End of a good Oskar Klein Centre year

This year has been very interesting for the OKC. The highlight was of course the Nobel Prize for Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess.

The Nobel banquet, waiting for the Laureates and Royalties to arrive. (Photo: Lars Bergström)

The half-day December 12th immediately following the Prize ceremony, organized by Ariel Goobar and Jesper Sollerman, was a great success. I could not be present, unfortunately, but I can recommend the video from the very memorable colloquium session, at http://videos.albanova.se/colloquia/2011/ – it is well worth watching, as is the colloquium the day after on global warming by Rich Muller (who was one of the forefathers of the Supernova Cosmology Project).

The reason I was absent december 12th and 13th was that then the first joint workshop between the Dublin Institute of Advanced Study and the Oskar Klein Centre took place, in Dublin. Its title was “Multi-GeV Astrophysics with Ground-Based Detectors” and it had around 40 participants. From OKC there were four of us, namely Jan Conrad, Christian Farnier, Magnus Axelsson and myself.

Participants of the joint DIAS-OKC workshop arriving at Dunsink Observatory, where the sessions the second day, Dec. 13, were taking place. (Photo: Lars Bergström)

This was a very informal workshop where the possibilites of having a low threshold Air Cherenkov array at high altitude were discussed. From the OKC, we showed that both the dark matter search and GRB studies would indeed profit from such a detector, but more work is needed to give a more firm assessment. Next workshop will be in Stockholm, probably by early autumn, 2012.

Christian Farnier and Jan Conrad discussing in Dublin with a glass of tasteful dark matter between them. (Photo: Lars Bergström)

Another very important development during the year was the extremely successful run of the LHC, which produced 5 inverse femtobarns to the ATLAS group of OKC. There is even some tantalizing hints of a Higgs signal around 125 GeV, and within a year they may even find a signal passing the “magical” 5-sigma confidence level requested for a true discovery.

Also the Fermi satellite has been performing flawlessly, with many interesting papers published. In particular, I want to mention the Physical Review Letters article from a few weeks ago, where Jan Conrad and Maja Llena Garde were leading an analysis where the method of indirect detection through gamma-rays – a method where the OKC has great expertise –  for the first time now enters into the interesting region of parameter space where dark matter candidates should reside.

Of course, with the boiling activities of OKC it is impossible to mention everything that has happened, so you may want to check yourself the list of publications on the site to get a feeling for it.

I want to end this post by wishing everybody at OKC and our followers elsewhere very happy holidays with a hope that we have another exciting year ahead of us!



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