My very first first-author paper, published in Physical Review B!

The top of the article

The top of the published article

It’s really out! I’ve been working on this article ever since I finished my master’s, and it finally got published. It turned out super well – I am so happy about this! My first first-author article in a scientific journal!

This is basically our reporting on the old hard X-ray measurements that I got to do my master’s thesis on – measurements of the staging superstructure observed in several different samples of single crystal LSCO+O. The measurements were done at several temperatures from down to 5-10 K, up to room temperature – giving us the opportunity to see how the staging appears at different temperatures depending on the doping in the samples. We also reported on the observed cooling rate dependence, which was found to depend on the amount of Sr doping in the samples.

You can see the full article via the DOI link:

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One of my figures used in a book

This is really cool! A few weeks ago I was contacted by Prof. Hagen Kleinert from Freie Universität Berlin, on whether he could use on of my figures from my master’s thesis in his next book. I was extremely honored, and now the book has come out, published as “Collective Classical and Quantum Fields”.

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ICNS in Daejeon, South Korea

ICNS in Daejeon, South Korea

This last week I’ve been in South Korea for the ICNS (International Neutron Scattering Conference), held in Daejeon. It was an amazing trip, and a great conference – and I have a million pictures to sort through now! I’ll share some of them here.

Helsinki layover

I had a 7 hours layover in Helsinki Airport on my way there, so I tried to make the best of it by taking a little sightseeing tour to the city. I’ve never flown via Helsinki before, so it was nice to get this opportunity with a little extra time to spend. I had time enough to take the train into the center of the city, and then walk along some of the beautiful old streets and parks down to the harbour with the markets and all of the little ferries. I then went – with one of the ferries – to the island Suomenlinna, where I walked around for a few hours to see the beautiful sights and views, before I took the ferry back, and then went towards the airport again. I could see myself returning to Finland again, to see the rest of the city, as well as the surrounding land. 

The conference

The conference itself went from Sunday July 9 – with a little welcome ceremony – to Thursday July 13. There were lots of company and institute presentations in one of the large halls, and the sheer number of parallel sessions in many different locations were overwhelming at times.

There were several poster sessions mixed in throughout the week, and I got to present my poster Tuesday in the long lunch break. I don’t think I’ve ever had a poster presentation be that busy and satisfying at the same time. Several people came to talk with me about my poster, and I got plenty of feedback on my work, and even a few new contacts. I had my phone on the poster, just as I tested out during the last DanScatt meeting, and I think it did the trick to draw attention from people.

Tuesday we got to visit the High-Flux Advanced Neutron Application Reactor (HANARO) a short bus drive away from the conference center. They are currently on shutdown, and have been for a while – so we got the rare opportunity to go inside the outer containment to see the beam ports and guides right up close and personal. That was extremely interesting, and I’m very glad that I got to go. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures within the research complex, and were even made to sign agreements about this and put stickers on our phone cameras before the bus transported us to the site. However, one of the conference photographers were there to take pictures of us!

HANARO tour group picture

The whole pile of us visiting HANARO, before we went back to the conference venue

The conference banquet was held Wednesday evening, with entertainment by a traditional Nanta performance – a group of entertainers that did all kinds of dancing and fighting and music with food and cooking utensils. It was really funny and impressive at the same time, and a super great choice for our group of very mixed nationalities.

Poster prize

The poster prizes were awarded on Thursday evening, during the closing ceremony. I had signed up to have my poster evaluated for a prize, but was not too hopeful – with how extremely many posters were presented at the many poster sessions. I ended up winning one of the 12 prizes though, which was amazing!

Included with the prize was also a €100 voucher for books from SpringerNature. On top of that, this diploma is nicer looking than both my bachelor’s and master’s diplomas…

You can see the poster itself on my poster page if you’re interested.

Exploring Daejeon

Unfortunately I did not have eons of time to explore the surrounding city during the week, but we did go out to find some local restaurants and to see the beautiful river front right behind the conference center. The weather was sweltering hot and humid, and I even had problems with the insides of my camera fogging up when I took it out of the bag several times – so I did not get many pictures as I wanted. We did, however, get some absolutely delicious food, and that I got pictures of!

