fredag 29. mai 2015

Nuclear physics *heart*

Nuclear physics is often thought of as nuclear power, but nuclear physics is really the investigation and understanding of (atomic) nuclei, and nuclear power is just one of the applications of nuclear physics. 
The nucleus (that we study) is the heart <3 of the atom, and it's where almost all mass of matter resides. Nuclei consist of neutrons and protons; ranging from the smallest one ("normal" hydrogen) with just one proton (and zero neutrons), to the biggest with a few hundred neutrons and protons. (You can't make a nucleus with just one neutron, you have to have at least one proton). The nucleus is small, but large enough to do stuff like vibrate and rotate (what the nuclear physicist would call "show collective degrees of freedom").

A major motivation for studying the atomic nucleus is to gain a fundamental understanding of our world; its origin and future, and its current state. Nuclear physics can explain how stars work to release more or less all the useful energy in the world, while they at the same time produce the different elements - from hydrogen to iron. (Therefore there is today a lot of collaboration between nuclear physicists and astrophysicists.)
In addition to nuclear power, nuclear medicine (medical diagnosis and treatments) is another important application of nuclear physics <3 <3 <3

torsdag 28. mai 2015

Forsmak på Blindernlivet

Hjelp! Nesten helg igjen, allerede?!?
Mange syns at mai er en topp måned pga alle fridager og inneklemte dager og langhelger, men jeg må vel nesten innrømme at jeg har mine tvil...:/ Altså, det er jo veldig deilig med en lang helg på hytta, eller bare mange, late dager i parken - problemet er når det er så mye som skal gjøres, som nå. Jeg skulle gjerne ha hatt langhelgene (fordi 3 dager helg er awesome), men med 5 skikkelige arbeidsdager i mellom dem (fordi 3 eller 4 dager uker rett og slett er for lite) - så, ja, til en lengre mai måned, må vel nesten være konklusjonen <3

takk til Teknisk Avdeling som gjør det nydelig på Campus - feks foran Georg Sverdrups hus/Universitetsbiblioteket <3

Vel vel, nok om det, og over til tittelen på dette innlegget: På førstkommende mandag (samme dag som jeg holder frokostforedrag hos Realistforeningen) - altså den 1. juni - er alle de som har søkt på et program på MatNat-fakultetet (feks Fysikk/FAM) på UiO som 1.-valg invitert til å komme på besøk til fakultetet, for en forsmak på Blindernlivet. Hele opplegget går over tre timer (fra 12-15), og avsluttes med felles grilling, der det også kommer til å komme en del professorer og andre ansatte (jeg kommer :D) fra hvert institutt (MatNat består tross alt av mer enn bare fysikk :P). Planen med dette er at søkerne kan få et lite inntrykk av hvordan livet som student er, og kanskje aller mest at man kan lære hvor kort avstanden mellom studenter og ansatte faktisk er...
HER kan du lese mer, og melde deg på :D

Håper mange vil komme på dette, da (og frokosten på morgenen) - jeg gleder meg!

onsdag 27. mai 2015

My plan

A while ago (January or February) I had a very brief plan for the rest of my time as a PhD student, and how I should manage to finish my degree. Since that time, some things have changed; first of all, my contract at the University of Oslo lasts until the end of 2016, so I wont be submitting my thesis in December this year, but rather next fall.
An updatet, and more detailed version of my progress towards the Big Day (which is what I will refer to when I talk about the day when I submit everything from now on) now looks like this: 

So this is not a plan all the way to the Big Day, but rather a list of the first half of 2015. The rest on this list should be finished by the end of June - if I don't manage to do that I'll have to work (much more than I've been planning on) during July, and then it's bye bye summer vacation...:/ I hope there wont be any big surprises during the next five weeks, so I don't have to use my "buffer" (July), but I'm still optimistic, and the feeling of crossing out stuff on the to do-list is amazing! I think I should make these updated lists every month, actually :)


Yesterday I gave a talk for the INSEAD Alumni group on the topic of nuclear energy and thorium from a Norwegian perspective, with the title "Thorium is Norway's "new oil" - or is it?". My (very) short answer to this is a very, very careful "Maaaaybeeee"...;) I felt it went pretty ok, and some even wrote that it was a great talk - so I guess I shouldn't argue with the audience :P Anyway, it was great fun, and I met a lot of nice people; and since several of the people in the audience stayed after the talk (and 30 minutes with questions and discussions), I guess it wasn't too bad :)

