Thursday, 18 January 2018

Nuclear Physics at 78ºN

I've been out of action lately;  off work on sick leave for the last few months of 2017.   Upon my return I notice that the next in the series of Nordic Meetings on Nuclear Physics is taking place in Longyearbyen, Norway.  This has to rank as one of the most exotic places for a nuclear physics conference to take place in.  It's about as far north in the world that one is able to get to using scheduled transport.  It's further north than anywhere in mainland Canada or Russia, and the northernmost place with civilian inhabitants.  While it is sorely tempting to go there given the opportunity, I have no good justification for using up travel budget on a relatively expensive location for a conference which, while interesting and relevant to me, is not vital to my research.

Although it was quite a while ago, I have actually been to Longyearbyen once before.  I was on a cruise as a companion of someone employed to play harp recitals on the ship.  My only task was to do a bit of harp-lugging, for which I got a free cruise from Newcastle, up the coast of Norway, stopping off at various points, and then up to Spitsbergen, where Longyearbyen is.

I don't have my photos of the trip to hand, so here's one that I found from google maps of the town of Longyearbyen.  My trip was in October, so there was snow on the ground as in the picture.