Posted by PJR in Conferences, Travel, 0 comments
DanScatt 2017 meeting in Odense

DanScatt 2017 meeting in Odense

Yesterday and today I’ve been in Odense for the yearly meeting for DanScatt, the organization for Danish users of synchrotron- and neutron-sources and free-electron X-ray lasers. This time it was held at SDU (Syddansk Universitet), just like the first time I joined the meeting back in 2012.

There were plenty of talks, and also a poster session about scattering – I got to present some of my LSCO superstructures with a poster. I had some fun testing out a new idea I got for the poster I will be presenting later this Summer in South Korea at the ICNS conference, where I want to put my phone or tablet onto the poster (at least during the actual poster session). I used my phone this time, with animations of some of my reciprocal space data. It worked out really well, and functioned as a good eyecatcher for the poster.

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Back from the ECM-30 meeting in Basel

Back from the ECM-30 meeting in Basel

During this week, I was in Basel to participate in the 30th meeting of the European Crystallographic Association (ECM) – the first time for me to participate in this conference. There were way more people than I had expected – I heard mentioned around 920 participants – and the whole thing was super inspiring.

I had actually tried getting a talk about my almost-ready to publish work on staging in LSCO, but I only got to present a poster. I did, however, get to catch up with a few people, as well as meet some of the people that I met at the Aperiodic Crystals school back a few weeks ago in Antwerp.

Monday evening there was a Young Crystallographers Mixer at the Bar Rouge in the second-highest building in Basel. The view was amazing, the drinks were great, and the music was loud. Quite a fun experience, although I’m not sure whether it worked well for networking or not..

Tuesday evening I got to visit the new Dectris headquarters in Baden-Daettwil, with a really interesting tour, as well as some awesome barbecue to top it off afterwards. It was really cool to see where they make the Pilatus detectors that I’ve seen so many times, as well as hear about all of the newer products they have been developing, and the history of the company.

The venue itself was really great, and there was a professional team of conference arrangers that took care of the practicals – everything ran so smoothly! We also had some pretty long lunch breaks, so there was good opportunity to get around Basel a bit. I might actually go to Basel again on a vacation some day, it was a great city – and the public transport was very efficient.

Finally, the conference dinner on Wednesday evening was held in the Zoo in Basel, in one of the big restaurant halls. Before the actual dinner (which was awesome, by the way), we were divided into groups and sent on tours around the Zoo. I got on the tour in their little aquarium, where one of the biologists showed us around in the back, where they breed corals, seahorses, and jellyfish. It was super interesting, and way too short. I could have stayed there for hours and hours.

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Aperiodic Crystals school in Antwerp

Aperiodic Crystals school in Antwerp

This last week I participated in the Aperiodic Crystals school held at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. It was a week of lectures and tutorials on modulated crystal structures and quasicrystals, and was basically perfectly catered for what I need for my continued PhD project.

Apart from learning a bunch of useful knowledge about superspace and superstructures, I also got some more knowledge about how to use JANA2006 to solve (in)commensurately modulated structures from single crystal data. Now I just have to figure out how to index the data that I already have…

The week ended up being super busy for me, but there was some time in the evenings to go out with people, finding interesting local beer and food. I was especially happy about finally trying cherry beer (kriek), which I’d never even heard of before. I also got to meet a lot of new awesome people, both fellow participants of the school and lecturers – some of which I’ll meet again soon at the ECM-30 conference in Basel at the end of August.

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

Swedish Neutron Scattering Society meeting in Lund

I went to the annual Swedish Neutron Scattering Society meeting held in Lund, Sweden, this year – on Monday May 30th and Tuesday May 31st – to kind of get a feel for what is happening on the other side of the water from here in Copenhagen. I got to listen to a lot of interesting talks – many of them centered around instrument development for ESS and MAX IV – as well as present a poster on some of my more recent work.