If you want to hear more about it (thorium and nuclear and stuff), you can come to the "breakfast talk" I'm giving next Monday at the University <3  

fredag 22. mai 2015


I'm dead tired right now... After I held my talk yesterday (outfit above; trying to "be me" but just enough "conservative" at the same time) I felt like I just collapsed (I managed to take part in the conference dinner, luckily :P ), and this morning I just slept through my alarm - which never happens, except maybe if my body is trying to tell me a needed a couple of extra hours sleep. I've been really stressed about the talk yesterday, and the (preliminary) results that I showed was finished on Wednesday afternoon. Being so "last minute" didn't exactly feel great, and that was probably one reason why I was so nervous.
It has been a great week though; and even if I really  just want to go home now, and go to sleep, I'm going out with all my great nuclear physicist colleagues from all over the world <3

Wishing everyone a great Friday and a great (long) weekend!

(from my snap chat story - follow me at sunnivarose ;))

- in action -

onsdag 20. mai 2015

Getting there...

My talk is tomorrow.
It's not finished yet.
I feel nervous, but also excited...

Nervous, because I wish I had come further than I have, and that I understood "everything". Excited, because I actually do have results, and they are nice, and they make sense. They make me believe that I will actually do this; not just the talk tomorrow, but I will finish my next paper (article/publication) in June (or maybe July - but hoping for June). After that I will start directly to analyse the second part of the uranium experiment, and hopefully it will be much "easier" since I have already done it once ;) 

I'm in my bed right now, working on the presentation for tomorrow, which is around 11. Think I will work for around 30 more minutes, and then go to sleep. I'd rather get up at 5 tomorrow morning, and finish it then.
Wish me luck <3

tirsdag 19. mai 2015


Good morning everyone <3
I'm at the University, attending the second day of the "5th Workshop on Nuclear Level Density and Gamma Strength" - the conference/workshop that our research group is arranging. Nuclear Level Densities and Gamma Strength (Functions) are fundamental properties of the atomic nucleus, and they are sort of the main goal of my data analysis just now.

I think my favourite talk so far was the one called "Neutron capture cross sections for the astrophysical r-process" by professor Artemis Spyrou from Michigan State University. Nuclear astro physical applications are really exciting <3 Unfortunately I missed the first talk this morning (stupid rain), which was by Luciano Moretto - I really regret this, because he always gives great talks...:/
Anyway; I'll be spending the rest of the week in this same auditorium, listening to talks - together with around 60 other nuclear physicist from around the world (West Coast of US, South Africa, and India, for example :) )

I just realized that a hashtag has occured; #oslogamma! I don't think it will be the most popular hashtag on twitter, but at least it's there, if you want to follow ;)

Ok, now I have to pay close attention to all the talks - or, if there's something I don't understand ANYTHING of, I need to prepare my own talk that I'm giving on Thursday. Also, I need to work more on the actual analyzis of my data, so that I have more than just one plot to show...that would be a very short talk ;)

fredag 15. mai 2015

Happy face

I'm so relieved right now...! It turns out I've (probably) done a good job when I've calibrated my gamma detectors - and now I'm actually getting real results.

It's preliminary, of course, but it's there - something I can actually show in my talk at the conference here in Oslo next week (that I've been so nervous and stressed about :/ ).
There is still tons of work to do, but I must admit I'm really happy and motivated for everything right now; nothing can stop me, and the rest of 2015 will be about analyzing data and writing papers...<3<3<3


Here are some happy pictures from yesterday (spending a day off with Alexandra) and todays celebration of 17th of May in kindergarden - just love Biørneblæs, the student marching band!

Happy weekend and 17th of May (for those of my readers that celebrate such things) and everything!

tirsdag 12. mai 2015

Finished...! several ways...

Finished with the calibration of the gamma detectors (happyhappyhappy :) ), but now I'm also "finished" mentally :/

Started this day by oversleeping (not the best start of a looong day), then I gave a talk about nuclear power and radiation at the biology department, and after that I've been working at Gry's office (she helps me A LOT <3) and my own office.

me, ready (sort of) for talking to the biology students - wearing one of my favourite dresses from HM, and of course heels  

After spending a couple of hours fine tuning my gamma detector calibration, I made this plot - showing gamma radiation from oxygen and beryllium. It looks like the peeks are only 20-30 kilo electronvolts "off", and I think that's ok (I'll ask someone with much more experience than me tomorrof, of course!).


