tirsdag 30. august 2016

It's reading day!

I was at my office at nine this morning, and after a quick discussion with Gry (with whom I share my  office), I realised today has to be reading day. I need to read stuff - and a lot of it.

My biggest problem right now is that I need to correct my data for neutrons: 
The thing is that we have different kinds of detectors, and one of these detectors measure all the gamma radiation that comes when the nucleus fission. The problem is that when a nucleus fissions, it will also send out neutrons (in addition to gamma radiation), and the detectors that is really there for the gamma radiation will also measure the neutrons, and it can't see the difference between these two (the neutrons and the gammas). So when I have a nice plot from the detector that's only supposed to measure gammas, it's also showing me neutrons, and they all look the same. Therefore I need to (try) to make a correction to these plots, so that they're more less telling the truth about the gammas from fission - this time I don't care about the neutrons, except I want them to go away ;) (Dear neutron, please forgive me, you are still my favorite particle <3)

Now I have this gut feeling that I can do this correction in a straight forward and simple way (I've actually already done it), but I need to read more what other people say about the subject to (scientifically) justify the way I do this. It's not exactly enough to say well I have this gut feeling so this is right, I'm kind of sure about it...that's not science ;)
Gut feelings can be helpful though; they help you to get a starting point, and know where to start looking. Hopefully, by the end of this day, I've justified my choice, and can defend it in the article (number three!) and the talk in Bruges!

Most of today will be spent on reading "Energy and Isotope Dependence of Neutron Multiplicity Distributions", and "The prompt response of bismuth germanate and NaI(Tl) scintillation detectors to fast neutrons". These to articles will hopefully tell me more about how our kind of detectors (NaI(Tl)) see neutrons, and what the shape of the neutron spectrum looks like *fingers crossed*.
Maybe two articles don't seem like much, but trust me, reading this is though, and if I'm going to read all of it thoroughly, it will take time...

This is the gamma spectrum that isn't just gammas, but also some neutrons - probably around 20% of this thing. I made it three dimensional yesterday- isn't it pretty? <3<3<3

Ok, now back to my articles; I think I'll start with the one about multiplicities :)
Wishing you all a happy day <3

mandag 29. august 2016

Predictions about the future

Predicting the future is hard. Maybe even impossible, at least to get it right...
I started my talk on Wednesday with some quotes from different people, about the future, that turned out not to be right (the theme for my talk this time was the future, and what kind of skills we need):

Lord Kelvin, who was a  physicist and an engineer, and a smart guy, said in 1883 that X-rays is a fraud, and in 1895, Machines that are heavier than air will never be able to fly.
Dr. Lee de Foster, who was an inventor (he invented vacuum tubes), said that Man will never go to the moon, no matter what kind of scientific break-throughs we might achieve. 
Marechal Ferdinand Foch was a strategy professor, and he said: Air planes are interesting as toys, but they will never have any military value. 
An engineer in Boeing said, in 1933, when they had just built a plane (Boeing 247) that could take ten people: We will never build a bigger plane. 
In 1943, Thomas Watson, who was the president of IBM, said: I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. 
And Ken Olsen, the founder of Digital Equipment Corporation , said in 1977 There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Naturally, people laughed. Then I got a comment that there were very few quotes by women (there were none, and I had several more quotes in total - by men), so I told the audience that maybe I would say something stupid that could go into the history books (I really don't think I will go into the history books :P). I pointed out that I think that where these predictions go really wrong is when they say never.  You should probably never say never, or something meaning more or less that. Then I think I managed to be just as definite, and potentially silly, as these men (it was a joke when I said that I could say something stupid for the history books, but maybe I did it anyway)...

