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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello, I will be applying to Utrecht University soon and I would like some constructive criticism of my letter of motivation. It is not complete and i am still working on it but i would like some feedback.

Here are the questions i have to answer:

Which subjects and subject areas are you most interested in and why?

Why did you choose for this Master’s programme and for Utrecht University?

What is your experience with this field / how does your interest in this field show?

What proves you possess the required qualities for this Master’s programme?

How does this Master’s programme connect to your career ambitions?

Here is my letter:

Discovering the fundamental structure of the universe gives me a unique satisfaction that I find nowhere else. In this, I find the motivation to pursue an academic career in Physics. Subjects that spark that unique satisfaction are Quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and general relativity. I find beauty in unification and have recognized the power in abstraction. For this reason, I am drawn to mathematics and in particular subjects like topological/differential manifolds, Lie groups/Lie algebras and algebraic topology. The intersection of math and physics fascinates me why? for example, the simplification of Maxwell’s equations in terms of exterior derivatives acting on differential forms and the derivation of conserved quantities by way of Noether’s theorem.

In my search for a university, I have been looking for one whose theoretical department has strong research in theories beyond the standard model such as string theory and supersymmetry. After further inspection, I saw that Utrecht specializes in supergravity and AdS/CFT which I am interested in. Particularly, the research done by Dr. Bernard de Witt and his Ph.D. students on supergravity. The thesis titled “The S-matrix of the AdS X S5 superstring” incorporates many of the mathematics that I enjoy and leaves me eager to learn more. The flexibility of the master’s program and the opportunity to enroll in the mathematics/physics honors program is precisely why I chose the theoretical physics program at Utrecht, considering my strong interests in both subjects.

The Physics department at my university is primarily interested in experimental condensed matter. Consequently, I have not had the opportunity to formally research the topics I’m interested in. However, I do study independently. I prefer to learn the mathematics used in theoretical physics in full generalization from mathematics books as I feel this gives me a better understanding of the physics it applies to. Therefore, I have primarily concentrated on learning the mathematics in my free time. I self-study using books such as “Analysis” by Walter Rudin, “Introduction to Manifolds” by Loring W. Tu, and “Lie Groups, Lie Algebras and Representation” by Brian Hall. I have taken extra math courses such as foundations of mathematics, discrete mathematics, and modern abstract algebra. I have spoken to a faculty member about doing an independent study on general relativity where I will use my knowledge of differentiable manifolds. I take every opportunity to learn more about physics and mathematics.

I have two years of research experience on the spectroscopic properties of lanthanide doped nanocrystals. During this time, I have confirmed my intuitions that the academic research environment is where I thrive and that I prefer theoretical to experimental work. I have gained considerable knowledge and experience during my time in the lab that will be valuable in your master’s program. I know the process of selecting a research topic, planning my experiments, collecting and analyzing data, writing of a manuscript, formatting to journals, and publication of my research.I have spent 20 hours a week doing research concurrently with my studies and 40+ hours a week researching during the summer. I am self-motivated and have carried out my research with minimal supervision. I believe my work ethic, intrinsic motivation, and experience show that I possess what is required to be successful in the master’s program at Utrecht.

I am going to continue my education into a PhD program, and I aspire to eventually become a tenured professor. I believe this master’s program possesses the qualities that I’m looking for that will best allow me to realize my ambitions.

Here are the questions i have to answer:

Which subjects and subject areas are you most interested in and why?

Why did you choose for this Master’s programme and for Utrecht University?

What is your experience with this field / how does your interest in this field show?

What proves you possess the required qualities for this Master’s programme?

How does this Master’s programme connect to your career ambitions?

Here is my letter:

Discovering the fundamental structure of the universe gives me a unique satisfaction that I find nowhere else. In this, I find the motivation to pursue an academic career in Physics. Subjects that spark that unique satisfaction are Quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and general relativity. I find beauty in unification and have recognized the power in abstraction. For this reason, I am drawn to mathematics and in particular subjects like topological/differential manifolds, Lie groups/Lie algebras and algebraic topology. The intersection of math and physics fascinates me why? for example, the simplification of Maxwell’s equations in terms of exterior derivatives acting on differential forms and the derivation of conserved quantities by way of Noether’s theorem.

In my search for a university, I have been looking for one whose theoretical department has strong research in theories beyond the standard model such as string theory and supersymmetry. After further inspection, I saw that Utrecht specializes in supergravity and AdS/CFT which I am interested in. Particularly, the research done by Dr. Bernard de Witt and his Ph.D. students on supergravity. The thesis titled “The S-matrix of the AdS X S5 superstring” incorporates many of the mathematics that I enjoy and leaves me eager to learn more. The flexibility of the master’s program and the opportunity to enroll in the mathematics/physics honors program is precisely why I chose the theoretical physics program at Utrecht, considering my strong interests in both subjects.

The Physics department at my university is primarily interested in experimental condensed matter. Consequently, I have not had the opportunity to formally research the topics I’m interested in. However, I do study independently. I prefer to learn the mathematics used in theoretical physics in full generalization from mathematics books as I feel this gives me a better understanding of the physics it applies to. Therefore, I have primarily concentrated on learning the mathematics in my free time. I self-study using books such as “Analysis” by Walter Rudin, “Introduction to Manifolds” by Loring W. Tu, and “Lie Groups, Lie Algebras and Representation” by Brian Hall. I have taken extra math courses such as foundations of mathematics, discrete mathematics, and modern abstract algebra. I have spoken to a faculty member about doing an independent study on general relativity where I will use my knowledge of differentiable manifolds. I take every opportunity to learn more about physics and mathematics.

I have two years of research experience on the spectroscopic properties of lanthanide doped nanocrystals. During this time, I have confirmed my intuitions that the academic research environment is where I thrive and that I prefer theoretical to experimental work. I have gained considerable knowledge and experience during my time in the lab that will be valuable in your master’s program. I know the process of selecting a research topic, planning my experiments, collecting and analyzing data, writing of a manuscript, formatting to journals, and publication of my research.I have spent 20 hours a week doing research concurrently with my studies and 40+ hours a week researching during the summer. I am self-motivated and have carried out my research with minimal supervision. I believe my work ethic, intrinsic motivation, and experience show that I possess what is required to be successful in the master’s program at Utrecht.

I am going to continue my education into a PhD program, and I aspire to eventually become a tenured professor. I believe this master’s program possesses the qualities that I’m looking for that will best allow me to realize my ambitions.