News: Fysik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyWed, 19 Feb 2020 10:34:44 +0100 new steps as the Chalmers fence celebrates five years<p><b>​The Chalmers fence at the Gothenburg Horse Show 2020 measures the horse&#39;s jump curve, where the horse has its highest point in relation to the fence. As the Chalmers fence now celebrates its five-year anniversary, two new steps are taken – the technology used will for the first time be based on machine learning, and the previous measurement technology from the fence will move into the Swedish Equestrian Federation&#39;s educational facility Strömsholm.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The way a horse jumps over a fence differs between both individuals and equipage. Some horses jump off too early or too late, giving the highest point before or after the fence. In an optimal jump, the highest point is just above the fence, meaning the horse used just the right technique and amount of energy for its leap.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>First time with machine learning</strong><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>For this year's fence, the group of students will, for the first time ever, use the Image Processing technique, where a computer is trained through machine learning to detect the horse's hooves in a filmed leap and thereby calculate the coordinates for the highest position in the jump over the fence.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This involves some technical difficulties. In previous years, the Chalmers fence has measured one variable at a time. We are measuring both the highest point in a vertical path from the ground, and where that point relates to the fence in a horizontal direction,” says Anna Skötte, student and project manager for the Chalmers fence 2020.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Chalmers fence project is run by Chalmers students in collaboration with Gothenburg Horse Show, with the aim of using new smart technology to broaden the knowledge of the horses' jumping technique and thereby provide scientific evidence for sustainable training and competition of horses, as well as breeding. Like last year, the competing riders in the Gothenburg Horse Show are invited to the Chalmers exhibition stand in Scandinavium's foyer to see their own measuring results.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Swedish Equestrian Federation will use the technology​</strong></div> <div>The Chalmers fence project takes yet another new and important step as the combined experience from five years of measurements at the Gothenburg Horse Show will moves into the Swedish Equestrian Federation's riding house Strömsholm. The national team leaders in the Equestrian Association Federation have made a wish list for more developed scientific technology, and Chalmers University of Technology has been asked to engage, together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the National Horse Industry, and further develop the connected riding house at Strömsholm and supplement with cameras and sensors for biomechanics, among other things.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does this collaboration mean for the equine industry and equestrian sports in Sweden?</strong></div> <div>“In the horse world we have a lot of commonly accepted truths that we have not been able to test scientifically. With this collaboration we have that opportunity, so from now on it is only our imagination that sets boundaries,” says Tomas Torgersen, competition manager for the Gothenburg Horse Show.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Daniel Svensson is the head teacher in horse jumping at the Strömsholm Riding School and one of the driving forces behind the collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you hope Chalmers will contribute to the development of Strömsholm's riding house?</strong></div> <div>“Just like national teams in other sports scientifically analyse how they can change their training and achieve better results, we need to examine how the horse behaves, what the riders do and how it affects the horses. Chalmers has developed scientific technology and methods for several years, and we want to share the experience, instead of reinventing the wheel, to investigate what is most favourable to the horse and give the best results in competition,” says Daniel Svensson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>With the project &quot;<a href="/en/centres/sportstechnology/education/Pages/Tracks-course-Chalmers-Fence.aspx" title="Link to information at">The continuation of the Chalmers fence</a>&quot;, which is part of Chalmers’ new<a href="/en/news/Pages/Tracks-prepares-students-for-the-future.aspx" title="Link to article about Tracks"> educational initiative Tracks</a>, students from different disciplines will continue to develop both new and existing techniques for horse welfare and performance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span></span><strong>What significance does the collaboration with Strömsholm have for Chalmers?</strong><span style="font-weight:700"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/MagnusKarlsteen_180130_270x170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:10px 15px" /></span><strong><br /></strong><span style="background-color:initial">“This means that the technology demo</span><span style="background-color:initial">nstrated at the Gothenburg Horse Show through the Chalmers fence is further developed and given the opportunity to reach into the horse world via Strömsholm. In addition, Chalmers students and alumni will be involved in developing technology that can change equestrian sports at the highest level, in collaboration with people and horses at one of Sweden's finest equestrian facilities, and also at a later stage make the technology available to the ordinary rider,” says Magnus Karlsteen, responsible for the Chalmers fence and Chalmers equestrian sports.</span><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div>Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg</div> <div>Photo: Johan Bodell/Mia Halleröd Palmgren/Chalmers</div>Wed, 12 Feb 2020 07:00:00 +0100 opportunities for materials research at Chalmers<p><b>The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) has decided to extend the funding of the SwedNess research school by 100 million SEK until 2025.</b></p><div><div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">SwedNess is a graduate school for neutron scattering operated by six Swedish Universities, including Chalmers.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The goal is to educate 20 doctoral students as a base for Sweden's expertise in neutron scattering with respect to the research infrastructure European Spalliation Source (ESS) being built outside Lund right now. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Jan%20Swenson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:100px;width:100px" /><div>&quot;It is important to strengthen the competence in neutron scattering at Chalmers in order to remain successful in materials research and to benefit from ESS,&quot; says Professor Jan Swenson at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who is SwedNess'  Director of Studies at Chalmers.  </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Nya-mojligheter-for-materialforskningen-pa-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read a longer article on Chalmers' Swedish homepage. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></span>Read more about SwedNess. ​</a></div> <div></div>Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0100 for nominations: Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2020<p><b>​The Gothenburg Physics Centre (GPC) is seeking nominations for the 2020 Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award.  Nominations are due on Monday, 2 March, 2020.​​</b></p>​​The Lise Meitner award honors exceptional individuals for a “<em>groundbreaking discovery in physics</em>”.  <br />In addition to their scientific accomplishments, the candidates must meet the following selection criteria:<br /><ul><li>They have distinguished themselves through public activities of popularizing science and are prepared to deliver the annual Lise Meitner Lecture (middle of September).</li> <li>Their research activity is connected to or benefit activities at GPC.<br /></li></ul> Nominations should include a motivation describing the achievements of the candidate, a short biography/CV, contact details and a local contact person. <br /><br />We would also like to thank those of you who did make an effort to nominate a candidate in the past! In case your nomination has not been chosen, we encourage you to submit her or his name again. As the number of nominations has declined in recent years, we <span style="font-weight:700">strongly </span>encourage all members of GPC to nominate a candidate! Please think broadly! There are certainly outstanding candidates you either know personally or whom you would like to come here to Gothenburg.  ​<br /><br />Nominations should be sent to any member of the of the Lise Meitner Award Committee 2020: <br /><br />Dinko Chakarov <a href=""></a> <br />Hans Nordman <a href=""></a><br />Vitali Zhaunerchyk<a href="">​</a><br />Vitaly Shumeiko <a href="">​</a><br />Andreas Heinz (Chair) <a href=""></a><br /><a href=""></a><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/activities/lisemeitner"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More information about Lise Meitner and the award can be found at the GPC website</a><br /><br />With best regards,<br /><br />The 2020 Lise Meitner Committee​Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:00:00 +0100 unique test opportunities in bio-based materials at Max IV<p><b>​During 2020-2021, Chalmers will create new unique test opportunities for research in bio-based materials in the world-leading synchrotron facility Max IV. It is mainly research in the field of cellulose that will have better conditions than ever before.</b></p><div><br /> </div> <div>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="MAX IV" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Konstruktionsmaterial/MAXIV.JPG" style="margin:5px 15px;width:324px;height:220px" /><a href="">Max IV</a> has the world's strongest synchrotron light, which creates entirely new conditions in the exploration of the innermost structure of materials. The facility was completed in Lund 2016 and has a large ring filled with fast electrons. By forcing them into magnets in a high-speed slalom path and in an extremely precise manner, x-rays are created, allowing one to see smaller components than usually possible. The x-rays are then directed into different beamlines depending on what you want to explore.</div> <div><br /><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A flexible rheometric system for Cosaxs and Formax</h2></div> <div>At the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers a modular and flexible rheometric system will be developed for the two beamlines <a href="">Cosaxs</a> and <a href="">Formax</a>. The purpose is to strengthen research and industry needs for the development of bio-based materials, especially from cellulose. Bio-based cellulose material is something that hopefully will replace much of the oil-based plastic that is manufactured today.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Flow behaviour in soft materials</h3></div> <div>Rheometry investigates the relationship between force and motion in semi-solid and liquid materials and how it affects the properties of the material. In soft materials, it is important to investigate the correlation between the molecular structure and the behavior of the material. The greater precision in how to predict the flow behavior of the material through rheometric models, the better the conditions for creating new materials with better properties.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Roland Kadar" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Konstruktionsmaterial/RolandKadar_Chalmers_600px.jpg" style="margin:5px 35px;width:200px;height:220px" /><span></span>  <br /></div> <div><span>–<span style="display:inline-block"></span> ​The Max IV in itself is set to provide unique scientific opportunities and we have the ambition to add to that several unique rheological testing options. We are dedicating our research and development efforts to make the system available to the general users, says Associate Professor Roland Kádár who will lead the development work at Chalmers.