When it came to my "predictions" for the future, I talked about how computers may take the role of diagnosing patients, instead of doctors. Already today the most powerful computers are actually better at diagnosing, and come up with a plan for the best treatment for the patients. So will computers take the job from the doctors? I honestly believe that computers will be very important in the diagnosing part of treating a patient. Maybe we won't even meet doctors before we've actually been diagnosed - we'll "just" meet nurses? Maybe we'll only meet the doctors when we actually get to the hospital, with a diagnosis that a computer already made, after checking all kinds of symptoms and health data, and comparing them to all medical knowledge (that a person could never have)?
I was quite certain, though, that I don't think machines will ever replace the "human touch" - we need to actually see and talk to people, not machines. But after I had finished my talk I realised; I had been saying stuff like "I don't think doctors will ever be replaced by machines. Of course, machines will never replace the human touch, we'll always need to see and talk to actual people when we're not feeling good...", but what do I know?
Maybe one day, I can be quoted on "silly things people predicted about the future"; It may be silly that I said that machines will diagnose us, instead of doctors, or it may be silly that I said that we'll always need to see actual people in the doctor's office, and that a machines can't replace the human touch. Time will show ;)


Last week was shitty work wise, by the way; Alexandra got sick just after two days in school, and then so was I - just four weeks after I started my last cure of antibiotics, I've started a new one. Fingers crossed this time it will finally help(!)

My talk in Bruges is coming up very soon (two weeks to go), so I'm going to - I have to - make this week count <3 One step towards being (much) more productive is that I now start the SelfControl app when I wake up in the morning, and thus block all the different (disturbing) web pages until noon. The plan is to give myself a little "procrastination break" at noon, and then I'll block everything for five more hours. The reason is that, recently, I've spent too much time procrastinating in the morning, when I get into the office, before I start the SelfControl - it has actually gotten out of control. Therefore, measures have to be taken ;)

Alexandra and me wishing everyone a great (and productive and fun!) week <3

onsdag 24. august 2016


This has been a busy and kind of lazy day at the same time...

Yesterday, Alexandra wasn't feeling well, so she was picked up early from AKS. Luckily it was possible for her to attend school today (we don't want her to miss day three, right?), but no AKS, and also I wanted to be close by - just in case they called and said she couldn't be there anymore. Therefore I worked from home today. 
They didn't call, though, so I could focus 100% on the talk I gave at Riksarkivet today; I spent the morning finishing my talk, then I spent a certain amount of time on getting ready and picking out the perfect outfit (what I felt was "perfect" today ;) ), and at one o'clock I left home.

The subject of my talk was the future, and a little bit about what I think will be important in the future. It's a tricky question, since so often before, smart people have been so off in their predictions. However, I do think we need to be able to process a lot of information, and we need math and physics and chemistry (and more - knowledge, really) to be able to do that. In order not to make really bad decisions for us self, and economy, and environment, and health...

My talk was at three, and I think I was back home again around five. Somehow I've been busy since then; spending time with Alexandra, washing clothes, and making food. But no science today :/

So it's been going non stop, from 6:30 this morning, 'till I sat down just now to write this, but also, I haven't done "anything". I'm still happy with the day, though - I gave a talk that went well (I think), and we'll go to bed soon (after we've eaten some hot chili <3 ), so that tomorrow I'll be super ready to work on the plotting/analysis program, and the talk about fission that I will give in Bruges in September (we're all going to practice together next week :D ).

Hope you're enjoying the evening! Kisses from here in Rose-castle <3

mandag 22. august 2016

The week that passed

 And then the week was over again, just like that, and a new week has already begun! And just like that, Alexandra started school. It feels surreal that I have a school girl at home, and I think it's so cool that we're both part of the Norwegian educational system, but at the very beginning and the very end. This post isn't about Alexandra starting school though, more about that some other time...:)

Right now
Even though I wasn’t the most productive ever last week, I actually managed four of the five steps I was supposed to get through, and I'm quite happy with that. The only thing I didn’t do was the one about making a drawing of my plotting program, so I just need to get this right this week! I also have to start three presentations, and already on Wednesday I'm giving my first talk this semester (so one of those three talks needs to be started AND finished this week). To get my results right for article number three and the talk for Bruges, I need to make that drawing – luckily, Anders can help me, since he’s back from Philadelphia again <3 I'm hopeful!

