I guess the title really says it all, but to be very specific: 
I'm done with all the figures and all the tables for the article!
What remains (TODO list of tomorrow):
  • read the neptunium-article, and find out how the results were interpreted 
  • place sentence about uncertainties in the analysis where it should be (aka. figure out where, which is the hard part - moving it is not)
  • check and fix all table and figure captions
  • read through everything and check that I'm referring to the right number of the figures and tables in the text
  • work on the discussion part and the abstract
  • send an e-mail to Fabio and ask about something from his master's thesis
  • fix a "Draft_FINAL" and send off to both Sunniva and Jon
  • clean desk
  • holiday

Now I'll make a #workingyourassoff Thai soup, and after we've eaten it's time for Anders and me to go to bed - tomorrow is the last day before two weeks with Alexandra, who has her last day ever in kindergarden <3

1

Finally home from work...! 
It's always a little crazy when we're doing experiments - meaning this "workday" started at my office yesterday before lunch, then I went to Vestby VGS to give a talk to the students  there, and check out all their science projects (thank you so much for inviting me, I had a great time), and then it was straight back to the University and our lab, and finally the "workday" ended a two hours ago. 
When I got to the lab last night (a little bit before eleven) I learned that the "beam out of range"-alarm had stopped working, which means that the only way of actually knowing that the experiment is doing what it's supposed to be doing, is by watching the instruments continuously... I was still allowed to sleep, though, as long as I sat an alarm for every other hour, and then checked on the experiment. Luckily, the cyclotron was behaving like a saint, so I could actually get that sleep for two hours at a time.
Everything for science, I guess 😉
(no alarm for me this night...I actually missed that super annoying loud ringing)

We're measuring stuff on a piece of wolfram this time (bombarding it with deuterons, which is one proton and one neutron - heavy hydrogen nuclei, actually), trying to learn more about how the elements are created, and so far the experiment seems to be a success (everything is working and the data we get look clean and all; but we won't really know for sure before the data are analysed, of course 😉 )
Now I'm going to take a quick shower, and then crawl into bed, to rest for an hour or two, before I'll pack our bags since we're going to a wedding in Førde this weekend, then I have some writing to be done (deadline tomorrow), and then I need to get Alexandra in kindergarten and then we're leaving <3

2

My main goal last week was to finish the part about the experimental setup for my next paper (article), and even though there will always be changes, I can still say that I more or less achieved my goal 😀 I still have to look at the comments and corrections that I got from Sunniva Supervisor, but that's not a very big job.
My next goal, or milestone, is to finish the part about the experimental results. I'm supposed to do this by the end of next week, and even though that should be enough time, I'm a little bit more uncertain about this one... To finish the results part, I also have to have all the results (which I don't), and since I'm spending this week on "tour" and next week I'm also giving two talks, there isn't that much time left to work on data analysis - but I just have to manage, spending the weekend, or something, I guess <3
(picture from phdcomics.com)

...and figures.

And tables!

FML.
No, I'm joking, obviously, but my arms and my back hurt, and my head feels like it weighs a ton. And my eyes are dry and sore. And I'm going back and forth with respect to how to best represent my data and my results - and what to put in this article, and what to put in the next article (and I do remember, very well, that I was accused of self plagiarism one and a half year ago, and I'm of course very scared that someone will accuse me of something like this again, unless I'm extremely careful...:/)
I guess this is #phdlife <3