</span><span><br /></span></div> <div><span><div> </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Researchers<br /></h2></div> <div>The development work will be performed in the group of Associate Professor <a href="/en/staff/Pages/roland-kadar.aspx">Roland Kádár</a> in the Division of Engineering Materials at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, in cooperation with scientists at the Department of Physics (<a href="/en/staff/Pages/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a>) and <a href="">Max IV</a> (Kim Nygård and Ann Terry). </div> <div><br />The funding comes from Formax´-preproject and Chalmers Foundation</div> <div><br /> </div> </span><span><div><em>Photo of M​ax IV facility: Perry Nordeng</em> </div></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><br /><span></span></div>Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100 the algorithms that are crucial for nuclear reactor modelling<p><b>Chalmers Professor and reactor physicist Christophe Demazière is worried about the fact that nuclear engineering educational programmes are being phased out at universities throughout Europe.  Recently he released a book on nuclear reactor modelling. It describes the methods and algorithms used for representing, with computer models, the behaviour of such systems, and their multi-physics and multi-scale aspects. ​</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Christophe%20Demazire350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“</span>There is a real danger that the society cannot maintain a sufficient level of knowledge and expertise for the more than 100 nuclear reactors operating in Europe and providing more than 25 percent of the electricity. One of the pillars of nuclear power safety relies on the demonstration that the system remains controllable under postulated scenarios. This demonstration heavily depends on numerical simulations. It is thus essential that the analysts and engineers using such tools are fully aware of the algorithms on which these tools are built, and their limitations,” says Christophe Demazière, who has more than 20 years of experience in nuclear reactor modelling. <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New pedagogical approaches</h2> <div><div>He describes the book as an accessible and pedagogical guide to the advanced methods used to model nuclear reactor systems. It also includes more than 70 short lectures summarizing the main concepts and related quizzes the readers can train on. </div> <div>“The video lectures and the quizzes represent a new pedagogical concept – to help the reader building a conceptual understanding of the topics. The recorded lectures are meant to extract the main features of each topic covered, the details being presented in the book. The quizzes ensure that the reader comprehends the subject and process it exercising high-order thinking skills. Feedback and additional information are also provided to the reader when answering the quizzes.”</div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Presenting the big picture ​</h2></div> <div>​<span style="background-color:initial">Beyond the new pedagogical approaches, the book has also some unique features content wise. </span></div> <div> <div>“In my own education, I had the feeling that the knowledge provided in terms of modelling was very fragmented and scattered, focusing on some specific methods without clearly explaining the relation between those and the overall modelling of such complex systems. <span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he main purpose of the book is to provide an overview of all important aspects of nuclear reactor modelling, during normal and abnormal situations not leading to core damage.&quot;</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The book is written with a holistic approach to the subject, presenting the big picture before focusing on the details. Furthermore, since nuclear reactors are by essence multi-physics systems, several interdependent fields of physics need to be simultaneously modelled in order to properly describe the behaviour of such systems. </span><br /></div> <div>&quot;Until recently, the modelling of such systems was carried out in a mono-physics mindset by different “scientific communities”, each community having its own paradigms, the coupling with the other physics being introduced artificially or in simplistic terms. I really wanted to break this conservatism in the approach to nuclear reactor modelling, so that the students are equally knowledgeable in all fields that are important and relevant from a modelling viewpoint.” <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Built on feedback from students</h2> <div>Christophe Demazière has written the book with the reader’s experience in focus, capitalizing on feedback given by his students while teaching this subject at Chalmers for more than ten years. Now he hopes that master’s and PhD students as well as experts in the field will find the book, the videos and the quizzes useful and interesting. Careful attention was paid, while preparing the book and its digital resources, to enriching the reader’s experience.​</div> <div><br /></div> <div> “In addition to get the overall picture of the modelling of nuclear reactors, the algorithms detailed in the book are derived from scratch and the introduced approximations are thus clearly stated. With the increased complexity of the simulation software used these days, the analysts and engineers tend to use the modelling tools as “black boxes” without clearly knowing the underlying principles and assumptions used. I wanted to make the readers of the book fully aware of the methods and approximations, so that they can use the tools with confidence, in the range of validity the tools and methods were developed for.”<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Sharing the true marvel of nuclear reactor modelling</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Modelling%20algorithms_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="background-color:initial" /><div>Christophe Demazière arranges courses and workshops in nuclear reactor modelling on a regular basis. Besides the nuclear power safety aspects, he also enjoys inspiring others by sharing his enthusiasm in modelling these complex systems. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The modelling of nuclear reactor systems is something that always fascinated me, and especially how to represent the behavior of neutrons (having a femto-metre size) in a strongly heterogeneous system of several meters in size. Moreover, with the interplay existing between the heat produced by fission, the cooling of the reactor, and the corresponding influence on the distribution of neutrons, being able to faithfully represent the behavior of such systems requires a lot of ingenuity. This is especially true when considering the development of modelling techniques that are affordable in computing time. Whereas the book focuses more on conceptual understanding, the workshops target hands-training exercises and more active forms of learning. More specifically, the students have to develop and implement from scratch some of the methods described in the book for modelling a nuclear reactor. With the workshops, I really want the students to understand the true marvel of the computing methods and be aware of the limitations of the codes they have been developing, using or will use in their career. In the forthcoming workshops that I will organize, I will heavily rely on the book, videos and quizzes, as a way for the students to get prepared to such workshops in an efficient manner.”<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text and photo:</strong> Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the book &quot;<span style="background-color:initial">Modelling of Nuclear Reactor Multi-physics – </span><span style="background-color:initial">From Local Balance Equations to Macroscopic Models in Neutronics and Thermal-Hydraulics&quot;</span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Read a portrait of Christophe Demazière: &quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">Reactor physicist passionate about pedagogy and nuclear safety</span></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">​&quot;<br /></a></span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><br /></a></span></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">For more information, contact:  </h2> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Christophe-Demazière.aspx">Christophe Demazière​</a>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers, +46 31 772 30 82, <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">​​</a></span></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></div>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100 insights on protective oxide films in high temperature materials<p><b></b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/oxid_colliander_750x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:189px;width:300px" /><div>High temperature materials, such as superalloys and high temperature steels, are often employed in extreme conditions where they experience a combination of severe mechanical loads at elevated temperatures in the presence of a corrosive environment. <span style="background-color:initial">To operate  under such conditions these materials rely on the formation and integrity of a thin protective oxide scale, typically less than a micrometer in thickness. </span></div> <div><br /> Anand H S Iyer, Krystyna Stiller and Magnus Hörnqvist Colliander at the Department of Physics at Chalmers recently published new results on microscale fracture of chromia scales in the journal Materialia. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In their paper they present a new micro-mechanical testing method, which has been shown to be highly effective in measuring the properties of these extremely thin oxide films. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/anand_270x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:155px" />&quot;This allows the development of better models for understanding and predicting how and when the protective oxide scales will fail,&quot; says </span>Anand H S Iyer, Doctoral Student <span style="background-color:initial">at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and lead author of the scientific paper. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study was performed through a collaboration between the researchers at Chalmers and colleagues in Finland and Switzerland. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Tex</span><span style="background-color:initial">t: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="">​</a><br /></div> <div><div><div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></span><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial"><span>Read the paper </span>&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b>Microscale fracture of chromia scales&quot;</b></font></span> in Materialia.​​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><div><strong></strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/harihara.aspx">Anand H S Iyer</a></strong>, PhD Student, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 67 08</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Krystyna-Marta-Stiller.aspx">Krystyna Stiller​</a></strong>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 33 20</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Magnus-Hörnqvist.aspx">Magnus Hörnqvist Colliander</a></strong>, Senior researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology<span></span>, <a href="">​</a>, +46 31 772 33 06</div></div>Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100 are on the right track!<p><b>​​The first three Tracks students from Chalmers have been examined. Tilda Sikström, Elin Lorin and Pontus Ljungqvist held their final presentations at the arena Nya Ullevi in Gothenburg in the beginning of November in 2019.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/tracks_examinerade750x.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />The theme was the continuation of <a href="/en/news/Pages/This-year%27s-Chalmers-Fence-measure-the-horse%27s-speed.aspx">the Chalmers fence </a>and Associate Professor Magnus </div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/MagnusKarlsteen_180130_270x170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:107px;width:170px" /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>Karlsteen, <span style="background-color:initial">responsible for Chalmers horse sports venture</span><span style="background-color:initial">, was their examiner. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​The students' work received positive feedback from the organising team for the Gothenburg Horse show. The project, including measurement equipment for horse training, will therefore be further developed in a cooperation between Chalmers’ entrepreneur initiatives and the horse community.</span><br /></div> <div><br />Chalmers’ new educational initiative, Tracks, offers interdisciplinary and individualised studies. It will make students better prepared to solve future societal challenges, such as energy supply, transport and more efficient use of resources. <span></span><span style="background-color:initial">Tracks gives the students great opportunities to broaden their knowledge outside of their chosen main area.