Feeling of the week
Want. I missed Anders a lot last week (yes, even though it was just one week without him), and it's not because I don't have fun when he's not here, I just prefer when he is :) As Sunniva supervisor said: Well, good thing you miss him - what if you didn't? Wouldn't that have been just horrible? And she's of course right, and I am happy I miss him when he's gone <3

Boost of the week
The biggest boost of last week was without doubt when I sent away my article (paper)
 to all the co-authors. As I told you on Saturday I felt like I got high just after I pushed the "send" button - it would actually have been fun if I had measured the levels of different hormones in my blood before and after I sent it. My guess is that the levels of adrenaline and endorphins (?) were higher after, but I am no expert on hormones, so I may be wrong about...;)

Bummer of the week
The biggest bummer of last week was the message from the Norwegian tax authorities! First they told me I had to pay one amount in taxes (from last year), then they had forgotten some stuff, and they told me (when we called them, and we called twice, and talked to two different people about this) I had to pay twice what they first told me. Then, this week I got their final message, where it said I have to pay even 20 000,- more :/ Well, c'est la vie...

Person of the week
Anders was in Philadelphia all of last week (he came back home again yesterday <3), so I thought much more about him and us than I normally do, when he’s here, so he’s definitely my person of the week.

Craving of the week
Gum. I always crave gum, and I eat a lot of it. I normally buy five packs at a time, and that’s almost sufficient for one week :D

Picture of the week
Last week was the first week for all the new students (you know, Fadderuken, where they get to know older students and each other and stuff), and finally Campus was filled with people again. This picture is from the very first day, meaning last Monday, and I got so happy that Store Fysiske Auditorium (StoreFy) was packed with students <3
I wasn't really part of anything that happened, but I couldn't stay 100% away from it, either :) (Picture from my Snapchat: sunnivarose)

Reader of the week
Last week I got the sweetest messages from a reader who told me she studies physics in Bergen, and that she wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for me. She also thanked me for this speech. She is definitely reader of the week! 

lørdag 20. august 2016

Push me to push "send"...

Yesterday I did it!
I finished my "first" draft for all the co-authors, and I sent it.
I was sitting down at the cyclotron lab with Sunniva, and just went through her very last comments, and the she said You'll send it now, right? Before the weekend and everything. And I was more like Well, I'll send it on Monday, since that's better (for no reason what so ever). Luckily she made me realise there was nothing to wait for, and around three PM yesterday I sent it to the 18 co-authors.

Immediately after I sent the e-mail, I felt the most amazing rush through my body - I seriously got high :D I was (and am) so happy. Even though it's scary to send a paper like this, since now I'm dreading the comments, thinking all the co-authors probably think I'm stupid...:P
Still, now it's finally getting real, and in just a couple of weeks I can probably send this to the journal where we hope to publish it! My eternally optimistic supervisor (Sunniva, not Jon - he's more on the pessimistic side ;) ) even thinks I'll be finished with the entire thesis by mid of October - we'll see about that, though...


Hope you're all having a great Saturday!
I'm soon going to the Univeristy, since I need to clean out of my old office, and then I'm going to attend a dinner with all of the new physics students. Best of all, though; tomorrow I'm getting my Anders back home from the US again <3

tirsdag 16. august 2016

Enten så går det bra - eller så går det over... (tre erfaringer til nye studenter)

Studietiden er fantastisk!
Det er frihet, læring, flytte hjemmefra og bli selvstendig, voksen, møte masse flinke folk... Det er moro, spenning, sosialt, interessant, utfordrende - på den gode måten, nye venner, forelskelse, og øl på en onsdag. 
Det er sånn man gjerne hører folk som kanskje ikke helt husker hvordan studietiden egentlig var beskrive studietiden. 
Kanskje det heller burde være: studietiden er fantastisk? Fordi, plutselig så er det deadlines, tom konto, kjærlighetssorg, og eksamen. Og når dere sitter alene på hybelen om to måneder, og dere har tom kontor og spiser nudler med ketchup, og dere samvner mamma, storebror, eller bestevennen som ble igjen to flyturer og en 70 minutters humpete busstur unna, da er det kanskje ikke like lett å se at dette er den beste tiden i livet...

