"I would like to study quantum physics and relativity in a cutting-edge research team"

Júlia Laguna Miralles has been admitted to the Physics&Mathematics degree at the UAB with an entrance score of 13.891. Her interest in science appeared when she was little. She lives in Valldoreix, close to Sant Cugat del Vallès and did her upper secondary at the Centre Frederic Mistral in Barcelona.


"It is true that in this field there are many more men than women, and that is why I believe it is important for women to work hard and dedicate ourselves to science and show our viewpoint, because we do have a different way of seeing things."

On a hot afternoon in July we meet Júlia at the optics store of the Plaça Cívica. The day is splendid and the sum shines over the entire campus. Júlia is already there when we arrive, with a smile and radiant eyes. She had just returned from a three-week Interrail trip with friends which has taken her to different countries of Europe with 8 other friends. She says she liked this adventure, and now a new one awaits: starting in September as a university student.
-Why did you choose Physics + Mathematics?
-I have always liked science. In my last year at secondary school I took Physics and I really liked it, and that's when one of the teachers told me this degree existed. I have been working these past two years to take this double degree.
-Why such an interest in science from such an early age?
-I do not know, probably because I am very interested in discovering new things. Physics is the field I like best, but I think mathematics is an essential tool, and I would feel bad doing one thing and not the other, so this degree is perfect for me!
-What do you think you will find at university, now that you are starting your studies?
-I hope to find new opportunities, be in a new environment and meet different people who like the same things I do. All this combined will hopefully help me define my future steps. I always say that I like science, but now I hope the university and my lecturers can help me discover this world to the fullest.
-Why did you choose the UAB?
-I chose the UAB because former students came to our school to talk and they were very motivating. And I really like the campus. I had already been here before because I participated in the science programme “Bojos per la ciència” and they brought us here.
-What specific aspect about science captivates you most?
-When I was little I was fascinated by astrophysics, astronomy and the universe. These fields also drew my attention in the films I watched. I read a few books by Stephen Hawking and his daughter which fascinated me, as well as the science fiction “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov, and the film “Agora”.
-What would you like to do in the future?
-I would really like to work in research, and combine it with university teaching, but mainly dedicate my time to research. I really like quantum physics and relativity, the superstrings theory, studying the universe, etc. I would like to end up being part of a cutting-edge research team and work on that. I also think it would be interesting to go abroad and do a PhD programme and post-doc at one of the important universities that research these items, and then we'll see what happens.
-What is your view on being a woman in a world of science dominated by men?
-Right now I do not feel any different from the other people who like science, but if you think about how many difficulties women have had to get ahead academically, I am thankful for being able to do this. Probably, 200 years ago I would not had the chance to study these subjects. Since there are many more men than women, I believe it is important for women to work hard and dedicate ourselves to science and show our viewpoint, because we do have a different way of seeing things.
-How did you manage to get such a high score?
-In class I would listen carefully and try to leave the class with everything clear in my head, and then I would go over it all at home. When exam time comes, I try not to get nervous. I go over my note every day and do not leave everything for the last minute. I also do activites after school, so sometimes I can study 90 minutes and sometimes the whole afternoon. I combine my studying with other types of activities. I take piano lessons, learn French, help others study for exams, I do ballet and horseback riding. These last two help me take a break from everything and recharge after so much concentration.
-Is there anything you dream about doing?
-I have one dream and maybe it is a bit far-fetched: I want to go to the International Space Station. Scientists travel up there to investigate things, see how the Earth looks from up there, etc. I would like to do that verty much, as a physicist and a scientist.
-How important is physics as a science?
-Very important, although not everything revolves around physics. Some people say that physics, mathematics or biology is what really matter because they help us understand the universe and know who we are, but I also think that the social and literary part of life are important. In other words, physics is very important, I agree, but we cannot forget our human part, and work on improving it.


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