Archive for Niels Bohr Institute

Signs of the Times

Posted in Biographical, Science Politics, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on June 5, 2010 by telescoper

Well, I’m back from sunny Copenhagen to a very muggy Cardiff. I arrived by train just as this afternoon’s rugby match between Wales and South Africa finished so I got caught up in the crowds and had to follow a lengthy diversion to get home. I was a bit tetchy with the heat and feeling a bit tired, but feel a bit mellower now after a nice shower. Apparently it was a cracking game, with Wales losing narrowly to the Springboks in the end. I missed it all.

Not feeling like doing anything more energetic blogwise, I thought I’d just put up a few pictures of the trip before making dinner. I heard while I was in Copenhagen that there are plans to relocate the historic Niels Bohr Institute to new accommodation nearby. I’m very attached to the old place and I think it will be a terrible shame if the original buildings are flogged off or bulldozed. I believe that’s not going to happen but I’m not sure what their fate is going to be. Anyway, I asked one of the locals, Tamara Davis, to take a picture in front of the sign outside the old NORDITA  building, looking grumpy, to show my disapproval. I think she caught the mood perfectly.

Actually, Tamara isn’t really a local because she’s Australian, but she spends a couple of months a year in Denmark at the Dark Cosmology Centre, which is about ten minutes’ walk from the Niels Bohr Institute. I sat next to her at the conference dinner and found out that she’s also an international quality Ultimate Frisbee player. I wish I could pretend I knew what that was, but it sounds impressive. The fact that she’s training for a major event at the moment meant that she wasn’t drinking much wine so, being a gentleman, I drank the surplus on her behalf.

I wonder if there’s such a sport as Penultimate Frisbee?

Here’s another picture in front of the same building, featuring some folks from the workshop.

From left they are Dominik Schwarz (Bielefeld, Germany), Anthony Lasenby (Cambridge, UK), Carlo Burigana (Bologna, Italy),  Sabino Matarrese (Padova, Italy) and Paolo Natoli (Rome, Italy).

Last one shows the view in the evening sun looking down towards the picturesque old harbour area, called Nyhavn. I took this in anticipation of a nice cold beer among the crowds of people out enjoying themselves in the lovely weather. I wasn’t disappointed!

Discovering Copenhagen

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on June 2, 2010 by telescoper

Here I am, again, in the fine city of Copenhagen in Denmark. It’s a lot warmer here than last time I was here, in January, but I’m here for a short meeting at the Discovery Center which we be held on the premises of the Niels Bohr Institute over the next few days.

It looks like being a funny little meeting, because  nobody is allowed to talk about any Planck results yet so most speakers are talking about extraneous matters, almost like they’ll be talking about their hobbies. Should be fun. I haven’t decided what I’ll talk about yet, but my talk isn’t until tomorrow…

I travelled yesterday from Heathrow Airport with Leonid Grishchuk who I met in the airport. It turns out he had checked in extra-specially early for the the short flight to Copenhagen. The result of this enthusiasm was that his bags didn’t arrive with the plane. After filing a lost luggage report the usually avuncular Leonid turned into grumpy Grishchuk for the short Metro journey downtown. I saw him at breakfast just now and he told me his bag had actually been delivered to the hotel late last night. All’s well that ends well. It sounds like it must have come on the later flight, which probably means it never left Heathrow.

I was worried for a while I was going to miss the flight because my train from Cardiff was late as a result of being stuck in the Swansea area behind a broken-down train. Despite the delay and the fact that only one automatic check-in machine was working at the airport, I still had plenty of time to make the flight. My bag was one of the first out of the carousel.

Our meeting doesn’t start until lunchtime, so I’m going to take a walk around and do a little sightseeing beforehand. I know the city fairly well, but it will be nice to see how things have changed over the years. If memory serves, I think the first time I came here was in 1988. Quite a few of the places I went during that time have now closed but then I’m too old now to go them anyway!