Kjære alle nye studenter! Spesielt alle dere nye på MatNat, og enda mer spesielt til dere på fysikk <3
Studiene kommer til å by på oppturer og nedturer. De fleste av dere kommer til å føle der dumme; ikke hele tiden, men stadig vekk. Mange av dere kommer til å gjøre det betydelig dårligere enn dere gjorde på vgs, og enn det dere kansje trodde dere skulle komme til å gjøre.
Så lenge alt går glatt og greit og fint, så er jo ting helt fint, og da går alt ganske av seg selv; men så er det jo sånn at for veldig veldig mange så går det ikke sånn rett frem hele tiden, og man kommer til å oppleve at det (livet eller studiene eller begge deler) går skikkelig dårlig; og da er det kanskje fint å ha hørt at dette er ganske vanlig, og at det til og med kan komme til å gå ganske så bra allikevel ;) 

Sitatet øverst her er fra en tale jeg holdt for ett år siden, under åpningsseremonien på Universitetet i Stavanger, og der snakket jeg mye og ærlig om egen studietid, og at det både er skikkelige oppturer og SKIKKELIGE nedturer... Den talen ble filmet, så hvis du vil høre resten av den så kan du trykke deg inn HER :) (Jeg begynner på 37 minutter).

"Kortversjonen" av min vei fra fersk bachelorstudent til snart ferdig (...?) doktor i kjernefysikk går via å stryke i fag, at jeg bukte fire år på bachelorgraden min, at man som regel er ganske blakk som student, hvor ofte jeg har følt meg (og FØLER meg) dum, at jeg har stått midt på universitetet (Fredrikkeplassen, for de som er lokalkjent på Blindern) og følt at alt (blant annet meg selv) er helt håpløst og bare grått og grått, om kjærlighetssorg, og at jeg bare med med et nødsskrik kom meg inn på master. Allikevel er jeg ansatt på Universitetet i Oslo i dag (i alle fall i noen måneder til) for å jobbe med doktorgrad...

min aller første dag på UiO...jeg sitter nesten helt fremme, med lys rosa genser ;) (Ja, her er det overhead som gjelder :D)

Hvis jeg skulle oppsummere talen min til å bare være tre tips, eller kanskje mer erfaringer, så må det bli dette:
  1. Den du er i dag definerer ikke nødvendigvis hvem du er i morgen.
  2. Nyt det som åpenbart er å nyte, og ta lærdom av det som er kjipt (eller bare kjedelig).
  3. Enten så går det bra, eller så går det over. (All ære til gode Lise, som er den kloke personen bak dette fine Lisdomsordet <3)

Dere som har lest bloggen min en stund har kanskje hørt meg si dette, at enten så går det bra - eller så går det over, før. Det har nærmest blitt som et motto for meg; noe jeg tar frem og sier til meg selv når jeg er på vei inn i en "nå går alt til helvete, og jeg kommer aldri til å klare å fullføre, og så får jeg ingen jobb, og så (...)", for det er jo så sant at antageligvis så går det bra, men hvis det ikke går bra, så kommer det til gå over. Det er godt å vite! Og det som er så fantastsisk er at dette gjelder jo like mye for kjærlighetssorg som eksamen :)