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/Tracks-prepares-students-for-the-future.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read an earlier news article about Tracks.</a><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about Tracks – </span><span style="background-color:initial">one of the biggest investments in education in </span><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers' history</span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></a></div>Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100 at the end of the nanotunnel for catalysts of the future<p><b>Using a new type of nanoreactor, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in mapping catalytic reactions on individual metallic nanoparticles. Their work could help improve chemical processes, and lead to better catalysts and more environmentally friendly chemical technology. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications. ​​​</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Catalysts increase the rate of chemical reactions. </span><span style="background-color:initial">They play a vital role in many important industrial processes, from making fuels to medicines, to helping limit harmful vehicle emissions.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> They are also essential building blocks for new, sustainable technologies like fuel cells, where electricity is generated through a reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. Catalysts can also contribute to breaking down environmental toxins, through cleaning water of poisonous chemicals, for example. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To design more effective catalysts for the future, fundamental knowledge is needed, such as understanding catalysis at the level of individual active catalytic particles. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To visualise the problem of understanding catalytic reactions today, imagine a crowd at a football match, where a number of spectators light up flares. The smoke spreads rapidly through the crowd, and once a smoke cloud has formed, it is almost impossible to say who actually lit the flares, or how powerfully each one is burning. The chemical reactions in catalysis occur in a comparable way. Millions of individual particles are involved, and it is currently very difficult to track and determine the roles of each specific one – how effective they are, how much each has contributed to the reaction. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To better understand the catalytic process, it is necessary to investigate it at the level of individual nanoparticles. The new nanoreactor has allowed the Chalmers researchers to do exactly this. The reactor consists of around 50 glass nanotunnels filled with liquid, arranged in parallel. In each tunnel the researchers placed a single gold nanoparticle. Though they are of similar size, each nanoparticle has varied catalytic qualities – some are highly effective, others decidedly less optimal. To be able to discern how size and nanostructure influence catalysis, the researchers measured catalysis on the particles individually. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Sune%20Levin_foto_Kristofer%20Jakobsson%20350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:1px 10px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div>“We sent into the nanotunnels two types of molecules, which react with each other. One molecule type is fluorescent and emits light. The light is only extinguished when it meets a partner of the second type on the surface of the nanoparticles, and a chemical reaction between the molecules occurs. Observing this extinction of the ’light at the end of the nanotunnel’, downstream of the nanoparticles, allowed us to track and measure the efficiency of each nanoparticle at catalysing the chemical reaction,” says Sune Levin, Doctoral Student at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology, and lead author of the scientific article.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div>He carried out the experiments under the supervision of Professors Fredrik Westerlund and Christoph Langhammer. The new nanoreactor is a result of a broad collaboration between researchers at several different departments at Chalmers.</div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Fredrik%20Westerlund_foto_Peter_Sandin_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“Effective catalysis is essential for both the synthesis and decomposition of chemicals. For example, catalysts are necessary for manufacturing plastics, medicines, and fuels in the best way, and effectively breaking down environmental toxins,” says Fredrik Westerlund, Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Developing better catalyst materials is necessary for a sustainable future and there are big social and economic gains to be made. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/ChristophLanghammerfarg350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px 8px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div>“In the chemical industry for example, making certain processes just a few per cent more effective could translate to significantly increased revenue, as well as drastically reduced environmental impacts,” says research project leader Christoph Langhammer, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific article.​​</a><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high resolution images.​​​​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-weight:700;background-color:transparent">Text: </span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">Joshua Worth,</span><a href=""></a><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">​ and </span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:transparent">Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href=""></a><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:transparent"> ​</span><br /></div> <div> <a href=""></a></div> <div><strong>Photos:</strong> Kristofer Jakobsson (Sune Levin), Peter Sandin (Fredrik Westerlund) och Henrik Sandsjö (Christoph Langhammer). <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">For more information, contact: </span><br /></h2> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/fredrik-westerlund.aspx">Fredrik Westerlund​</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, </span><span style="background-color:initial">+ 46 31 772 30 49, </span><a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Sune-Levin.aspx">Sune Levin</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Doctoral Student, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">+ 46 76 242 92 68, </span><a href=""> </a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Christoph-Langhammer.aspx">Christoph Langhammer</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, </span><span style="background-color:initial">+46 31 772 33 31, </span><a href="">​</a></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the res​earch behind the discovery: </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific article</span> <a href="">&quot;A nanofluidic device for parallel single nanoparticle catalysis in solution&quot; </a><span style="background-color:initial">was published in Nature Communications. It was written by Sune Levin, Joachim Fritzsche, Sara Nilsson, August Runemark, Bhausaheb Dhokale, Henrik Ström, Henrik Sundén, Christoph Langhammer and Fredrik Westerlund. The researchers are active in the Departments of Biology and Biotechnology, Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, as well as Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. The project originated from the framework of the current Nano Excellence Initiative at Chalmers (formerly the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance).</span></div> <div> </div> <div>The research was funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the European Research Council.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on catalysis</h2> <div>Catalysis is the process by which a catalyst is involved in a chemical reaction. In a catalyst, metal nanoparticles are often some of the most crucial active ingredients, because the chemical reactions take place on their surface. The best-known example is probably the three-way catalytic converter found in cars, which mitigates harmful emissions. Catalysis is also widely used in industry at large scale and has a key role to play in new sustainable energy technologies, such as fuel cells. To develop catalysts for the future, new and effective materials are needed. It is therefore necessary to be able to identify how the size, shape, nanostructure and chemical composition of individual nanoparticles affects their performance in a catalyst. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​More on the nanoreactor</h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Illustration av nanoreaktor" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Nanotunnlar%20350x305%20webb.jpg" style="width:200px;height:174px;background-color:initial" /><div>​A nanoreactor developed at Chalmers visualises the activity of individual catalytic nanoparticles. To identify the efficiency of each particle in the catalytic process, the researchers isolated individual gold nanoparticles in separate nanotunnels. They then sent in two kinds of molecules that react with each other on the particles’ surfaces. One molecule (fluorescein) is fluorescent and when it meets its partner molecule (borohydride) the light emission stops upon reaction between the two. This makes it possible to track the catalytic process​.</div></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 13 Nov 2019 07:00:00 +0100 received grants from the Swedish Research Council<p><b>​Three researchers at the Department of Physics got grants from The Swedish Research Council (VR) within Natural and engineering sciences and New nuclear technology​. Altogether they received 11 840 000 SEK from 2019 to 2023. Congrats to Jan Swenson, Julia Wiktor and Christophe Demazière.</b></p><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Natural and engineering sciences:</h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Project grant: </span></h3> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Jan Swenson</span></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial"></span></div> <p style="margin-bottom:10px"><span style="background-color:initial">”The role of sugars for the stabilisation and cryopreservation of proteins”<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">3 040 000 SEK</span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Starting grant: </span></h3> <p style="margin-bottom:10px"></p> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><span style="font-weight:700">Julia Wiktor</span></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Atomistic Design of Photoabsorbing Materials&quot;​<br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">4 000 000 SEK</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div> </div> <div><br />​<a href="" target="_blank" style="text-align:left;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:600;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;box-sizing:border-box;orphans:2;background-color:transparent"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="" alt="" />Read more about the grants from the Swedish Research Council.</a><b></b><b></b><i></i><i></i><u></u><u></u><sub></sub><sub></sub><sup></sup><sup></sup><strike></strike><strike></strike><br /></div></span></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>New nuclear technology:</span></h2></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Project grant: </h3> <p style="margin-bottom:10px"><span style="background-color:initial"><b>Christophe Demazière<br /></b></span><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#000000">“Development of a hybrid neutron transport framework for static and dynamic calculations and applications to fast reactor cores (HYBRID)”<br /></font></span><span style="background-color:initial"> 4 800 000 SEK<br /><br /></span></p> <ul> <li>The total amount appropriated for all grants within Natural and Engineering Sciences is <br />nearly 1,2 billion SEK for the entire grant period 2019-2023.</li> <li>The total amount appropriated for all grants within New nuclear technology is <br /><span></span>nearly 29 million SEK for the entire grant period 2019-2023.</li> <li>The Swedish Research Council got 1642<span style="background-color:initial"> applications this year, of them 336 </span><span style="background-color:initial">are being funded.<br /><br /></span></li></ul> <div> </div> <p style="margin-bottom:10px"><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="" alt="" />Read more about the grants from the Swedish Research Council.</a></p>Fri, 08 Nov 2019 07:00:00 +0100!-festival.aspx!-festival.aspxAugmented authenticity this years&#39; theme at the AHA! festival<p><b>​​What does is mean to be human?If we strengthen the things that make us human, do we become even more humans? These issues and many others are raised and discussed when science and art meet at this year&#39;s AHA! festival November 12-14.