├ęs aside, I love the fact that my research actually makes a difference to people in the field. I've published papers in journals that may be read by students in 50 years, and it's great to know that my work contributes to advances in our understanding of nanomagnetism.

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