One of the many research topics at OKC is the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Several aspects of them are studied, such as the gamma-ray and X-ray emission, the afterglow emission, and the interaction between the bursts and the circumburst medium.
In a recent paper based on observations with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope it is argued that the main emission during the first few minutes of GRBs is dominated by the jet photosphere and that there is significant amount of energy dissipation close to the photosphere. This result is significant for our understanding of physics of GRB jets.
Last week I was in Avignon, France, giving a talk at the PONT Workshop there. Among the people there was Sean Carroll, who some of you may remember (he visited us some 6 or 7 years ago). He runs an interesting physics blog since many years. You can find his report from the workshop here.
Brainstorming is one of the most known and diffused creativity boosting techniques used for getting fresh ideas. While brainstorming can also be done by individuals, it is most effective when done in a group of 10-12 people.
The technique is in principle very simple. A topic of discussion should be clarified and well defined at the beginning of a brainstorming session, possibly in terms of a question to answer. The definition of the task is important and one of the key of a successful brainstorming session.
As the Sun is finally warming up both the nature and people this far north, also the efforts to construct the Swedish LOFAR station awake from their winter sleep. From November until now snow and frozen soil stopped the work in its tracks, but today at Onsala near Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden, the building activities will recommence.
LOFAR is a European wide radio telescope consisting of stations spread out over the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France and Sweden, with possibly more countries joining in the future.
Have you ever wanted to have a thinking cap?
Really! I sometimes wish I had one helping me out of my fixed thoughts. Unless you know Allan Snyder, director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for the Mind, who has just invented one, you need to get thinking outside the box using some other techniques.
Last week, Jan Conrad and I spent a couple of days in Dublin, Ireland, invited by Felix Aharonian and his colleagues at DIAS. We had interesting dicussions around many topics, the most interesting being the possibility to obtain a lower energy threshold for gamma-rays at imaging air Cherenkov telescopes, for instance by using large mirrors at high altitude.
From a particle physicist point of view the search for dark matter is just the search for yet another exotic particle. But the search for a possible dark matter candidate in particle physics experiments has definitely a special place on a par with the search for the famous Higgs boson.
During the last three weeks, we were visited by an impressive list of cosmologists trying to make sense of what is driving the present accelerated expansion of the Universe. Recent observations suggest that we are approaching a de Sitter phase
Zhaoyu Yang is one of the OKC postdocs, working at both Fermi and Atlas experiments. It so happens that Zhaoyu also shares the office with me at the Elementary Particle Physics group, on the fourth floor, which is why it came natural to me to start by getting to know her better. With this interview we start a series featuring people working at OKC.
Here is just a very brief summary of results that have been presented so far. (For an extensive blog coverage about the event, see this link.)
Unfortunately, Elena Aprile did not present the new results from Xenon100, but she said that they will be presented at a press conference in Gran Sasso in April. It seems that they have new accurate measurements of the efficiency L_eff over a substantial energy range, that of course will be crucial when interpreting the data.
In neutrino physics, the present buzz concerns the possibility of sterile neutrinos, as seems to be mildly preferred by cosmological data.