4

Since I wrote about my feelings about programming on Thursday, I got some comments and questions about how and why; which can be totally ok, but also a little annoying if it's more like "why on earth are you so stupid you're trying to do anything in C++" (no one said exactly that, it's just an example of a not very constructive comment). Like my friend, Anders (not my boyfriend, but my friend who is a boy - haha), said: "With programming you can do everything! (Except for saying out load which language you are using without someone telling you it's wrong.)"
Telling me stuff like "you have to hate yourself for choosing C++" is not exactly helping me (or anyone really), right? I didn't wake up one day and say to my self "hey, I think I want to program C++ for no reason what so ever - just because I enjoy feeling stupid". I need C++. So it's a little bit like telling your kid who is doing his/her algebra homework "you must really enjoy feeling stupid since you're doing this algebra stuff - you should work on statistics instead".
I love getting constructive comments or critique, but some comments are just making me feel more stupid than before (like: not only am I not managing the programming stuff, I'm also an idiot for trying to learn what I am learning...).
So I thought, today I want to give you ten FACTS about experiments and data analysis here at the nuclear physics group in Oslo - which is the main reason why I need any knowledge of programming these days. This is probably the geekiest (and perhaps most "technical") facts post I've had so far...but sometimes you have to be a little geeky, right? 😉
  1. The material we want to study can be almost anything - for example uranium, gold, nickel, molybdenum, iron, dysprosium, thorium or plutonium (these are just some examples of what we have experimented with the last couple of years)
  2. We make a tiny foil - a target - from the material (almost the size of a small coin), and put this inside all of our detectors
  3. There are always at leas two types of detectors for the experiments: Sodium Iodide detectors (they measure gamma rays), and Silicon detectors (they measure particles)
  4. The Sodium Iodide detectors are called CACTUS (cause it really looks like a cactus) <3 
  5. Sometimes we use more detectors than the gamma detectors (CACTUS) and the particle detectors - for example fission detectors (we used that for my uranium experiment, since uranium-233 fissions like crazy 😛 )
  6. To study the nuclei in the material we bombard the target with tiny particles; protons, deuterons (a proton and a neutron), helium-3 (two protons and one neutron), or helium-4 (two protons and two neutrons - same as an alpha particle 😀 )
  7. When a particle hits a nucleus in our target material, the nucleus gets some extra energy (sort of like it gets heated); then a particle goes out (it can be the same that went in, or it can be another one), and the target nucleus cools again, by sending out gamma radiation
  8. The different detectors will detect the different kind of stuff that comes out from the reaction in the target: the gamma detectors detect the gammas, the particle detectors detect the particles (protons, deuterons, helium-3, or alphas), and the fission detectors detect fission - the detection of all these thing are what we talk about as our data
  9. Data from the experiments we are performing in Oslo (like my uranium experiment) is typically 10-100 Giga Bytes - so it's kind of a lot 
  10. To sort all of these data we need codes/programs that go through everything and checks if there for example was a particle and a gamma that came out of the target at the same time, or maybe it was a particle and a gamma and a fission product, and what were the energie
    s of all this; the particles and the gammas - on the lucky side I don't have write theses sorting codes from scratch, on the other side I have to try to understand someone else's code and logic, which is not always very easy (when I don't understand I'm always sure it's because I'm stupid :/ )
- CACTUS <3 -
The sorting codes, and everything else I'm working on is written in C++, and that's the reason why that's the language I'm working on.
Happy Monday to everyone!


Monday!

Meaning another week with my plot... Obsessing about my plot. Trying to make it just perfect. Try different colours. Different styles. Obsess - science style.
On Friday I was actually thinking that this is it, that I was finished with this part of the data analysis; but then, today, I realised that other people have done similar things (analysed other uranium nuclei, for example), and that they have put five of those black pumps in the plot, instead of just four - so now I'm thinking about doing the same thing. 
As you can see I've added more colours to it now; there's another, lighter pink colour, a yellow-orange'ish colour, and the uranium-235 is bright green - since someone suggested that as a colour 🙂 Maybe you have suggestions for the black bumps? They don't have to be black...;)

-------------------------------
Right now I'm having a glass of wine with supervisor Jon - he's here for the week, and in addition to obsessing about this plot, I've shown him where I am in the entire analyse thing. We looked at a couple of other plots too today, and he said that there's definitely a cool paper in there...:D (Of course we don't know for sure yet, but I choose to be optimistic <3 ) If you follow me on Snapchat (I'm sunnivarose, of course), you've seen the plot that Jon was so excited about.

