Researching something that does not exist
Extreme chemistry may sound exciting to work with, but for most of us it can be very hard to grasp what researchers in such fields are actually working on. This is especially true if they are looking into the composition and properties of elements that do not exist on Earth.
Meet the group leaders: Trygve Ulf Helgaker
Chemistry normally deals with the predictable behaviour of matter – how atoms form molecules, and how the molecules react when introduced to one another. But how do those same molecules behave in unpredictable conditions? Trygve Ulf Helgaker, professor of theoretical chemistry at the University of Oslo, is aiming to find out.
– Complex numbers make the world bigger
Their mathematics is already used outside the mathematical sphere, from calculating an asteroid’s position to measuring the size of an iceberg, but Berit Stensønes believes it is only the beginning of the developments and applications of these powerful tools.
‘Spaces of Spaces’
Every semester, CAS fellows are challenged to present their research to the other project groups at lunch-time seminars. For the pure mathematicians, having to explain their work to the uninitiated might be considered something of a challenge.
- Bears have solved major problems of modern medicine
Bears increase their weight by fifty per cent during the autumn, and then they lie down to hibernate for six months. According to Professor Jon Swenson, who has been studying bears for over thirty years, a human who did this would never get up again. During our interview, Swenson explains why the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, is interested in his data on bears.
- Humans, not climate, cause extinction
The CAS project on harvested large mammals is a significant example of how basic research can fruitfully, if unpredictably, enhance new knowledge across fields.