On Tuesday we went on a tour to the almost finished MAX IV synchrotron, as well as the ESS – still in the building phase. It was super interesting to see both!

On my trips (I went back and forth by train over Øresund both days) I had some fun taking little video clips, finally resulting in a little video:

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DanScatt 2016 meeting close to home

DanScatt 2016 meeting close to home

This year the  DanScatt (the organization for Danish users of synchrotron- and neutron-sources and free-electron X-ray lasers) meeting was held at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences right on my campus, on May 26 and 27.

The talks were very centered on biology this year, and I found myself learning a lot of new things – even though I would have preferred talks more relevant to what I do myself. Hopefully it will be better balanced next year.

I got to present a poster on the afternoon of the second day, but the arrangements were so cramped that I’m not really sure that anyone actually saw it – we were so many people in a tiny, tiny space. At least there was beer and great people present!

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Finally done with the master’s degree!

Today I held the master’s thesis defense, at the old auditorium A at the Niels Bohr Institute. My family was there, and a handful of office mates showed up to see it as well. Despite being pretty nervous about it, it all went really well, and even the question session afterwards probably couldn’t have gone better than it did.

You can see my slides on the master’s thesis page, where there are download links for everything related to the thesis (or just look at the slides directly through this link).

A couple of examples from the slideshow

A couple of examples of slides from the slideshow used during the defense

All over, I’m really happy with how the project turned out, and I’m looking forward to trying to finish an article for publication of some of the results during December and January.

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Master’s thesis handed in – preparing for the defense!

Master’s thesis handed in – preparing for the defense!

I finally managed to hand in my master’s thesis, so I can continue on the remainder of my PhD project! I made a small sub-page on here, just like I did for my bachelor thesis back a few years ago. You can see it here, where you can also see the actual thesis (or just have a look at the thesis directly here).

A couple of example pages from the thesis

A look at a couple of the pages from the thesis

I am now preparing for the defense on Monday November 30, and just printed a couple of abstract-posters to hang in the elevator to tell people about it – those can also be seen on the little thesis sub-page I made (or just directly via this link). I’m mostly just looking forward to having this over with.

One day, I’m going to share the LaTeX class that I made for the thesis, so others can use the layout I made, but for now it’s so messy that I don’t think I want to support people on trying to compile the thing…

Part of the little abstract poster

Part of the little abstract poster that I hung around the office to invite people for the defense

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Major haul-over of the webpage layout

I have spent my free time the last week or two playing around with responsive CSS design for this web page, and changing the way the – now very old – page functions. I wanted it to work for smaller (in particular mobile) screens in a simple and comprehensive way, that wouldn’t mean that I’d have to rewrite every single page on the site.

I stumbled on the Pure CSS library while looking up solutions to some of the design-changes I wanted to make, and decided to go with it. My old layout was using tables for everything – a little piece of the past already when I started with the site – and it has annoyed me for years. Now everything is in CSS, and works in simple responsive ways to different window sizes. A comparison of the old and the new page layouts for the front page of the site:

There have been a bunch of changes to the site, but I will try to list some of the more important ones:

  • I used to have a search field at the bottom of each page, which showed the search results inside the page by simply extending the height of the page with the results. This has now been changed to a smaller search field in the top menu (for big screen sizes – more on that in a moment), that leads to a landing page with google results as a pop-up.
  • All icons have been changed from small png files to actual vector graphics, through various CSS defined fonts. The website Fontello, where you can create your own font package to use for just this, was an enormous help.
  • I’ve added standard social sharing buttons, that changes content of the actual buttons depending on the user that see the page. These are buttons created and served by AddThis – most people probably recognize their “plus” icon. These buttons automatically hide for smaller screen sizes, to not be in the way.

The new responsive menu is part of the Pure CSS library as well. I’ve had a lot of fun making it respond to different screen sizes, such that a small phone screen would still be able to see all the top-menu points, while more information can be shown on bigger screens. The three different behaviors of the menu can be seen below:

Different sizes of the menu

The new menu, which changes depending on the size of the window

When the screen gets smaller, first the description text disappears from the icons. Then, the social network links, translation links and search bar disappear, the latter two merging into the top menu as new icons.

