Interview with Oscar Stål

Oscar Stål is one of the OKC fellows working at the Cosmology, Particle astrophysics and String theory group (CoPS) since August 2012. He is doing his second postdoc and his filed of interest is particle physics phenomenology. He is Swedish and studied both as undergraduate and for his PhD at Uppsala University, before moving to Hamburg.

Can you tell us a bit of yourself? Where are you from?
I am 30 years old, and this is my second Postdoc. Before joining the OKC I spent two very nice years in the theory group at DESY, Hamburg. Originally I am from Enköping, which is a small town about 80 km west of Stockholm. I am married and we have a 2-year old son, Anton, who takes up most of my free time.

What is your field of research?
Broadly speaking, my area of research is particle physics phenomenology, that is theoretical work in close connection to experiment. The main experiment we consider at present (and probably for many years to come) is the LHC at CERN. To be somewhat more specific, my main interests lie in the phenomenology of physics beyond the standard model (SM), such as supersymmetry, with its interesting connections to electroweak symmetry breaking (the Higgs!) and also, of course, the dark matter.

How did you get to know about the OKC?
I don’t remember exactly when I first heard about the OKC, but since I was in Uppsala until 2010, I think it is quite likely that I knew about the centre already before leaving Sweden. Being such a small country, it is not so difficult to keep track on all the relevant research groups that exist in your field.

Can you describe your project?
I am currently working on several projects that try to use as much information as possible about the interesting signal for a Higgs-like boson observed at the LHC to constrain models beyond the SM. These models often have extended Higgs sectors, meaning there are more than one Higgs boson, and possibly with quite different properties than the SM Higgs.
For this purpose we are both developing generic computer codes to test models of new physics against the Higgs measurements, and we are studying the predictions of different models under the assumption that (one of) the Higgs particles is indeed the new boson observed around MH=125 GeV.

Besides these Higgs activities, I also have other on-going project dealing with new predictions for precision measurements, scalar DM, or “unusual” ways to search for Supersymmetry at the LHC.

I would be very happy to discuss common projects (in any direction) with other OKC members. If you have some new ideas, please come and see me!

Why did you chose to join the OKC?
Primarily because I knew it is a scientifically strong and well-regarded group.
Since I also wanted to go back to Sweden (for family reasons), the OKC fellowship was really a perfect opportunity for me.

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