onsdag 31. desember 2014

12 moments

2014 is over in a couple of hours, and I´m looking back at a year filled with ups and downs (that´s life, isn´t it?)

Here are 12 moments from 2014 (I may make some bigger blogposts about this year, but for now I´m looking at one "big" moment from each month) - a sort of insta-sum up of 2014 ;)

The seventh of January I turned 30, and I celebrated with one of my best friends - Charlotte <3

I was on the front cover of the newspaper Morgenbladet; in an article about women and science

Charlotte defended her thesis in medicine, and got her PhD degree :D

I gave the talk "OMG NUKULAR ATOMZ RADIATION MELTDOWN!!!1" at The Gathering

A lot happened in May - the biggest "ups"; like going to Japan to make Sushi and Nuclear...

...and the biggest "downs"; like when I was reported to the National Commission for the Investigation of Research Misconduct

In June I managed to buy my very own apartment (just me!) - "Rose Castle" ;)

July was so hot, and Oslo was a perfect place to be - we went on the ferry to the islands almost every day

Then, in August, finally the day came when I moved into my apartment - I still think I have the nicest view, like, ever :D

September was a mess (still with several ups, like meeting the fabulous Vibeke Fængsrud) - I got sick

I was in one of my first debates about nuclear power at Oslo Bokfestival - it went ok, and I met some great people, like Bård Michalsen, who has written a book about the comma (that I still haven´t read :/ )

I held my second TEDx talk, this time in Geneva - about "Why science should be more pink"

Then I went to Berkeley again; and after a tough fall semester I was proud that I managed to get results (yes, it´s still the uranium) and give a talk!

onsdag 24. desember 2014


Even though I didn´t manage to "complete" the advent calendar, there´s been quite a lot of (nuclear) physics related blogposts lately - and very little personal stuff. This is, of course, in one way is great, since nuclear physics is awesome, but it´s also important to talk about one self and everyday life, and not just physics - it´s hard to understand, but after all, life is more than physics and the lab :P 

It´s been too long since I shared some instamoments with you, so today is a good day to do so :) 
(If you want to, you can follow me here)

I´m learning to be Parisian - love <3 this book // halloween // morning selfie with my morning coffee
reading Einstein #oldschool // Paris with my mother // Alexandra swiimming

"whu science should be more pink" - my TEDx talk in Geneva // little sister Carina and her Magnus :) // ready for the christmas party with the wonderful people in Bulldozer Film
Andrea has spent the night at Rose castle // my fantastic colleague Ann-Cecilie and me on our way to Berkeley // morning swim selfie

flying Widerøe on my "tour" in the north of Norway // kiss me <3 coffee // fall
fun night with Henrik and Anders // the dress! // ready (almost) for "God morgen Norge"


Now it´s time to go and get my make up on, fix my hair, put on a dress (haven´t decided which one yet), and fix Alexandras hair (she has been wearing her new christmas dress for hours already ;) ), and then I think it will be time for dinner and presents...
Merry christmas everyone!

tirsdag 23. desember 2014

I f****d up...

...or maybe not that bad - but I admit that I didn´t manage to see the advent calendar through :/ I blame christmas, though ;)
And, I guess, the fact that the last month probably has been the busiest one in a while - and in addition to rest of the christmas present wrapping that has to be done, there´s also the travel bill from the trip to Berkeley and a backlog of about 100 e-mails (that I should do today). Next year I´ll be more prepared for the advent calendar, so hopefully it will be even better than this year :P

Anyway, here are some snaps from my livingroom in Rose-slottet (Rose castle <3) last night and now - in ten minutes, or so, Alexandra will come, and we will fix the rest of the presents together, and suddenly my dad will be here, and then we´re driving home for christmas :D

torsdag 18. desember 2014

Number 18

So, in the calendar today there are gammas (gamma radiation) - I´m giving you an ALFNA matrix :D xD <3

