Who-Is-She: Evelina Arushanova

Do you know much about neutrino or the work of underground laboratories in Canada? We think that most of our readers would shake their heads negatively. The world of big science presents a one-class club consisting of a few people trying to learn the essence of the universe and the laws ruling it. Our magazine has had an opportunity of contacting a person who is directly related to the domain of science, and to particle physics, in particular.

Evelina Arushanova os the girl who can speak about science for hours, her stories being interesting and clear to everyone. In 2012 she entered the PhD programme and is now sharing her UK life experience with great pleasure. Evelina told us about the features of European science, her work in the Brighton laboratory, the charms of life in England as well as about her numerous trips to various countries.

— Lina, many people think only serious men in thick-rim glasses can be occupied with higher mathematics or physics. When did you understand technical studies were your vocation?
— I’m glad I had no such odd fellows on my way. All the people of technical science I met were interesting, well-read people with great sense of humor. I’d better tell you about my neutrino story! I read a popular-science book by Isaac Azimov and thought that the small world inspired me and presented the object I’d like to study. And neutrino seemed to be the most intriguing thing: it appears during the simplest reactions, it doesn’t take long to find it, but, at the same time, we can’t learn much about it. And the more we learn, the more fantastical it becomes. I seem to talk about it endlessly!

— When did you move to England and what made you come to this decision?
— I moved there with my fiancé in October 2012, for we had entered the PhD programme in England. Until then I’ve been to Great Britain as a tourist or on a business trip.
— A typical question for a national living aboard: do you miss your native country and do you often travel there in your dreams?
— Only the word ‘home’ is of importance for me. And I miss it a lot: I miss my family, my friends, my cats and the way of life. For not to feel depressed, I try to scatter nostalgic thoughts. It’s wonderful we have telephones, Skype and social networks!

— Did it take you long to get used to the life in the United Kingdom? What appeared to be the most difficult after you moved there?
— Yes and no. It’s pleasant to live in England, I suffered no moral difficulties. People are polite, everything is beautiful and comfortable. Still. I’ll never be able to get used to such things as the bad quality of living accommodations, heating and water. By the way, my list of the things to make my life more comfortable extends every month!
— What does your everyday work look like?
— I have a very complex task: I have to develop, study and test the source of detector calibration. Computer modeling was the first step. In autumn and winter I’ve been writing programs and watching the dependence of the results on different factors. Now I’m on the second step — constructing the installation in the laboratory and studying the software for future work. The laboratory is located in Brighton, that’s why I go there a few times during the week promising myself to stay there for a longer time to walk along the sea shore, and going away all the time because of feeling exhausted after the working day.

— What are the major differences between science work in the post-Soviet republics and in Europe and North America?
— Financing and attitude. I must at once, that I’m acquainted only with the sphere I work in. In Western science, everything is well-considered, it works on the clear rules of the game. There are no such rules in Russia, scholars have to show their fantasy and the ability to negotiate with civil servants. Most research institutes are fading and in many cases somebody even helps them to fade. All this is very sad, because people of science need no high salaries but a well-deserved life.
— What do you like in your job most?
— I like to learn new things and feel that I’m doing something unique. The desire to help others to explore our world warms me up and inspires me, even when everything goes wrong.

— Do you often have such business trips as you’ve described in the odin_moy_den LiveJournal community?
— Two times a year we have collaboration meetings where everyone involved in the experiment tells about the work done. Also, people have to spend some time helping with the detector, in the underground laboratory. Numerous international conferences and classes take place during the year, which you can attend if you want to. This is necessary to find out what is happening in other experiments and related areas. Therefore I have a few of such trips a year. Experimentators in physics travel a lot, and they should be ready for that. A professor in my department spends about half a year away from home.
— Tell us about your hobbies apart from work.
— I love traveling and taking photos. The most distant countries I’ve visited are New Zealand, Ecuador and Peru. I always dive into the country, trying to feel it. That’s why all my impressions from journeys are very bright and personal. I take photos for myself, aiming to share the atmosphere. Many people praise me.

— What would you like to achieve in the next few years?
— I’d like to organize my life in the way to do everything in time and to live a complete life.


— The happiest moment of your life?
— I can’t distinguish one, I think, I’m a happy person!

— What would you like to change in yourself?
— Impatience and nervousness.

— What do you like in yourself?
— I have a spacious mind.

— The place where you feel best?
— By those people I love.

— With whom of the living people would you like to get acquainted?
— This question baffled me! I don’t know.

— The country you’ve never been to but would like to visit?
— I’d like to travel around Latin America.

— As a child, who did you want to become?
— Generally, I didn’t think about it in childhood... A Jedi, perhaps!

— Your favourite writers?
— Among the books I like are ‘Caligula’ by Albert Camus, ‘Flowers for Algernon’ by Daniel Keyes the first and very short version — a very sad book, ‘Carmen’ by Prosper Mérimée.

— Which qualities do you appreciate in men?
— I must be sure in him. And we should have fun together!

— What do you like doing most of all?
— I love solving math problems!

Useful links