</b></p><div>​<span style="font-size:14px"><span style="background-color:initial">“&quot;This is wrong! Women didn't sing those songs in the Middle Ages!” Somewhere in that criticism, our discussion around this year's theme began about whether something is authentic or not”, says Michael Eriksson, one of two project managers for the AHA! festival.</span></span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Those who were criticized for being wrong were the group Trio Medieval, a music group with three women. The group plays medieval songs, and one of the members participated in the 2018 AHA! festival. The critics said that it was not authentic medieval music if it did not follow the frameworks and rules that existed in the Middle Ages.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“But how do we know that? What is real medieval music? From there we drew a parallel to the authenticity of photography - how many are processed? Of course, it can be good to process a photo, but it can also mean that things in the photo are removed, and then we’ve created fake news,” Michael Eriksson continues.</span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>What does it mean to be human?</span></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);font-size:14px;font-weight:300;background-color:initial">T</span><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);font-size:14px;font-weight:300;background-color:initial">he discussions within the project group continued, ending up in what will be the theme of the sixth AHA! Festival: &quot;Augmented authenticity&quot;. The theme should be interpreted broadly, but basically it addresses what it means to be human. The theme ranges from questions about when the Nobel Prize will be awarded to an artificial intelligence, to whether strengthening our senses and physical possibilities makes  us even more human.</span> </h3> <div> </div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">“I play a lot of guitar, and if I get a new artificial arm I might be able to play even faster - but what does such a thing do  to one's existence?” says Peter Christensson, associate professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and the other one of the two project leaders.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The ambition of the AHA! festival is to serve as a meeting place between art and science. Among the seven people in the project group there are representatives from Chalmers researchers and  operational support as well as a librarian from the  Chalmers library.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“With the AHA! festival we want to approach big questions in a playful and curious way. The aim is to create a festival with a range and format that attracts new meetings across different disciplines”, says Sanna Dahlman, artistic teacher at the Division of Design &amp; Human Factors at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The participants in the festival are a wide mix of researchers and artists in different fields. The reason that it is called a festival is to clarify that it, for example, is not a conference - the purpose is to serve as a trigger for thoughts and ideas.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“The meeting between science and art is important to broaden views and provide new perspectives for all of us in today's increasingly high-tech world”, says Sanna Dahlman.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The AH</span><span style="background-color:initial">A! festival today has more than 30 different seminars, workshops and events, but </span><span style="background-color:initial">it started  on a much smaller scale more than ten years ago, then as an annual poetry evening for architecture students.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“We thought the students were a little too nar</span><span style="background-color:initial">row in the way they perceived things, says </span><span style="background-color:initial">Peter Christensson. “So we invited poets, and it lasted for ten years.”</span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Strengtens the identity</h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);font-size:14px;font-weight:300;background-color:initial">W</span><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);font-size:14px;font-weight:300;background-color:initial">hen the poetry evenings ended, the organizers instead went on to start an open festival with an annual theme. Today, about half of Chalmers’ departments participate in different ways, but participation is often done on individual basis. The project group's ambition is to widen the festival to become a matter for the whole of Chalmers. They emphasize that Chalmers is a great academy with incredible potential, and that the artistic potential is not always used.</span> </h3> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“The festival is a way we can go to strengthen that identity”, says Michael Eriksson. “It also serves as a form of utilization, a way where you can meet an audience that is outside your research field, and it supports broader recruitment by providing an image of Chalmers that is beyond the classic image of the Chalmers cortege and the new students initiation week (nollning).”</span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>About the AHA! festival 12-14 November 2019</span></h2> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">An annual three day festival where science meets art. The theme for this years’ festival is “augmented authenticity”. The festival is free of charge and open for everyone.</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">All the information about the festival can be found at <a href=""></a> </span></div></div>Tue, 05 Nov 2019 01:10:00 +0100 researcher who will happily challenge fake news<p><b>Electric cars and other battery-powered vehicles are a red-hot topic in the current debate. How can we make the transition to a sustainable transport system and what is actually best for the environment? An expert who is often engaged in this connection is Chalmers professor Patrik Johansson, who a little reluctantly also goes under the name of the ‘battery doctor’. He will happily hit back in a vigorous debate against both fake news and wishful thinking. He will also happily hit a shuttlecock as well.</b></p><div></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/PatrikJohansson_tavla_300x450.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Badminton and research have several elements which are reminiscent of one another. You have to be able to combine different things such as stamina, tactics and creativity. And sometimes you have to be able to play a little around the court,” says Johansson, after a brisk walk to one of his favourite places – the Fjäderborgen Badminton Centre in central Gothenburg. </span></div> <div>Given that he has been doing research for over twenty years and playing badminton for twice as long, he is on home territory. Today he heads up both a battery research initiative at Chalmers University of Technology and a European battery research network. In his leisure time he is on the board of “Göteborgs Badmintonklubb” (GBK), plays in GBK’s team in the national second division and has also played some international matches for Sweden at the senior level. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">He does not own a vehicle</h2> <div>It only takes a few minutes to walk from his workplace at Chalmers to Fjäderborgen, where the club has its home. From Fjäderborgen and then home he also has a walk of only a few minutes. Anyone who thinks that an internationally successful researcher into the batteries of the future has a flashy electric car is wrong. He does not even own a vehicle. Not even a bicycle. <br /></div> <div>“Electric cars will not solve our environmental problems in general. We need to cut down on the use of cars, buy fewer new cars and join car pools instead. I think that you should walk, cycle or use public transport if you can, but I know that not everyone lives somewhere where it’s possible to do that. And I really do want the whole of Sweden to have the opportunity to live a decent life.” </div> <div>In recent years there has been much debate about the environmental impact of electric car batteries, both in relation to the raw materials and recycling. Johansson has spent many hours sorting out the concepts to determine what are verified facts and what are not. He often gives lectures at various public events, takes part in panel discussions and is interviewed in podcasts and in other media. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Bringing a cold dash of realism</h2> <div>“When electric cars arrived they were not seen as a threat to normal fossil-fuel cars. The reporting was highly positive then. Now lobbyists are working hard against the media and reports are coming out containing really fake facts. Fossil-fuel cars will never be more environmentally friendly than electric cars. That’s not to say that batteries themselves are good for the environment. And we’re constantly working to make them less environmentally unfriendly.” </div> <div>As for electrically powered aircraft, the sound bites have been more positive in the debate. Many want to see electrified aircraft in their crystal ball – especially those who promise to supply the technology in the form of various products. Here again Johansson brings a cold dash of realism. </div> <div>“Everyone wants to believe in positive ideas, but unfortunately I’m a pessimist when it comes to electric flight. Some fairly small aircraft can certainly be powered with the aid of batteries, but some basic assumptions are based on false data and wishful thinking. For example, you may not understand that a battery cell is far from being a complete battery pack or you think that the next generation of batteries with absolutely stunning performance will be ready in five years’ time. It’s currently quite trendy to be working on batteries and electrification and many who are developing new technology don’t listen to those of us with long experience and expertise in the field.” </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A general ‘consumption shame’</h2> <div>Johansson flies a lot for his work. He is abroad more than 100 days a year and spends long periods working in France each year, where he has a post at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). So the question is then: is he ashamed of the flying he does?</div> <div>“No... or perhaps a bit. I fly a great deal because I do a lot of work internationally. But if I had just stayed at home in Gothenburg, I wouldn’t have been able to head up activities that contribute to networking and to the exchange of knowledge that can lead to better energy solutions in the future. I contribute to a research community which provides a public benefit. You need to think in broader terms. I think you shouldn’t just look at flying but rather have a general ‘consumption shame’.” </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Sights are set on storing energy from solar and wind power </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">For Johansson and his colleagues the current research is all about the next generation of batteries. More durable materials that produce a higher energy content for their weight and volume are a common denominator. They also conduct research into batteries with built-in sensors, without any solvent whatsoever, with mechanical strength, or based on graphene and sulfur. Good recycling strategies are a key factor. Their sights are mainly set on storing energy from solar and wind power. </span><br /></div> <div>“We have to find new ways of storing energy. Today’s batteries are not good enough, even if they help to ensure that people don’t die from the particulates in the exhaust gases from fossil fuels. In order to find better solutions we have to ask the right research questions and work together to deliver a technology that functions. This involves fundamental research, but with a concrete goal. If you have the opportunity to engage in problem-solving as a profession, I think you should do it in a way that is of benefit to society.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Patrik_Johansson.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;font-size:11px" /><span style="font-size:11px">​</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:11px"> Fjäderborgen Badminton Centre in Gothenburg is one of Patrik Johansson’s favourite places. When he is not travelling, he trains twice a week. His smile broadens as soon he meets his club mates and the staff in the arena. </span><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Patrik Johansson</h2> <div><b>Born</b>: In Nybro on 11 November 1969. </div> <div><strong>Lives: </strong>In an apartment in Landala/Vasastan where he has lived for the past twenty years – seven minutes’ walk from Chalmers.  </div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Wife Helena Berg whom he met when he was a doctoral student in Uppsala. She also completed a doctorate in chemistry and today runs a consultancy company in the field of batteries. </div> <div><strong>Job: </strong>Professor of Physics at Chalmers and along with two colleagues he heads up Europe’s largest battery research network: ALISTORE-European Research Institute. ALISTORE-ERI is a unit within the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Johansson also has a key role in a new competence centre for Swedish batteries – SweBAL – funded by Vinnova.</div> <div><strong>Career in brief:</strong> Took the technical programme specialising in chemistry in Jönköping before he started his chemistry studies at Uppsala University. He defended his doctoral thesis in inorganic chemistry in 1998 and then worked for a while at Northwestern University in the USA. He was recruited to Chalmers in 1999, appointed Assistant Professor in 2005, Professor in 2012 and Full Professor in 2016. Johansson’s field of research is materials for next generation batteries. He has published more than 150 scientific articles and currently heads up a research team of around ten people. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Leisure interests:</strong> “Plenty of badminton and a great deal of reading – mainly novels. It’s good to have as a safety valve. I’m also interested in food, wine and travel. Travel is also part of my job. Since both my wife and I can be flexible about where we work, we can accompany each other.”</div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Favourite places for inspiration</strong><span style="background-color:initial">: “I like sitting in an inspiring café.  It’s great to go to an environment where I can let my thoughts wander.”</span><br /></div> <div><strong>Most proud about</strong>: “The fact that I’ve been able to help others in their careers – both students and other researchers. This is a competitive field of science, but if you go in with the attitude that it’s possible to cooperate, you get much further. In the activities I am responsible for we work on complex issues within targeted fundamental research. It would be far too restricted if we were not part of larger groupings and collaborations. It’s also fun to work together. Research is one of the few activities in the world that is extremely viable internationally. There’s rarely a problem with the fact that people come from different countries. Research is good at inclusive integration.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> “I like solving problems and challenging myself. So working in targeted fundamental research is a good fit. By settling on the right level and focusing on something that benefits society, you can make optimum use of your capabilities. You also have to resist getting involved with things that you can see won’t ultimately work, or which at best only provide minor improvements, solely because there’s plenty of money in it at present. To achieve major changes, you have to do more in-depth work, slightly further away on the horizon. You always have to focus at least ten years ahead. That’s a motivation.”</div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">First memory of physics</strong><span style="background-color:initial">:  “Difficult to say, but I had a really good chemistry teacher at high school (Per Lindgren). At the time biotechnology was an extremely hot topic. I was more interested in analysis and concretisation and later became interested in materials chemistry, which is based on causality rather than correlation, has a fair level of abstraction, and is suited to solving problems. Nor did the subject feel as strict as physics. I’m not interested in everything in physics and I’m not particularly good at maths. I chose what I felt suited me and actually there’s not that much difference between what I’ve done as a chemist and as a physicist.”</span><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Best thing about being a researcher</strong><span style="background-color:initial">: “It’s the freedom, the creativity and the social community you have in a research team. It’s fun to see colleagues develop and work towards a concrete objective. But you can still allow yourself to be sidetracked now and then. In a way a professor is a bit like a self-employed person. You have to have objectives, you are limited by the funding, but there are plenty of opportunities for setting your own agenda. It was actually by coincidence that I ended up in the academic world, but I feel very privileged.”</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job</strong>: “The hardest thing is finding enough time. One challenge is dealing with the recruitments that are so important in getting a good group together. You also have to resist spreading yourself too thinly over too many projects. There are so many opportunities, but you can’t do everything. You need to have a stimulating environment, strategy and money in order to choose your projects. Some think that it’s not necessary to spend much time on research applications, but I don’t agree. It’s a requirement from outside, but also an opportunity to really sharpen up your ideas, hone your arguments and organise your thoughts. I myself am involved in evaluating research in a number of countries and think that there should be strict entry requirements when it comes to research funding – but preferably more trust and less administration once you’ve been awarded the money.”</div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Dream for the future:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> “It would certainly be great if someone developed something from what we’ve worked on so that there was a concrete solution and we really got a better environment. But since we work on such a long-term basis, the reality is rather that of training and nurturing the next generation of researchers. I would like to contribute to something such as quality thinking, the way to define your research question and a good academic environment.” </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><strong>Photos:</strong> Henrik Sandsjö (image 1) and Mia Halleröd Palmgren (image 2)</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/about/Pages/Meet-some-of-our-researchers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more portraits!​​</a><br /></div>Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:00:00 +0200 combines light with magnetism – and research with humanity​<p><b>The fall of the Soviet Union made him question the value of a science education. But he found his way back to physics via Brazil and from there made his way to Gothenburg via France and Germany. Alexandre Dmitriev is used to crossing borders between nations – and between separate disciplines such as light and magnetism. “Being a researcher is fantastic! I’m constantly amazed at how exciting the things we do are.”​</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/AlexanderDmitriev_tavla_300x450.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><div>Dmitriev chose to meet up at J.A. Pripps, a pub and café located in Chalmers’ student union building, which buzzes with the voices of students, staff and visitors. He is, however, somewhat saddened by the latest renovation of the premises.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There used to be large booths you could sit in here. It was perfect for spontaneous meetings and conversations with research colleagues that you happened to encounter.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He has had his breakfast here most mornings for more than ten years now, first as a researcher at Chalmers and now as a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg. Dmitriev, or Sasha as he is normally called by friends and acquaintances, lives in Örgryte with his wife Rosmarie Friemann, a researcher in biochemistry, together with the couple’s two children. He describes the family’s situation as ‘extremely privileged’ – they work in exciting fields, love Gothenburg, travel a great deal and play tennis. But the path through life that led Dmitriev to end up here has not been a straight one – far from it.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Surrounded by the natural sciences ​​</h2></div> <div><div>He was born in 1975 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in the former Soviet Union. Both his parents were physicists, but Dmitriev never felt compelled to choose to follow in their footsteps. It just happened that way. You could call it the path of least resistance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I loved history, art and literature when I was at school, and I read the classic Russian novels when I was young. But I also proved to have an aptitude for math and, through that, physics. In addition, I was surrounded by the natural sciences via my parents and all their friends who were all researchers, too. Physics was quite simply the most comfortable choice.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Everything rolled along smoothly – until it suddenly went off the rails. In 1992 Dmitriev was in the first year of the Physics programme at Rostov State University and was ranked among the highest in his class. But as the Soviet Union disintegrated, the entire foundations upon which Russian society was built radically changed. It became more difficult to make a living as a physicist.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Started working to help provide for the family</h2></div> <div><div>“My parents lost a large proportion of their income. Everything collapsed. I stopped focusing on my studies and started working instead to help provide for the family. We’d lived in a communist country with everything that entailed, and suddenly lots of new things came all at once – private banks, telecommunications companies and so on. A few friends and I started a graphic design studio where we produced logotypes and corporate identity for all kinds of companies. We were also involved in investment banking, and then started a travel agency. There was a business boom in Russia, but it was impossible to earn a living as an academic.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At the end of the 1990s Dmitriev’s parents had had enough and did what many other Russian researchers did – moved abroad. They ended up in Florianópolis in Brazil. Dmitriev followed them there – a place he likens to a tropical paradise, and it was there that he took up physics again and started taking courses in theoretical electrodynamics. A year later, the family moved back to Europe. Dmitriev was admitted as a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, and his parents found jobs in Grenoble, France, where they still live. It was on a visit to Grenoble that Dmitriev met his wife Rosmarie, and it was thanks to her that he moved to Sweden after the defence of his doctoral thesis. </div></div> <div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Bridging the gap between nanophotonics and magnetism</span></h2></div> <div><div>Dmitriev has brought this flexibility and willingness to try new things, and cross boundaries, with him into his own research. The projects he conducts with his research team at the University of Gothenburg are aimed at revolutionising the data storage of the future, by making, for instance, cloud service memories 100 times smaller and ten thousand times faster than they are today. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We take light and force it into the spaces that it can’t normally reach. This makes the light interact with molecules and nanostructures in new ways which don’t occur naturally.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>People have found means of influencing the way light behaves for hundreds of years. One example of this is the use of stained-glass windows in churches. Depending on the substance added to the glass, and the size of the particles, certain wavelengths of light are prevented from passing through. In other words, the sheet of glass breaks up the white daylight and creates the effect of coloured glass . The phenomenon is called surface plasmon resonance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We’ve now reached a point where we have the luxury of being able to control this type of phenomenon precisely to our own specifications. We can design how the light should interact down to the nanoscale, and this opens up entirely new opportunities for the fundamental science and applications.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This is where the significant crossing of boundaries comes in. Dmitriev and his colleagues use their research to bridge the gap between two traditionally separate fields within physics: nanophotonics and magnetism.