The ALFNA matrix/plot is a sort of 3 dimensional plot where there is the excitation energy of some nucleus (we don´t know which one - and this is what we/I try to figure out) on the y-axis, and on the x-axis is the energy of the gamma(s) the nucleus sends out. The thing is that when a nucleus is hit by a particle, the nucleus is excited, or sort of heated - it gets some extra energy, and to get rid of that extra energy it sends out  gamma radiation. 
From earlier experiments that have been done (the bible is here) we know quite a lot about what kind of gammas (which energies) the different nuclei will emit when they are excited to this and that energy. In this particular ALFNA matrix we believe that we have oxygen-17 (there is always some oxygen :) ) and beryllium-10 (the backing of the uranium foil/target is made from beryllium). The oxygen-17 peak for example, is supposed to emit a gamma ray with an energy of 870 kilo electron volts (keV), and here it is at around 1300 keV - which means that we are quite off, and everything needs to be calibrated (which is exactly what I´m working on now ;) ).

So this is the plot I´ve been staring at today (together with my supervisor, Sunniva <3). 
...and I´m staring even more now (pretending to have a really huge brain) - looking like this :P

onsdag 17. desember 2014

Number 16&17...

Again I didn´t manage to make the calendar blogpost yesterday - and again I´m very sorry :/ Again I give you two for the price of one - to make it up ;)

Again there are cross-section graphs in the calendar - cross-sections are really important <3 (Later, maybe I should do a blogpost about these nuclear cross-sections;  what they really mean...)

Today there are two different cross-sections, for two different uranium isotopes (different "versions" of uranium). Both pictures show the cross-section/probability that the nucleus will fission (in blue) or capture (in red), when hit by a neutron.
Both graphs show the cross-section on the y-axis, and the energy of the neutron hitting the nucleus on the x-axis.

Uranium-238 is not a fissile nucleus; the probability that it will a capture a neutron is much bigger than the probability (cross-section) that it will fission...:(

Luckily the situation is different for the uranium-235 nucleus; the probability that this nucleus will fission when hit by a neutron is bigger than the probability that it will capture (and "eat") the neutron <3 *smiling*

mandag 15. desember 2014

Number 15

Only 8ish days ´til Christmas now...and in todays calendar is another cross-section graph - this time it´s the cross-section/probability of neutron capture on uranium-233:

On the y-axis is the value of the cross-section (the higher the number, the higher the probability of a neutron being captured by the nucleus when hitting it), and on the x-axis is the energy of the neutron.
But there are several graphs here...and they all show different values for this cross-section - the truth is that we don´t exactly know what it is (my research is into this...) :/ The blue, turqoise and red lines are the "official numbers" (evaluated nuclear data), the different dots are actual measurements (some with HUGE error bars), and the green line is calculated with the default input parameters about the nucleus.

It´s quite an important cross-section for the thorium fuel cycle, since it tells us about the probability of a neutron being captured by uranium-233 instead of making it fission (which is what we want it to do) - so it would be nice to know it better ;)

Bye bye Berkeley!

...and hello Oslo :)
Here are some snaps from a great trip.

søndag 14. desember 2014

13 + 14

So, yesterday I didn´t get the chance to share a graph, so today you´ll get a double dose :D
Also, I got a complaint that the last graphs didnt´have any christmas decorations on them - so I´ve tried to do better this time...;)

Today you get two versions of ALPHA! 
ALPHA is the "capture to fission ratio" - it tells us how often a neutron is captured/absorbed, rather than causing a nucleus to fission. We want ALPHA to be as low as possible - since a low ALPHA means that little waste is produced :D

First there is ALPHA for neutrons with low energy:

The red line is for uranium-233, and the blue is for plutonium-239. For low-energy neutrons, ALPHA is lower for uranium-233 than plutonium-239, and this means that there is a smaller waste production from thorium-fuels than uranium...IF the neutrons have a low energy/are thermal (this can´t be said often enough ;) )!

Then there is ALPHA for neutrons with high energy - and here it changes (as it also did with ETA):

For neutrons with high energy the waste production is smaller for uranium-fuels than with thorium...

fredag 12. desember 2014

The 12th of December

Today is December the 12th, and in the calendar is the rest of what I gave you yesterday - it´s ETA again, but this time it´s ETA for neutrons with high energy (fast neutrons). The graph is very important for the neutron economy of a nuclear reactor...

