At the mountains of madness

You need to be brave to do physics.

Yesterday's post was disturbing, but not unexpected.

PhD life is grim, and tests even the most strong-willed amongst us. The whispering voices are oddly unsettling...

Jolted out of my pondering of inverse problem formulations on electron density profiles, I turned to ancient manuscripts, searching for some hint as to why it seemed so familiar. It was then, that I had a flash-back, to another situation, where another PhD-student had just completed his defence.

It was the young Dr. Finch.

On that fateful day, or perhaps the day before, he mentioned he was at "the mountains of madness". The day after... it became "beyond the mountains of madness". And an internet search for images revealed some very disturbing similarities. Consider these examples.

Left: art inspired by Lovecraft's work of horror.
Right: Fjellheisen, with Tromsø in the background.

Left: The temple at the mountains of madness.
Right: The Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø.

Am I seeing a pattern here? But, then, with my last threads of sanity, I stumbled across this seeming coincidence:

Left: journey view of the mountains of madness.
Right: UiT Mønstre modul oversikt.


I do not think so.

I arrived at the University along the E8 road. It wound with a troubling serpent-like suggestion through the isolated Norwegian landscape. Leading only, I feared, to even more tenerous places. There was a sickness in the ancient, pitted cobbles of the old road, and on its writhing path, I faced experiments, theories, and other damnably transcendent terrors.

And then there is the Kjøremønstre.

So, steel yourself and remember, that there can be no bravery... without madness.

The E8 will take us to UiT.

But in that gaping abyss, we will find our redemption.

Bonus points if you know all the references.


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