Finally, I made sure that the sub-menu (and the top-menu, if a screen can even get that small) are scrollable in a flickable way on mobile devices, as well as on PC’s that have the capability of scrolling sideways. I am still trying to figure out a way of overlaying a little arrow in the sides of the sub-menu when this option is in action, but so far I have not found a solution.

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Article in Physical Review B!

Top part of the paper

Top part of the published paper

Astrid put together this awesome paper on the work she’s been doing the last years. I helped with a bunch of the experiments back when I’d just started my PhD, so it is great to get it published too!

As a short description, the article is about the field dependence of the interplanar magnetic correlations in our LSCO-O sample. We found that the applied field enhanced the magnetic moments and increased the interplanar correlations (though only between neighboring planes). Also, these interplanar correlations could apparently also be forced through a fast cooling instead of an applied field.

The full article can be found through the DOI number:

Posted by PJR in Experiments, Publications, Studies, 0 comments

Way too few updates

It feels like I’ve been updating this blog way too rarely the last couple of years – and that’s also the case for the web site as a whole. The last couple of days I have been procrastinating a bit, and had some fun with re-coding parts of the page, and setting up statistics. Turns out, a lot of the notes collections and old hand-ins get a lot of traffic, and it’s interesting for me to look at statistics for this.

Since the last post, I participated in several workshops, courses, experiments and conferences. Worth mentioning was the ICNS conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, two summers ago (July 2013), and a very exciting experiment at IN12 (ILL, France) the same month.

I finished all my teaching responsibilities, after having been a course instructor in the Experimental Physics course three times (although the first time was before I started my PhD) and once in the Neutron Scattering course, plus a couple of smaller things at different summer schools. I’m also almost done with taking courses, since I participated in a large number of workshops during the first part of my studies. I’ve had over a year long hiatus from my studies due to personal issues, and am currently working on getting back, by finishing my master thesis so I can continue on the PhD plan I started back in March 2012. Hopefully this will be over with in the beginning of this summer.

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I got married, and I’ve changed my name

I got married, and I’ve changed my name

My old name is Pia Jensen, but since my now husband has such an awesome last name, I’ve decided to keep my previous surname as only a middle name, and adopt his surname – Ray. So my name is now Pia Jensen Ray in full, or just Pia Ray or P. J. Ray for short.

The name change also inspired me to get a new domain, For ages now, I’ve used the (or really mostly the website address for my personal website as well as e-mail. However, I felt like maybe it was time to do something else. Unfortunately, just was already taken by someone that only uses it for e-mails (I even wrote with the person to ask if I could buy it off of them, but alas) – that would have been way cooler to own.

For now, this new domain will simply redirect to the old pages, since I don’t have much time to remake the website like I want to. One day, I’ll sit down and see if I can get a CMS like Drupal or just good old WordPress working on there. The coding I have done on this old website is starting to annoy me, since so much of it is very manual and time-consuming to update. An actual CMS with a log-in, and more of a WYSIWYG approach, would be a nice change.

On another note, this name change also comes at a fairly convenient time with regards to scientific publications. It’s always better to keep to a single name throughout, instead of changing it in the middle of a career. We have a publication coming out soon, and I’ve managed to get my new name on there before it was sent it – so that’s a good start.

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My first beamtime at ESRF

My first beamtime at ESRF

We were lucky to get a few days of beamtime on the hard X-ray instrument ID11 on the ESRF in Grenoble, France: from December 1st to 3rd. We measured reflections for several of our LSCO crystals at different temperatures, to get some of the beautiful superstructures in even better resolution that before.

A little look at what the data taking looked like:

I also got to see the mountains surrounding Grenoble from a new direction – I’d never all the way down south by the synchrotron on campus, and had no idea that there was a little roundabout down there either. Either way though, the view was awesome on the days we had sunshine!

A little panorama from ESRF

A little panorama from ESRF

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