Claudia Ramírez

August- September 2015

Hello all,

I’m Claudia and I will share few experiences with you here in Gothenburg, Sweden.  I’m an exchange student at the University of Gothenburg. I’m working on a project: “Spectroscopy of optically levitated droplets”. I had this opportunity to explore new fields and learn a lot of things that I never imagined because I’m a biotechnology engineer but now, working in physics.  Yes, I know it sounds crazy but it’s the best way to prove your skills and utilize your knowledge to make the research interdisciplinary and hence wonderful results can be obtained or wonderful things can be developed.

Everyone has different points of view about Gothenburg, I just want to say some words to describe this city:

  • Beautiful: There are many buildings with different kind of constructions, which make the city looks really beautiful. Also, you can see and recognize churches, as each of them have their own style and are the tallest buildings in the city. It’s a clean city as everywhere people separate organic and inorganic garbage. There are parks in the forest with a beautiful views and lakes, and if you go with your friends you should make a campfire. It’s amazing!
  • Seasons: If you’ve never seen snow or how trees change the colour here is a good opportunity to see every season: spring, summer, autumn and winter. It’s amazing to see how everything changes, it’s astonishing to see long sunny days turning into dark days.
  • Weather: If you are the next one to come to Gothenburg, you should bring with you: umbrella & jackets for rain; gloves, caps & scarves for cold, and a good pair of shoes which works for rain and as well It usually rains for a short time all day.
  • Public transportation: It´s really good, comfortable and cheap (Isra explained how to get a transportation card). Each bus or tram has own schedule and you can check the time on internet or download the application in your cell phone:!/en/. It´s a useful tool especially if you follow a routine or if you want to reach somewhere on time. Also, you can take ferries to visit Archipelago of Gothenburg with the same transportation.
  • Sports: If you love sports, welcome to Gothenburg. It’s a bike city, almost everybody has a bike and doesn’t matter if it’s raining or cold they use it to go to work or go around the city. Also, you can find all the time people jogging on the street. There are gyms where you can practice many sports like: Floorball (it’s one of my favourites), basketball, volleyball, football, etc. It’s a good option to warm up in winter.
  • Touristic: You can find many places to visit here in Gothenburg: parks, museums, cafeterias, archipelago, Diversion Park, and you can never get bored. However, it depends on person, but let me give an advice: Go and explore new places, as it´s the best thing that you can do Don’t worry, you will never be alone because there are a lot of international students eager to join you to do many activities.
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Brunnsparken, is a central square in Gothenburg. 

First day in the lab

To be honest, at the beginning I was scared because my experiment was there on that table with two more experiments and I had to move it another table for continuing in my work. Laser, lenses, mirrors, all that I needed to work with Optics and, specifically with optical levitation, was there.

I’m lucky because my professor Dag Hanstorp supports me in my work and knowledge with small but efficient lessons about optics. Moreover, I have a lab mate (His name is Maks. He is an exchange Ph.D. student) who helps me when I have questions with the stuff in the lab.


Drop- lab.

I was excited with my experiment (I’m still excited), I had to study hard to understand how was working. I spent one an half month just to trap a glycerol droplet. Afterwards, I was confused about what it was wrong in my experiment because I couldn’t levitate droplets. Hours in the lab, tea, cookies, & candies and finally, I’ve done, my first levitated glycerol droplet.

20151109_180313Levitated glycerol droplet


IMG_4040Maks and me – levitated glycerol droplet, well done :).


Real winter 

Hej, hej!

If you have never seen the snow in the winter, here in Sweden it’s a good opportunity to enjoy the winter and build your first snowmanJ. If you are the next person to come to Sweden, go outside and play with the snow like kid, it’s the best thing that you can do it.


Enjoying the winter

I got the opportunity to visit the north of Sweden, to be more specify, Luleå. As a part of my project, I was invited to perform my experimental set-up of optical levitation at Luleå University of Technology in the lab of Professor Kerstin Ramser who is a specialist in Raman Spectroscopy. Basically, I was working on Raman spectroscopy of optical levitated glycerol droplets where I had access to use a sophisticated Raman spectrometer. I would say that everything was perfect, even the weather. I met professors and students, all of them very friendly, I visited some places in the university, and it’s a nice place.


Luleå University of Technology. Scandinavia’s northernmost university of technology.

I was excited for my visit to Luleå but on the other hand I was a bit scared because the weather. A week before to travel, I checked the weather forecast and the temperature was -30°C, yes, I said: I will die when I reach there but not, after few days the weather was warm around -15°C, trust me it’s warm. The first day I just said: I’m in Narnia (who has seen that movie knows what I’m talking about), it´s a beautiful place, the view is amazing, everything is cover with snow, and you can see snow everywhere every day. Lakes and the river were complete frozen. I went to walk on the river which it was very near from the place where I was living. You can practice ice skating or just go around the river. I visited Gammelstad Church Town where, near from that place there is a nature reserve which it´s also a beautiful place. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the northern lights because almost all days were cloudy.

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Gammelstand Church Down. Narnia felling.

I was looking forward to practice or do something different so my professor Kerstin helped me to arrange the Dog sledge ride few hours before take the plane. We went together at that place and I was expecting that both will ride the Dog Sledge but not, she told me: you will ride it by yourself ten dogs. So, I had to be brave and… Let’s go! The trip was around 1 hour in the forest, it was spectacular.  That experience was fantastic, amazing, wonderful, etc. You should do it once in your life.

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Dog Sledge.

See you next time!