ETA tells us about how many neutrons you get out for each neutron going in (to a nucleus) on average ("neutrons emitted/neutrons absorbed"). As you can see you get, on average, more neutrons from fission of plutonium-239 (blue line) than you get from uranium-233 (red line) - if the neutron going in has high energy/is a fast neutron. In other words: it´s exact opposite of what was in the calendar yesterday...!
So, since plutonium-239 is a better fissile material than uranium-233 (when hit by high-energy neutrons), you can produce more new fissile material from uranium, than you can from thorium :D Or, to sort of conclude: for thermal neutrons, thorium seems to be the way to do it, bur for fast neutrons, uranium/plutonium seems to be the way to do it <3<3<3

torsdag 11. desember 2014

Number 11

In the calendar today is a graph that is very important for the thorium fuel cycle... 
Today I give you ETA!

ETA tells us about how many neutrons you get out for each neutron going in (to a nucleus) on average ("neutrons emitted/neutrons absorbed"). As you can see you get, on average, more neutrons from fission of uranium-233 (red line) than you get from plutonium-239 (blue line) - if the neutron going in has low energy/is a thermal neutron.
So, since uranium-233 is a better fissile material than plutonium-239 (when hit by low-energy neutrons), you can produce more new fissile material from thorium, than you can from uranium :D We like that <3<3<3

Number 10

In Berkeley it´s 3 PM December 10th, so it´s not too late with todays calendar graph ;)

In the calendar today is a very important and very preliminary plot - of the gamma ray strength function of uranium-234. Inside the heart is a little "bump" that is actually really important, and you will get a much better plot of this later (when the analysis is finished) - and also an explanation of what it is...but be patient, and remember that the advent season is about waiting ;)

tirsdag 9. desember 2014

December 9th

In the calendar today there´s a super nice graph I didn´t make myself, but I have of course made it even prettier than it already was ;)

Todays graph is a so called "cross section graph" for uranium-235.
The cross section sort of tells us about the probability that something will happen to a nucleus; in this case it´s about the cross section/probability that uranium-235 will fission <3 
On the x-axis is the energy of the neutrons hitting the uranium-235 nucleus, and on the y-axis is the cross-section. As you can see the cross-section is much bigger for low energy neutrons than for high energy neutrons - this means that there is a much much bigger probability for a nucleus to fission when it is hit by a neutron with really low energy.

mandag 8. desember 2014

December 8th

Since I´ve sort of travelled through time (at least that´s what it feels like) and now am in Berkeley I though todays advent calendar should be about why I´m really here :) So today i give you fission! 

Yes, again its´fission of uranium-234. This time its´gamma radiation from fission (there is always gammas when a nucleus fissions, and here you see 765 914 gammas at one time xD ), in opposition to a couple of days ago when I showed you particles from fission. 
Both of the axis are energy: The x-axis is gamma-energy (so energy of the gammas that are emitted), and the y-axis is excitation energy (energy of the nucleus before it fissions - the nucleus gets so excited that it just has to split in two :D )


PS: I think time is very fascinating... here is a picture of me in on of SAS´ time capsules, just after we reached Canada. I´m looking down, around 12000 meters, at snow, and ice, and snow, and snow, and ice :P 

PPS: I think it´s just EXTREMELY fascinating and almost crazy that we can actually get a plane in the air - love it <3

søndag 7. desember 2014

Number 7...

