My current research project

April 2, 2014

My current project is a personal post-doc project financed by the Research Council of Norway. The project is entitled "Nuclear Structure Studies Relevant for Astrophysics", and the main idea is to study how the atomic nucleus gets rid of its excess energy when heated up to temperatures corresponding to astrophysical environments. The project is hosted by the Department of Physics, University of Oslo, and is one of the projects of the nuclear-physics group at the Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory.

It turns out that some atomic nuclei could do funny things when it comes to disposing its energy through gamma radiation, as in the case of the iron isotope 56Fe, which really likes to emit low-energy radiation; see our recent Physical Review Letter (it’s also on the open-access arXiv).

It made me think of a quote of Michael Faraday:

Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of Nature, and in such things as these, experiment is the best test of such consistency.

I look forward to see what other nice surprises the atomic nucleus might have in hand for us!

 

Photo credit, cover: NASA, ESA, M.J Jee and H. Ford

The Rosseland Lecture 2014

May 6, 2014

The Rosseland Lecture is an annual lecture arranged by the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, in honor of the late Professor Svein Rosseland, a great Norwegian astrophysicist and the founder of the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics. Today's lecture was held by Professor Hitoshi Murayama, the leader of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, and he is also Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He gave a fabulous talk entitled "The Quantum Universe", one of the best talks I have ever heard about the origin of the Universe, the birth of stars, the fact that we are made of star dust, the Higgs boson (" a spooky particle"), Cheshire-cat pictures, dark-matter candidates, quantum fluctuations and ripples, inflation... It was such an inspiration, and a great reminder that "Physicists ask simpe and profound questions", to quote the speaker.