Physics student ‘optimises’ his talents to become a first class graduate

Physics student Nathan Pine will be able to put his coding skills to good use after being awarded his BSc Physics First Class Honours degree at Swansea University’s Summer Degree and Award Congregation on Friday 28 July.

Nathan Pine smallNathan Pine, aged 22 from Chelmsford, began his studies on the Physics Foundation Year programme. After improving his grades in the first two years of his course, Nathan progressed to assist Dr Will Bryan to optimise an Electron Microscope configuration using another coding language (General Particle Traer). Nathan was listed as a co-author on his research paper, alongside his PhD student. Not bad for an undergraduate student!

Nathan is considering a career where he can improve his coding skills and believes that the methods he acquired from physics will give him the edge in his future career.

Speaking about his time at Swansea University Nathan said: “I didn’t reach my full potential at sixth form and so over my foundation and first year at Swansea I realised my true priority was my studies slowly building my grades higher and higher. This gave me a strong work ethic going into second and third year allowing me to obtain very high percentage grades consistently across a variety of modules.

“I particularly enjoyed my modules in Physics Simulation and General Relativity as they both challenged my abilities but for differing reasons. Physics Simulation was my first real experience with coding (using Python) and it forced me to approach a problem with a whole new logical thought process. I enjoyed my General Relativity module as it made me question what was physically possible with the bending of spacetime and even light rays. 

“I enjoyed these modules so much that I undertook a final year project which combined the two nicely in which I was creating visualisations of geodesic paths taken by object and light rays under different geometries. I calculated the geodesic paths using the physics I learnt in General Relativity and from additional notes from my supervisor. I then coded the calculations into a mathematical coding language (Mathematica) so that it produced a realistic plot for the path taken, and then added graphics to give them aesthetic appeal.”

Nathan loved the beach life at Swansea. He added: “In my free time, I like to practice parkour and free running and so the beach acted as my perfect crash mat for training the more dangerous of moves such as flips. Also, I lived with a house full of surfers for most of my time at uni so had the opportunity to go surfing all around the Gower whenever I wasn’t locking myself away to study”.