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We make light controllable with the aid of magnetism, and, seen from the other perspective, influence magnetism with the help of light. All this is done on the nanoscale. It’s a great feeling, being able to demonstrate that you can switch between these often separate fields and find points where they intersect.”<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif"></h2> <span></span><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">Ensuring the well-being of colleagues​</h2> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><div>During the interview Dmitriev often returns to the  topic of the  people around him: his family, his friends and colleagues and the people he invites onto his research team. He likes to highlight the importance he attaches to exchanges and collaboration, and the value of learning things from one another regardless of that person’s background or the position they hold in the hierarchy. Well-being and the working environment are issues he considers are all too easily neglected in the world of research, where those in favour are treated as geniuses and sometimes allowed to trample over others in pursuit of the next major breakthrough.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Within the academic world it’s still not mainstream to learn how to handle the role of manager, which becomes more and more demanding the higher up the career ladder you climb. Instead, you constantly hear that your ideas, the research funding you’ve obtained and your number of publications are the most important things to focus on.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Dmitriev, however, considers ‘keeping it real’ and ensuring the well-being of colleagues at least as important as pushing for more results. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I don’t want to insult any geniuses, but the truth is that similar ideas have a tendency to emerge independently of one another in different places on Earth. We aren’t such unique thinkers as we’d like to believe. Admittedly it’s fantastic to be a creative visionary, but it’s not worth sacrificing the well-being of employees for ambition and ideas. As a professor, you are both a scientist and a manager. Never underestimate the importance of being a good person, as opposed to just being an excellent researcher.”<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>An international perspective on the research wor</span><span>ld​</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Having lived and conducted research in various countries throughout his adult life, and through a series of international exchanges (including at Stanford in the United States and Christchurch in New Zealand), Dmitriev has developed an international perspective on the research world. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“What does ‘national research’ even mean? Within physics, the concept is irrelevant. Light behaves the same wherever you are on the planet. My family and I travel a great deal thanks to my and my wife’s jobs. This part of our careers allows us to become part of a much bigger picture. As a researcher you’re part of a worldwide network of people striving for the same things.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">He concludes that his experiences have shown that, regardless of where they come from, people involved in science are more similar than different – and that it’s a privilege to be able to work as a physicist. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“<span>Being a researcher is fantastic! </span>I’m constantly amazed at how exciting the things we do are. It’s a creative and rewarding occupation in which you have the chance to make the world a slightly better place.”​</p></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/AlexandreDmitriev2_750x380.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">At J.A. Pripps, a pub and café located in Chalmers’ student union building,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Alexandre Dmitriev </span><span style="background-color:initial">has had his breakfast most mornings for more than ten years now, first as a researcher at Chalmers and now as a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​</span></p></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Alexandre Dmitriev</h2> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In 1975 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, (in the former Soviet Union) </div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> In Örgryte, Gothenburg.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Married to Rosmarie Friemann, a researcher in biochemistry. Children: Hilding, aged 11, and Liv, aged 7.</div> <div><strong>Job: </strong>Professor of Physics at the University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><strong>Career in brief:</strong> Holds a Physics degree from Rostov State University (now Southern Federal University), then worked as a graphic designer, investment banker and ran a travel agency. Earned his doctorate at the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) and the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart and then moved to Gothenburg to work as a researcher at Chalmers. Since 2016 he has been a professor at the University of Gothenburg. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Leisure interests: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">Tennis! A self-taught enthusiast who plays in his spare time, he has been a great fan of the sport since he was a child. His favourite player who is still playing today is Roger Federer, his all-time favourite is Andre Agassi. Also occasionally does graphic design and prefers to listen to electronic dance music (EDM).</span></div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration</strong>: J.A. Pripps café in Chalmers’ student union building. “This is where I’ve started my working day countless time over the past ten years. You always bump into somebody interesting to talk to – it’s like a networking hub.”</div> <div><strong>Most proud about</strong>: “My children. Is that a predictable answer? In any case, it’s true!”</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> Curiosity. “It’s really great to learn new things all the time and to be able to ‘force’ nature to do things it hasn’t done before. Small discoveries can lead to major breakthroughs without you realising it.”</div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><br /></strong></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">First memory of physics: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">“Mum and Dad used to prepare posters about their research at home in our apartment. That was what you did before PowerPoint – illustrated and wrote by hand on large sheets of paper which were then displayed on the stage during presentations. I remember how they spread paper on the floor throughout the apartment and how careful my dad was to make the posters as neat as possible.”</span></div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> “The fact that it’s a creative profession, not like a normal job. You can liken it to being a theatre director or artist. It’s incredibly exciting!”</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job:</strong> “The combination of controlling and managing the work and creativity. It’s easy to get obsessed by one or the other. You have to make sure all the time that there is a balance between the two aspects, and that you are not burdening people with too much work.”</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> “On the one hand, I have low ambitions – I’m not aiming to have a huge research team with masses of research funding or administrative influence. But, on the other, I want to tackle major issues affecting humanity and nature, and I think we’ve got the chance to do that.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">Text</span><span style="background-color:initial">: Carolina Svensson, <a href=""></a></span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Photo</span>: Henrik Sandsjö (image 1) och Carolina Svensson (image 2)​​</div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/about/Pages/Meet-some-of-our-researchers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more portraits!​</a></div>Wed, 16 Oct 2019 01:00:00 +0200 researcher who loves hard and highly structured matter<p><b>She conducts research into wear-resistant materials which withstand heavy loads at high temperatures.  Those who know the Chalmers researcher Lena Falk know that she herself is also made of tough stuff. That is something she may have  benefited from during her long career in the academic world. ​</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/LenaFalk_tavla_300x450.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div><span style="background-color:initial">When Falk came to Chalmers to study engineering physics in the mid-70s almost all her fellow students were men. There were few women who applied for technical courses. This was not something that Falk attached any importance to.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">“I saw it as an obvious choice, since maths, physics and chemistry were the most enjoyable subjects at high school,” she says bluntly.  </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>It was then an equally obvious choice to take the step towards a career in the world of research. Falk is now a professor in the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Enjoys walking to the Botanical Garden​</span></h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Falk is sitting in the shade under a leafy tree in the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg. She likes walking down there to relax and enjoy the beautiful environment – no matter what the season. Today the summer is showing its most beautiful aspect and the air is mild and scented with mock orange.  An inquisitive squirrel peeks out and then scurries on among Japanese maples and colourful flower borders. </span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sometimes Falk comes here to read a good book, but since the current one – Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s latest book “The Labyrinth of the Spirits” – weighs a ton  it has had to stay at home. Even though she mainly comes here to relax, she may also sit here and work on a scientific article. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Unlike the surrounding plants and all other living things, she conducts research into inorganic, hard materials such as nitrides, oxides, carbides and various mixed compounds of these. This concerns wear-resistant materials that can withstand stress such as high loads, wear and high temperatures. </div> <div>Industry is demanding durable materials in a number of areas. For example, for two years Falk worked on the development of cutting tools for what was then Sandvik Tooling. The project involved providing the tools with a wear-resistant outer layer in order to increase both their durability and their service life. </div> <div>“My research involves the design of materials with properties that are as optimised as possible. It’s really exciting to understand what creates different structures in materials and how the structures affect the properties.” </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Overcomes the resolution limit of visible light ​</h2></div> <div>In order to study and design materials down to the nanoscale, or even the atomic scale, sophisticated equipment is required. Falk’s work therefore involves the use of what are known as transmission electron microscopes. This means that the microscope uses the smallest particles, electrons, in order to obtain images of extremely small objects. This technology can be used to overcome the resolution limit of visible light thus allowing you to study fine-scale structures.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Ever since Falk began her research career, she has worked with electron microscopy. In the Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory there are a number of sophisticated and in some cases unique instruments. The microscopes can be used by researchers both within and outside Chalmers and are also available to specialists in industry. For many years Falk has arranged microscopy courses, where both academics and representatives from industry can gather to follow developments, exchange experiences and network. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">She puts the doctoral studies on the map​</h2></div> <div>In recent years Falk has been appointed Vice Head of Department for the department’s doctoral programmes. She is also the Director of Graduate Studies for Physics in the Graduate School of Materials Science. It required a bit of persuasion before she accepted the role of Director of Studies, but she is now very enthusiastic about both roles. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It’s fun to put doctoral studies on the map, create new contact points, good collaboration and a good structure.” </div> <div>Chalmers has recently initiated a project to develop an electronic platform for the individual study plans (ESP) of doctoral students. Falk has the role of project owner and chairs the steering committee working on the project. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The hope is that the new platform will improve the overview and follow-up of doctoral students’ research studies. It’s also fascinating to see how the doctoral students develop during their period of study with us. I hadn’t thought about it much before, but it’s really great to see how people grow.”<br /><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Lena_Falk.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><div style="font-size:11px"><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Lena Falk often strolls down to the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg to enjoy the beautiful </em><span><em>surroundings and relax. ​</em></span></p></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Lena Falk</h2> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In Nässjö on 10 October 1956, grew up in Jönköping. </div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> In an apartment in Norra Guldheden , Gothenburg – at the top of the highest building in the block. </div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Lives alone. </div> <div><b>Job:</b> Professor in the Department of Physics at Chalmers, Vice Head of Department for doctoral programmes and Director of Studies for Physics in the Graduate School of Materials Science. </div> <div><strong>Career in brief: </strong>Took natural sciences at high school and then studied engineering physics at Chalmers. After her undergraduate studies she was accepted as a doctoral student in what was then the Department of Physics which was common to Chalmers and to the University of Gothenburg. She completed part of her doctoral studies at Rockwell Science Centre outside Los Angeles in the USA. She defended her doctoral thesis in 1986 and since then Falk has worked at Chalmers. She was appointed as an unpaid Associate Professor (Docent) in 1991, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1998 and to Professor in 2004. During 2010 and 2011 she worked part time at what was then Sandvik Tooling, through a project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). <span style="background-color:initial">Over the years she has also arranged a large number of microscopy courses at Chalmers for specialists from both the academic world and industry. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Leisure interests</strong>: “I read fiction and like to cook. There are plenty of exciting cookery books to be inspired by.  When I was younger, I did a lot of photography and I also travelled a great deal, mainly in Europe and the USA. The first time I went to the USA was in the 1980s. At that time, it was a completely different lifestyle from that in Sweden. And people in California were really laid back, and everyone drove cars everywhere. It felt like a completely new world.”</div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Favourite places for inspiration:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> “Going out and walking is always good for inspiration. Just walking to work can give one new ideas and provide a solution to something I’ve been thinking about.” </span><br /></div> <div><strong>Most proud about:</strong> “There are a number of scientific articles that I’m proud of, as well as some grants and collaborations. Just now I think it’s really great that we managed to get Chalmers to invest in the development of an electronic platform for doctoral students’ individual study plans (ESP) – a proposal that was put forward by a working group appointed by the Doctoral programmes committee (FUN) with myself as the convenor. ESP will allow us to follow up on the doctoral programmes more effectively than before. We will rapidly be able to see what we need to know and will also be able to follow up the studies and obtain statistics. I am the project owner and chair the steering committee working on the project.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Motivation: </strong>“It’s inquisitiveness that drives me in my research: Being able to understand and explain things and identify relationships. To create a reasonable process, you need structure and order. I like to work methodically.”</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>First memory of physics:</strong> “It was as a child when I saw the phenomenon of the ‘cold wall law’ one warm day at home in the dining room. If you have something cold in a glass, you get condensation on the outside and my dad  explained to me how that happened.”</span></div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher: “</strong>The freedom to be able to work on something you find interesting, fascinating and challenging, and to be able to control how you do it yourself. That freedom has a price, but I’ve always thought it was worth it. Admittedly, it’s a freedom within certain limits, but I’ve still largely been able to control what, when, how and with whom I conduct my work. It’s really great doing both research and teaching. The price you have to pay is a lot of uncertainty – both in terms of employment and funding. And being a researcher, as is sometimes said, isn’t a job but a lifestyle.”</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Challenges of the job: </strong>“When it comes to research, it’s having to succeed in obtaining the funds and resources needed to do good research and to provide new knowledge in different contexts. I’m currently doing a lot of work on trying to set up good procedures within the department’s doctoral programmes. The aim is for all those involved to get the support and help they need through different stages of the process of being admitted and doing doctoral studies.”</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Dream for the future: </strong>“To be able to continue working on what I think is interesting and rewarding.”</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photos:</strong> Henrik Sandsjö (photo 1) and Mia Halleröd Palmgren (photo 2)</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/about/Pages/Meet-some-of-our-researchers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more portraits!​​</a><br /></div></div> ​​Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200 physicist passionate about pedagogy and nuclear safety<p><b>​Every summer holiday when he was on a caravanning holiday with his parents, he successfully lobbied for a visit to a nuclear power plant. He managed to secure a placement to do his national service at Chalmers: a civilian service position on a reactor research project.  Physics professor Christophe Demazière became fascinated with nuclear power early on in life.  It all started with a summer holiday book. ​</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/ChristopheDemazière_tavla_300x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>​​</span><span style="background-color:initial">As a child he attended a music school in a French town near Lille and liked to play the clarinet. At the end of the academic year all the pupils received a book as a summer present. The one that ended up in the hands of 10-year-old Christophe Demazière was somewhat unexpected: a detailed and illustrated book of facts about nuclear power.</span></p> <div>“I suspect that they were leftover books or ones that they weren’t able to sell, but I became totally fascinated. Just think that so much energy can come from virtually nothing! I wanted to learn to master the technology. My parents probably weren’t very interested in the subject, but they took me to many different visitors’ centres at nuclear power plants during my childhood,” says Demazière over a cup of coffee in his kitchen in his house in Stenungsund.<p class="chalmersElement-P">It’s been about 35 years since he received that book, and he has lived in France, the Netherlands and Sweden. In that time, he earned a PhD in reactor physics at Chalmers, met his wife on a badminton course, fathered three children, moved to Stenungsund and became a professor. Yet it only takes him less than a minute to find the book on a shelf in the basement. Smiling broadly, he returns to the kitchen. He leafs through the book, shows me pictures and educational illustrations. </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A field that evokes strong reactions</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">When he started studying reactor physics at university, he didn’t think that the subject was controversial. In his professional life, however, he soon became aware of the many challenges involved in researching within a field that evokes such strong reactions. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“In Sweden, politics is very polarised, and there are no nuances in debate in society, despite the fact that we are living in an age when we really need to produce electricity in a fossil-free way. I find that it is extremely difficult to discuss that we need a combination of various types of energy that don’t pollute the environment.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">When Demazière is asked what he works with, his answer never goes unnoticed. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I am often met with scepticism and sometimes complete silence. I sometimes don’t want reactions and I avoid the subject; I just say that I’m a professor of physics.” </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">He points out that Sweden would not have been able to achieve such a degree of fossil-free electricity production without nuclear power, which accounts for about 40% of Sweden’s energy consumption. He also highlights the important contribution of hydropower to environmentally friendly electricity. He likes to talk about how nuclear power can be developed to become even safer and how it should be possible to make nuclear waste less harmful. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The more we can check and prevent problems, the lower the risks will be. In addition, nuclear power does not have a long history and a great deal has yet to be developed. Simply shutting down the nuclear power plants means discarding both valuable energy and knowledge. We have developed a complete industry – from uranium mining, construction and operation, to waste management and decommissioning – that works very well in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. It is currently not possible to replace nuclear power as baseload power with different renewable energy. So, should we buy coal or natural gas instead? Why should we replace something that works well with something that doesn’t? In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, there is nothing to gain by replacing nuclear power with different renewable energy because nuclear power does not emit CO2 during operation. Simply shutting down nuclear reactors prematurely is an incorrect prioritisation in our society...”</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Increased operational safety is a key issue</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The phone rings and he excuses himself. It is a representative from the European Commission seeking answers to a number of questions about the EU-funded research project called Cortex. The goal of the project is to be able identify anomalies in nuclear reactors during operation at an early stage. The EU programme Horizon 2020 is investing a total of SEK 48 million in the project over four years. Demazière is leading Cortex, which is coordinated from the Department of Physics at Chalmers. Now it’s time to submit a report for the first 18 months, and several questions need answering. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The extensive EU funding was a key acknowledgement that the work that Demazière and his colleagues do really is in demand, even though many financiers are reluctant to invest in nuclear safety research. In Europe there are many old reactors, and increased operational safety is a key issue. The methods that the researchers are working with can be used in today’s reactors and those of the future. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">A number of new nuclear power plants are currently being built – not least in Asia and the Middle East. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Many want to invest in constructing nuclear power, but there is often a lack of sufficient knowledge in the nuclear-emerging countries that are building nuclear power plants. And knowledge cannot simply be bought. Intensive training initiatives are under way through experts travelling to various locations to provide training, or giving distance courses.” </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Training is an area that Demazière is passionate about. At present he is working on an application that aims to boost the level of knowledge about nuclear energy in both the academic world and industry. In his own teaching he likes to work with both distance teaching and innovative educational methods such as flipped classroom and active learning. This means that the students access some of the teaching materials in advance, so that the lesson time can be devoted to dialogue, discussion and reflection instead of a monologue by the teacher.