I morgen skal jeg gjøre mitt for at det skal gå bra med meg; da skal jeg møte fine kollega Cecilie, sånn ganske passe tidlig på biblioteket, og så skal vi utnytte bibliotekets (tips til alle på UiO, forresten; både det store Universitetsbiblioteket og fantastsiske Realfagsbiblioteket er helt fantastiske plasser å sitte og jobbe/lese/skrive <3) ro og lys til å skrive på hver vår artikkel. Det er som sagt artikkel nummer tre det jobbes med her nå, og i morgen skal jeg skrive om det eksperimentelle oppsettet, og litt om hvordan vi klarer å skille mellom nøytroner og gamma-stråling i detektorene våre, siden de "oppfører" seg på mange måter likt i akkurat de detektorene vi har.
Alle nye (og gamle) studenter: nyt fadderuken og solen - alvoret og høstværet kommer fort nok. Snakkes!

mandag 15. august 2016


I almost can't believe it, but just one week from now; Alexandra's starting school!
Therefore, today we went shopping for a new backpack and some new outfits (plus a pair of sneakers, rain gear - after all, fall's coming soon, and some nail polish that she really wanted <3). The sun was shining, none of us were tired or stressed, and we simply had a great time! Then suddenly, from nowhere she squealed: 
- Let's take a selfie! 
(Often, she doesn't like me to take any pictures, so I love the times when she decides that pictures are good :) )
And then:
- What is a selfie?
Haha - she obviously knew, she just wasn't sure if she knew <3


Goal(s) of the week: MERGE

I have one, main goal this week, and that is to merge two different drafts of the next article (meaning: number three, meaning: with this third article, I will actually have what I need to have, to wrap everything up and finish my PhD...) - into one, and send this merged draft to two of the co-authors (Gry and Fabio). It sounds easy enough, but I know it takes much more time than it sounds like, so I've divided this one, big goal into several sub-goals (then I know that even if I don't really manage to tick off the "merge, finished", I can tick off several sub-goals, and not feel like a failure):

I have a good feeling about work this week - it may of course be because the sun is shining, and Alexandra was happy girl this morning, and campus is suddenly packed with students again - but I have already started to look carefully at the introductions that I need to compare, and  I've copied the text about the experiment. I've also just started to re-write the experimental text, and now I'll continue.
If I'm very good, my extra-goal will be to start the talk I'm going to give in Bruges (Belgium) in the middle of September... *fingers crossed*


PS: VELKOMMEN til alle nye studenter til UiO, og spesielt velkommen til alle dere her på fysikk!

torsdag 11. august 2016

Norwegian Continental Shelf (interview about nuclear physics, science communication, and hard work)

A while ago I was interviewed for the magazine Norwegian Continental Shelf. We talked about why I started to study nuclear physics, and about science communication, and that you usually have to work hard if you want to achieve something. Bente Bergøy interviewed me, and Sverre Christian Jarild photographed me - I think they both did a good job :)

I love this picture! It's taken from outside the University library (where I love to work <3)

Popular science blogger Sunniva Rose originally want­ed to be a ballet dancer, but became hooked on nuclear physics instead.

“The course didn’t meet my expectations, and I failed to settle in at the university. The subjects were more difficult than I’d thought, and I wasn’t used to feeling so stupid.”
Matters were not helped by failing courses and having terms where she only just managed to get through an exam. “I wondered for a long time what I thought I was doing,” she admits.
Her progress in maths was not particularly good, and she disliked experimenting. “I really doubted whether there was room for somebody like me, who had a handbag full of pink lip gloss, wore high heels and taught dance part-time.”
Then things started to look up. She took a couple of courses which broke the logjam. One dealt with energy challenges and realistic solutions, and Rose discovered that nuclear power is currently an important part of the answer.

She started work on an MSc, and thrived on long days in the lab and on the in-depth study of a topic she found exciting. Enjoyment, involvement and commitment paid off in top marks.

this is not a "pretty-picture", but I still really like it - it's really me; gesticulating with my hands, and of course there's CACTUS (all the stuff sticking out from it are detectors for gamma radiation, and it's called CACTUS because it looks like a cactus ;) )

The question is why young Norwegians should opt for science studies when the oil industry seems to be in decline and many engineers are having trouble finding a job.
Rose’s answer is that these subjects provide the opportunity to work with everything from people to medicine, oil, space travel or the environment – and to help develop society.
“But I genuinely believe that knowledge of science should form part of a general education,” she affirms. “It helps you to think critically. Nothing is black-and-white, and not everything you read in the papers is true.”