Good morning the sweetest readers in the whole world <3
In this moment I´m at Gardermoen airport (again :P ), soon ready to go to Copenhagen and then to San Francisco (and from there to Berkeley). Since I´m going to spend quite some time in the air today - around 13 hours in total, or something like that - what could possibly be be better in todays calendar than a pretty dose/altitude graph?
I´m guessing nothing...;)

This graph is a little average, since the dose you get when you´re up in the air is a little different depending on where you´re flying (the dose is higher when you get closer to the poles, and lower when you get closer to the equator), and if there´s a lot of solar activity (more solar activity equals higher dose ;) ). Anyway; let´s say I´ll be spending 13 hours at 35000 feet (35 kfeet) today, I´ll be receiving a dose of 52 micro Sievert :D

PS: I´m much more worried about turbulense than radiation ;)

lørdag 6. desember 2014

Number 6

And now there´s only 17 days left ´til christmas...! 
Today I´ve been working all day, and the rest of the evening I´ll be working a little more, and pack my bags to go to Berkeley tomorrow *excited*. But of course I have to share a graph today as well ;)

In the calendar today there is a typical "banana plot". The "bananas" are different particles, with different energies (energy on both the x-axis and the y-axis - they show deposited energy in two different detectors). The biggest banana is made out of protons, the middle one is from deuterons, and the upper one is made out of tritons.
(For the ones that are really really interested, the plot comes from uranium-234 and a 12.5 MeV deuteron beam :D )

fredag 5. desember 2014

December 5th

Since it´s Friday (again!) I want to show you some fission <3<3<3
Here´s a super pretty graph of uranium-234 fissioning :D

Yes, there it is! The red "banana plot" are particles from fission. Super cool stuff.  (Edit: I wrote gammas, and not particles, first. That was wrong. It´s just that I´ve been working on gamma plots all day... )

torsdag 4. desember 2014

Seriøst, Spetalen?!? (Luke 4)

Ok, så dagens adventskalender er vel egentlig dedikert Øystein Stray Spetalen <3<3<3 Her har du to grafer du kan kose deg med, som illustrerer at det er ikke alltid sånn (faktisk er det veldig ofte at det ikke er sånn) at ting som korrelerer har noe med hverandre å gjøre (jeg har selvsagt pyntet dem litt slik at vi skal huske at det er advent, og snart jul - det liker vi alle):

Så må jeg si, seriøst, Ole Eikeland i Nettavisen?!? Her er 4 spørsmål du som journalist burde ha stilt i saken "Øystein Stray Spetalen raser mot skolevaksine". For det som er "sjokkerende" i denne saken er jo (som en kommenterte i Skeptikergruppen på Facebook) ikke at en enkeltperson har sterke meninger om noe han ikke kan noe om, det har jo de fleste, men at en journalist skriver om det. Hvis man skal skrive om vaksiner burde man kanskje ta kontakt med noen som driver med det til daglig. Spetalen er ikke mer kvalifisert enn en hvilken som helst tilfeldig person...

1. Hvordan vet du at det er noen sammenheng?
...er det du burde spurt om når Spetalen mener datteren er blitt syk av HPV-vaksinen. 
Det er selvsagt derfor jeg deler de to vakre grafene over, (som er hentet herfra) som en illustrasjon på det at selv om to ting skjer rett etter hverandre betyr ikke det at det første som skjedde (HPV-vaksinen) har noe å gjøre med det neste som skjer (datteren din blir dårlig)...

2. Mener du virkelig det?!?
...er det du burde svart når Spetalen sier at det er jo "bare" 40-50 som dør av livmorhalskreft hvert år. 
Selv om det er registrert 500 bivirkninger så er jo dette antallet bivirkninger totalt - alle typer, og ikke bare alvorlige. Så da er det kanskje er 7 alvorlige bivirkninger av vaksinen hvert år, mot 40-50 som dør... (hvis vi i tillegg skal begynne å sette alle som får livmorhalskreft hvert år, men blir friske etter behandling - så er det ganske mye "lidelse" å sette opp mot at noen kanskje får bivirkninger).

3. Er det den samme type kildekritikk du har når du skal få tak i finansinformasjon? 
...er det du burde spurt om når Spetalen sier at han har googlet vaksinen...(!)

4. Hvem er den legen du snakker om, egentlig?
...er det du burde spurt etter når det hevdes at en tidligere topplege hos Merck mener at vaksinen har null effekt og sterke bivirkninger.


Ok, koz og klemz til alle - nå er det julebord for kjernefysikerne ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...