Remember my plot from yesterday? And how happy and proud I was because I managed to make labels for the different data?
Well, today I learned (from Gry - thank you, sweetie <3) how to make it pink - and by my self I found out how to make it the exact right kind of pink. It's called kPink+7 <3<3<3, and it's just perfect, and if you think that I'm not "brave" enough to use this colour for my uranium data in a scientific article, you're wrong 😉
Yeah, and also I did the tweaking of the data points as I also talked about yesterday (I didn't spend all day on making pink data points :P)
------------------------------------------------------------
Speaking of pink; tomorrow I'm going to be a guest at God Morgen Norge, together with Kathrine Aspaas, who has just written a book called Rosa er den nye pønken - tune in between nine and ten (I'm guessing something like nine thirty, but I'm not 100% sure).
PS: What other kind of colours should I use in the plot?

Today I've spent time at the EXFOR database - hate it and sort of love it at the same time... 
So far it's the "worst" database I've visited, but so far it has also given me what I've needed *mixedfeelings*.
Then I've worked on my strength function plot, which is starting to look like something now. Tomorrow I hope to tweak it so that it will be ready for my next article 😀  #phdlife

Here are some details of today's plot:

//this may sound silly; but I was so proud of my self when I managed to make these labels (no, I do not love ROOT - yet) 😛

//shapes <3 
//this has to be fixed - the slope of the square points needs to be more in line with the two sets of triangles (task of tomorrow!)

Good morning everyone <3 Day two of this California/Berkeley trip has just started, and so far I'm very happy 🙂
Yesterday I "finished" the first part of the uranium analysis (which is to find the nuclear level density of uranium-234) - that I wrote about in my last blog post - and started the second part of the analysis (which is to find the gamma ray strength function of uranium-234). The picture above show the very first result of my gamma ray strength data (the squares - both black and white) plotted together with different data from the big nuclear data bases. When I wrote "plot" and this appeared I actually screamed with excitement and joy, and hugged Cecilie, who was sitting next to me and helping me, because it looks soooo pretty - even before I've started to "tweak" my data to fit with the ones from the data bases (the ones on the right side of the plot - the little triangles). 
The goal of this trip is btw to put these two properties of the nucleus (the nuclear level denisty and the gamma ray strength function) into simulations of different reactors (that uses thorium based fuel) and see if they affect the results of the simulations - when we compare to standard simulations where we don't do anything about these nuclear properties 🙂 *excited*
----------------------------------------------
Below are a couple of pictures from yesterday and today. The first one, of Anders, is probably more like what you would imagine when I say "pure joy"...;) He has just rented a nice car and is on his way to Palo Alto as we speak - he is also excited. (Actually kind of wish i could go with him, but I'm on my way to the lab now, with Cecilie - and that will of course also be fun...but in a quite different way 😛 )

beautiful morning at Berkeley campus
cutest squirrel at Berkeley campus

Cecilie and Darren discussion something important (I'm guessing 😉 ) at Jupiter, where we had dinner yesterday - and the day before, when we'd just arrived

Jupiter <3

Jupiter <3

So we just finished our group meeting, and let me just say YEAY!!!! The group meeting today was really nothing else but drinking Cava and eating (a very rich) chocolate cake (all meetings should be like this 😉 )...
The reason? Today it's official: the Norwegian Research Council has approved our application for new detectors at the Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory ❤️ We are getting 21 million NOK for replacing all of our old sodium iodide detectors (CACTUS - may you rest in peace), with new lanthanide bromide detectors (OSCAR - we welcome you!).
Read more about here (we are the "NEW GENERATION SCINTILLATOR DETECTORS FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH IN NORWAY")
This is soooo exciting - experiments in Oslo will be better in aboslutely every way!