Well, it is already soon September, and I am ready to embark upon my Ph.D. work here in the city of dark matter. Indeed it is — I have heard they have a big industry where they mine dark matter from underneath the sea bed here. They call it “oil”. The platforms they use are huge (pic. to the left)! So I am not at all sure why physicists are still asking whether dark matter exists or not… 😉
I have already been working for two weeks by now. There is so much I don’t know, and I have had to read up. Especially on some mathematical tools. Right now I am learning something called the Cartan formalism (Not to be confused with Dashman and the cartoon-formalism!) where something called the orthonormal approach is essential. Though it might not sound like a page turner, it is really quite fun when you finally understand it and see that you can calculate stuff with it. I am finally learning the tools I have wanted to know for quite some time, but never found the time and motivation to read. Today I reproduced the Einstein equations describing space outside a spherically symmetric black hole, and also the equations for a homogeneous, isotropic universe, which has the Big Bang as starting point. Those are text-book examples, but perfect for practice. As soon as I master them I may start applying the tools on new ideas.
I am hoping to be able to blog a bit more seriously about what I am really doing now. Time will show, however, if that really is going to happen, or if it is just another good and empty hope. Surely the life as a Ph. D. student is not a laid back one, so there might be more important stuff that I need to consider doing before blogging. Like drawing cartoons (cf. illustration) or going on conferences. Yes, I am going on a conference already next week!
“Cosmology and the Quantum vacuum” is the topic, and it happens to take place in Benasque in Spain. Ah… the struggles of a Ph. D. student… have to get up at 4 am in the morning to catch the plane to Spain… 😉 My supervisor just let me know that he is going to present our work on viscous cosmology, so I better read up a bit again on what we did. You never know what they will ask. Exciting, though!
Anyways… from the physics side of things it seems that I will work on something related to modified theories of gravity during my studies here in Stavanger. If you have any questions about it, please contact me in a year’s time, and I will let you know what them say… .
After a few years where I have been wondering, pondering and struggling both with questions of faith related character, and with questions concerning what direction my life is to take, I am glad to finally have gotten this opportunity. Actually I am going to work with exactly what I wanted. And I am reunited with my brothers and sister in law, who are also in town. Actually it turns out that the position that I am filling was some sort of a misunderstanding (but I won’t complain about that 🙂 )! The Lord has been good.
I am praying that the time here in Stavanger will do my soul well — seen from the reference frame of eternity.