Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Aurora in Uppsala!

It's been a sunny and beautiful weekend here in Uppsala, made even better by the fact that my girlfriend Lisette came to visit! I also had to renew my passport at the Canadian embassy in Stockholm (which was conveniently only a 5 minute walk from Central Station) so we did a bit of shopping and had a drink in Stockholm as well, which was nice. This coming week is basically a studying week for me as I have my Mathematical Methods of Physics exam on Monday, just before the new term starts.

Last night there was a big geomagnetic storm which resulted in visible Northern Lights pretty far south, and they were definitely visible from Uppsala! I didn't manage to get any photos from my phone, but my friend Davide managed to snap this photo with his iPhone:
Definitely not professional quality, but not bad for a phone picture!
[View on Instagram]

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The same, yet different

I had kind of a strange experience yesterday. I was biking to class, which is a pretty routine thing for me, and all of a sudden I got the feeling of being lost. Now if you know me you'll know that I'm terrible with directions, but come on. I've been living at my new place for about 3 weeks now and I bike to Ångström pretty much every day. I should know where I'm going. And yet, somehow, I just didn't recognize the street properly. I wasn't lost, of course, and once I got over my brief confusion I continued on my way to class. It wasn't until I saw a cloud of dust blowing around in the Ångström parking lot that I realized what was different: the streets were dry.

I know this may not sound like much of a revelation, but this was the first time I had seen my path to school without it being damp or snowy. It's been sunny and warm the past few days, so I'm going to go ahead and get my hopes up that this is a sign of winter ending. That, and the fact that even if I have class until 17.00 these days it's still light outside when I get home, which is a novelty after the darkness!

But enough about the weather. The class I was cycling to yesterday (and today) was the last component in my Quantum Field Theory course: a crash course on the Higgs boson! I had actually done something similar to this before, but that was before I had the tools to really appreciate what exactly I was doing.