If you like, you can read the entire thing HERE :)

PS: For some reason, they've written I went to the UiS (University of Stavanger), which is of course not true. For me, it's been University of Oslo all the way <3

tirsdag 9. august 2016


This is all I can think of right now. Kind of chaotic, and I admit there are some challenges. However, I’m actually getting close, now…<3

fredag 5. august 2016

10 things I’m looking forward to this fall

I’m not at all a falls kind of person, and luckily it’s still summer – and I’m hoping it will last for at least one more month, and that September will be a warm, nice summer/fall month too. However, fall will come, even though I like it or not, and I guess it’s better to just embrace it.
As you may already know, this fall is my last semester at the University (or at least the last months I will receive any kind of salary from the University for working on my PhD – if I don’t finish before December 31, I’ll have to do it on my own time), and here are ten things I’m looking forward (or maybe not?) to this semester:

0. Alexandra starting school. This happens August 22nd, so technically I’ll say it’s still summer, but then again it’s part of the fall semester, so I’ll let it pass ;) I cant’ believe this is already happening.

1. Finishing the damned second article. I've been working on it more or less, like, forever (yes, it's the one I've been nagging about, like, forever here, on the blog :P ), but finally it's looking like I'm reaching the end of the tunnel. Today, supervisor-Sunniva and I have been discussing the very last paragraph of the article, and I think I could actually finish it this weekend...:D :D :D
2. Friday dinners (chili <3 <3 <3) in Rose-castle. Since I bought my apartment, and thus got a place that was big enough so that I could invite all my friends to come over on Fridays, this has been a thing. When Anders moved in with me around a year ago, it has become our thing – with his friends as an addition. The concept is easy: We make a big pot of something to eat (the default is chili con carne), we have some wine, people come at whatever time suits them (after work), and stay as long as they want, if they want to they can bring something to eat or drink, we have a good time.

3. Finishing the third article (notice: this one is not ”damned”). This is about gamma rays from fission, and even though I might be wrong, I have the feeling this one will be "easier" than the other one... #fingerscrossed

4. Go shopping after I submit my second article to the journal where I'm hoping to get it published – I need a nice leather bag, and I think this will be my reward after I finish this article :)

5.  Attending the Kavli prize banquet at Oslo city hall <3 With Anders <3
(I think the invitation is just so beautiful <3)

6. Go shopping after I submit the third article – shoes, I think J

7. Giving a talk in Belgium about prompt fission gamma rays (looking forward to, and dreading at the same time – I mean, giving talks about something, to the people who knows most about this theme in the entire world is not just a walk in the park…)

8. Going to Berkeley??? I don’t know if this will happen, but there has been a liiiitle bit of talk about it... At least I can hope, right?

9. Writing a ”popular” article on thorium based reactors; like, ”what’s the deal with thorium, really?”

10. Finishing the thesis. I don’t have to describe this one, I’m sure.

As you may see, this fall will be crazy; most of these things are stuff I’m mostly looking forward to finish, but are really stuff I’m dreading to actually have to do… Most of all I’m looking forward to 2017, when I’m done (#fingerscrossedagain) with the entire PhD drama, and I’m starting with something new... And who knows what that’ll be ;) Any suggestions?


Here are a couple of pics from our trip up to Trolltunga in July (<3 summer <3) – it was a hard hike, but definitely worth it.

spectacular view on the way to Trolltunga

and suddenly we were back in Oslo again, wearing highs heels and accessories again ;)

Fall 2016: GO GO GO (soon – first, there’s more summer)!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...