Statement by NSSU Alumnus (12/1997)
The Physics Student

 I would like to do experimental research in Condensed Matter Physics. In particular, I am interested in Ultra Low Temperature Physics. Conceptual issue that attracts me in this area is a possibility to observe quantum effects at a macroscopic level. It also gives an opportunity to study extremely pure substance while adding impurities in a controlled manner.

Stanford University is one of the few universities in the world that have strong research groups in experimental Ultra Low Temperature Physics and provide powerful and well-designed equipment for ultra low temperature experiments. In addition, the Stanford Physics department gives an opportunity to take outstanding advanced graduate courses in various areas of physics and exposure to new views and methods from world-class scientists.

I was introduced to physics by my mother, inventor and Professor of Physics at Nizhniy Novgorod Technical University (NNTU) at a very early age. She advised me on interesting physics books and we had discussions after I read them. She pointed out peculiar aspects of a phenomenon, then asked me questions to make sure I understood the concept behind the problems. We also discussed school physics when I started taking it. As I grew, she taught me pedagogical issues in physics and gave me a lot of good advice on how to make an effective presentation.

Understanding that it takes a good mathematician to be a good  physicist, I went to Specialized Math & Physics High school, where I took courses in math more advanced than regular requirements, such as introductory calculus, introduction to differential equations, numerical  methods, introduction to group theory and computer programming courses. In addition, I was enrolled in a correspondence course in mathematics at Moscow State University.

During winter and spring quarters of my last year of High school I performed a research in physics under advise of a researcher from Nizhniy Novgorod State University. The purpose of the project was to understand some methods of acoustical investigation of the bottom of the ocean; more specifically, what parameters of the bottom can we extract from reflected acoustic signal so we could determine the composition of the ocean bottom. I won the Second Prize in Physics among High school students of Nizhniy Novgorod region for a presentation of these results at student competition. The project was very educational: I had my first experience learning how to approach a research problem, using reference materials and checking the validity of results.

I graduated from Nizhniy Novgorod State University (NNSU),  Department of Radio-Physics and Electronics. This science-oriented  school gave me an extensive background in physics. The curriculum of the department covers a wide range of knowledge in theoretical and experimental physics as well as non-linear dynamics theory and electrical engineering courses. It included 9 semesters of lab courses (5 - 11 hours per week) where we started with learning basic techniques (oscilloscope usage, measurement of emf, measurement of capacitance, measurement of magnetic field using Hall effect etc.) and studying key phenomena (measurement of elementary electric charge in oil drop experiment, Fraunhoffer diffraction, light interference experiments, spinning tops, Cp/Cv measurement, longitudinal ultrasonic waves in a wire, etc.) As we acquired basic skills in measurement and broadened our theoretical knowledge, we performed more advanced experiments: properties of n-p junction in application to semiconductor devices, Zeeman effect, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, electromagnetic field measurements in the wave guide, antenna measurements, measuring the wavelength of surface waves on deep and shallow water, parameters of waves propagating in media, etc.

During my second year, I performed theoretical research on the stability of waves on deep and shallow water when the free surface is the lower one and the gravity introduces instability into the waves. In terms of the boundary conditions, I obtained an answer to the question: How narrow the neck of the container should be so the water won't spill out when it is flipped upside down? I enjoyed the opportunity of presenting a talk on my research at a physics seminar in our department.

Our department formed an extraordinary school for non-linear dynamics and wave theory, which was the emphasis of three years of my independent study. After an oral presentation, my Diploma Paper "Spatial Chaos in an Inhomogeneous Medium with Diffusion" was recommended for publication by State Examination Committee. The model described in this paper (a one-dimensional, one-component, periodically-inhomogeneous medium, described by the diffusion equation with a source) is very interesting and has several possible applications. It may be applied to semiconductor physics, to biological processes, and to some chemical  reactions.

After graduation, I collaborated with A and B at Radiophysical Research Institute (NIRFI), Russia on the article "Near-field Scanning in the Time Domain" (paper in progress). This article describes methods of time-domain field calculation and far-field reconstruction by near-field measurements in the time domain on an arbitrary scanning surface.

In the years 1995-97, I worked as a Production Engineer/Programmer at Microtech Conversion Systems, Inc. (Belmont, CA). I developed accounting, security and tape-analyzing software using the C language. I was involved in assembly, testing and design improvement of a high-capacity unattended CD-R duplication equipment run by a PC.

I want experimental research in physics and teaching to be an outline of my future career. I would like to become a professor in academia in my future. I believe that my serious intention for study, my past lab work, academic background in various areas of physics and mathematics and industrial experience will be beneficial for my graduate studies and research.

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