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pedagogy in different ways</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Demazière doesn’t only hone his teaching skills at work, but also in his family life. On the noticeboard at home in the kitchen, various small signs display upcoming events and who will do what. The youngest two of the family’s three children were born with chromosomal abnormalities entailing that they need a great deal of help in everyday life.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“They have an intellectual disability with autism and are not in good health. Our son has heart defects and has undergone two extensive operations; our youngest daughter has breathing difficulties, apnoea and has also undergone several surgical procedures. Our eldest daughter is our only healthy child. The children therefore need a great deal of support from us parents. I work from home as much as I can, so that I can look after my children when they are not at the school for pupils with learning disabilities, at preschool, at the leisure-time centre or when they are asleep. Minimising my commuting between Stenungsund and Gothenburg enables me to work much more efficiently. It’s a major challenge to find time for everything, both professionally and for my family...”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">He feels that his family has received good support in Stenungsund, where there is a school for pupils with learning disabilities that the family is very happy with. They also receive respite care one night per fortnight, when their youngest children sleep at a short-term residential care home. Once a year they receive respite for five consecutive days so that they can do something together with their eldest daughter. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“At first, we were hesitant about leaving the children, but it works well. They are with trained staff and are the sole focus of their attention. Here at home we have to do so many other things, too. In a family you naturally must cook, do laundry and take care of everything else that forms part of day-to-day life...”</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The best country in the world</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">To replenish their energy levels, the family spend a lot of time in nature and like to cycle to the sea. The Tjörnbron Bridge and the glittering water are visible from their living room. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The sea is incredibly important, and it’s fantastic to live so close to it. There was a time when I thought that Aix-en-Provence was the most beautiful place in the world, with its proximity to both the sea and mountains. After a while in Sweden it felt stressful to be there with many cars and people who don’t care about nature and the environment. Now I think that this is the place to live in. Sweden is probably the best country in the world if you have a family. Yet I think a lot about the future for our children. Will society be there for them when we are no longer there and able to help them? I really hope so.” <span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)">​</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Christophe_Demeziere.jpg" alt="" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:20px;background-color:initial;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px" /><span style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:20px;background-color:initial">​</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>More about Christophe Demazière</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Born: </strong>In Lille, France, 21 March 1973. <br /></font><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Lives: </strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">In a house in Stenungsund.<br /></span><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Family:</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> Wife, an 11-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.  <br /></span><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Job:</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> Professor of physics at Chalmers. He also leads the European collaboration project Cortex, which aims to early detect anomalies in nuclear reactors during operation. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Career in brief: </strong>MSc in Engineering from HEI – Hautes Études d’Ingénieur in Lille. Continued his studies in Aix-en-Provence/Marseille, where he focused on nuclear power research. He also had a work placement at the nearby nuclear research centre CEA Cadarache for a few months. The centre collaborated with Chalmers and was looking for a doctoral student at that time. Demazière was due to do his national service and received the go-ahead to take up an 18-month civilian service position at Chalmers. He was subsequently taken on as a doctoral student and gained his PhD in reactor physics in 2002. Apart from a few months as a postdoc researcher at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, he has researched and worked at Chalmers since 1998. He was promoted to the position of associate professor in 2006 and professor in 2011. Today Demazière heads the group of researchers called DREAM, which stands for Deterministic reactor modelling. </font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"></font><strong style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)">Leisure:</strong><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"> “I used to spend an enormous amount of time windsurfing, but all my stuff is just lying in the garage nowadays because I don’t have much time to myself. To keep fit, I try to go running and get to the gym once a week when the rest of my family is asleep. Together we spend a lot of time in nature, cycling and by the sea. And we grow some of our own food at home: potatoes, radishes, carrots, rhubarb, tomatoes and chives. My wife does most of this gardening work, but I also help out.” </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Favourite place for inspiration</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">: “The sea! It’s fantastic to live so close to the sea, and it’s one of the reasons why we moved to Stenungsund. Although I miss windsurfing. It’s fantastic to be ON the water and without an engine. It’s completely silent and natural – at the same time that you’re doing a sporting activity. I’ve tried a sailing boat instead, but that doesn’t give me the same contact with the water at all.”</span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Most proud of:</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> “My children and my family.”  </span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Motivation:</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> “To try to give my children the best future possible. In my research, my motivation is that there is constantly the possibility of doing something better – to develop things further.” </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>First memory of physics</strong>: “When I received a book about nuclear power as a summer present from the music school. I was about 10 years old and thought that it was incredibly exciting. My father and I have visited many nuclear power plants over the years, and my mother has probably also occasionally joined us. They weren’t particularly interested, but when we went on caravanning holidays in the summer, we always spent a week somewhere near a nuclear power plant.”</font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Best thing about being a researcher</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">: “The best thing is that you constantly need to find new research questions and new methods to use in dealing with them. ‘Normal operations’ are virtually non-existent here; there are always challenges to tackle. The academic freedom is also a key aspect, in other words, that you yourself decide how to define and solve the research questions. However, this freedom is very limited due to the constant need to sell in your ideas in order to fund the research.” </span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Challenges of the job</strong>: “It is a major challenge to get society to understand the importance of researching nuclear power – and it is difficult to obtain funding. I constantly have to counteract preconceptions and lack of knowledge.”  </font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Dream for the futur</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">e:</span><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> “In terms of my job, I’m hoping for more stability as regards funding, so that we can make nuclear reactors and final storage of nuclear waste even safer. There is always more to develop and improve. In the bigger picture, I dream of a society that is sufficiently open and accepting – and in which everyone has a place. I think that our education system could be much better in that respect. I’m working actively on developing new educational methods that benefit all students – not just the best students.”</span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><br /></font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial">Text:</strong><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"> Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href=""></a><br /><font color="#333333" style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photos: </strong>Henrik Sandsjö (image 1) and Mia Halleröd Palmgren (image 2)</font><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)">​</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"><br /></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/en/centres/gpc/about/Pages/Meet-some-of-our-researchers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more portraits!​​</a><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"><br /></span></p></div>Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200 presents the most exotic beast in the unbound nuclear zoo<p><b>​An international team, including Professor Mikhail Zhukov at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, recently published stunning results within the field of subatomic physics in the journal Physical Review Letters.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Mikhail_Zhukov_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px" /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The researchers, with Mikhail Zhukov as a theoretical advisor, present a very rare form of radioactivity, namely disintegration via the emission of three protons. One can say that they have discovered the most exotic beast in the unbound nuclear zoo. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“We can present a unique system, consisting of nineteen protons and twelve neutrons. Such a system has never been observed before. Our discovery shows that there is a possibility to find structures beyond the proton dripline in the Chart of the Nuclides,” said Mikhail Zhukov. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The atomic nucleus itself, which has been discovered through this decay channel, Potassium-31, is surprisingly long-lived. However, long-lived in this context is quite short: the lifetime is only ten picoseconds. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new discovery has been selected a Research Highlight by the prestigious journal Nature. </div> <div>For Chalmers, this breakthrough means that the experimental subatomic physics group – planning new experiments at the future FAIR facility in Darmstadt, Germany <span style="background-color:initial">– </span><span style="background-color:initial">challenges many new interesting discoveries over the coming years.</span> The published studies were performed at the current facility on the site - GSI. <br /><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text and photo: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the paper &quot;<span style="background-color:initial">Towards the Limits of Existence of Nuclear Structure: Observation and First Spectroscopy of the Isotope 31K by Measuring Its Three-Proton Decay</span><span style="background-color:initial">&quot; in Physical Review Letters. </span></a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><a href=""><span>Read the Research Highlight in Nature</span><div style="display:inline !important">: &quot;<span style="background-color:initial">A peculiar atom shakes up assumptions of nuclear structure. </span></div> <div style="display:inline !important">Lopsided potassium isotope survives longer than predicted by theory.&quot;</div> ​</a></div>Wed, 09 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0200