So now I've started to look at time correction stuff - having "fun" with staring at these different graphs. If they look the same, I can tell you they're not, but it's definitely not easy to see which one is "best". At least not for me...
After a good night's sleep it will probably be clearer when I can discuss this with someone (Supervisor Sunniva? ;) )  tomorrow - meaning; I've been at the University for 12 hours, and now it's time to go home <3

mandag 11. mai 2015

Finally...'s starting to look like something (I hope...).
In the plot are the two beryllium-peaks that I have used for the calibration - the first one is supposed to be at an energy equal to 3.368 mega electronvolts (of energy), and is now placed at 3.399 mega electronvolts, and the other one is supposed to be at 5.96 mega electronvolts, but is at 5.97:

The error is less than 1%, so it's not too bad - but I have to see what Sunniva has to say tomorrow...hope she approves ;)
Anyway; I can "tick off" my main goal for today - to get the gamma detectors calibrated. There are probably adjustments that have to be made - for example, there's something strange with the low energy gammas, since I suddenly don't get anything from oxygen-17 anymore - but this is the best I can do today. 
Now it's time to get home, and prepare for tomorrows talk about nuclear power and radiation and thorium. 9 AM in the biology building - open to everyone (and there's free breakfast ;) )!

Foredrag i morgen

God mandag alle :)
Ny uke betyr nye muligheter, og denne uken betyr det også mulighet for gratis frokost og foredrag i morgen, klokken 0900 på Kristine Bonnevies hus (biologibygningen på Blindern). Der skal jeg holde et uformelt frokostforedrag om kjernekraft og litt thorium, og muligheter og utfordringer og kanskje noen myter - KJEMPEKOS hvis akkurat DU vil komme!


Ellers sitter jeg i skrivende stund fremedeles i sengen; har drukket dagens første kopp kaffe og jobbet med gammadetektorene mine. Har beveget meg noen museskritt fremover, men føler meg frustrert og litt dum :/ Mål for dagen er at de j@*$% detektorne skal være helt ferdigkalibrert før jeg forlater kontoret i kveld *fingerscrossed*.
Jeg er mer fraværende på bloggen enn det jeg liker om dagen (pga konferansen vi har på Blindern neste uke, der jeg SKAL presentere resultater av analysen) - men jeg snapper en god del, så følg meg gjerne på snap på sunnivarose!

Ok, da tror jeg jeg skal sprette ut av sengen, bevege meg inn på kjøkkenet og lage meg en kopp til med kaffe, og så gå på badet og sminke meg - er vel på tide å komme seg avgårde til Universitetet nå...? ;)

torsdag 7. mai 2015

Science continued

Not even a teeny tiny step for mankind.
(Possibly) a small leap for me - today I did this <3

This means that I've (probably) figured out the gamma radiation, well enough so that I can calibrate my gamma detectors - and then figure out the rest (*playing puzzle*). I'll know more tomorrow...
I'm quite satisfied, though, since I'm really moving forward - even though I'm moving forward one very small step at the time ;)


PS: Check out the new page I made for Sushi and Nuclear :D

PPS: For my fabulous Norwegian speaking readers; the talks from yesterday's "Women in Tech" conference can now be seen HERE - so proud that I was part of that event!

søndag 3. mai 2015

Lazy Sunday, crazy week

This week will be crazy - at least the three first days... Tomorrow and Tuesday will be the last two days with meetings with the Ludvigsen committee - after Tuesday, everything is supposed to be more or less ready for the Minister *feeling pressure*. Then, on Wednesday I will give a talk at the Women in Tech conference in Oslo (program HERE). The talk is not (a 100%) finished yet, and naturally I'm feeling pressure here too. My talk is called "Hva har kjernefysikk og rosablogging til felles?" (what are the similarities of nuclear physics and girly blogging), but I think I will have the subtitle from my talk at Le Rossey in November; "why science should be more pink" - I'm really excited and a little bit scared, but I think (hopefully) it will be ok ;)
Thursday and Friday have to be 100% dedicated to SCIENCE; I'm so close to knowing what the gamma energies of my ALFNA matrix are now. You know that feeling when you've been working on a big puzzle, and suddenly you only have 30 pieces left? That's about how I'm feeling right know, and in a way I wish I could be at the office, working on those last 30 pieces tomorrow... However, that's life, and I think Thursday and Friday will be some very productive days <3


We have spent a fantastic day at Sognsvann today - with Anders, Joakim, Lise, Alexandra, and me; here are some snaps from a great day! (Yes, you're right; this is how I look without any makeup on...I feel naked :P )

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