When I was in the first grade, my mother presented me a book on astronomy. Immediately, the book fascinated me; I was intrigued in discovering that stars, nebulas and galaxies exist somewhere out there. Therefore, I spent an enormous amount of time reading more books about astronomy and making charts of my own for the planets in the solar system. My mother never discouraged my efforts. Rather, she presented me a ruler to make better charts and answered my questions sincerely. I recall that as a six-year-old boy, I asked my mom about decimal numbers to better understand the contents of astronomy books, and received a satisfying answer.
The dream to be an astronomer continued until sixth grade, when I received special physics training at the Korean Physics Olympiad (“KPhO”) winter school. As I studied elementary physics, I realized that physics is a fundamental building block for “everything” and that it could be a better way to understand the universe than astronomy. Therefore, I decided to become a physicist and have dedicated all my effort to physics. The KPhO summer and winter school provided me a good environment conducive to solving physics problems and discussing physics phenomena such as special relativity.
One of my friends made an interesting paradox regarding relativistic contraction. It was so perplexing to us at the time that no one was able to solve it, even after the physics camp. Later, when the very friend entered college, I visited him and together we went to the library to find materials concerning the paradox. We learned that a similar paradox had been presented early in the 20th century and that it requires the knowledge of general relativity.
In addition to theoretical physics, we also performed many
experiments at the physics camp. In
the spring this year, we visited
dream to become a physicist has often been discouraged even by some physicists
on the notion that physicists do not earn as much as engineers or computer
scientists do. Nevertheless, I was
able to find a physicist, a professor at the