Collaboration between OKC and Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies

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. This would be of importance for the dark matter search (that we are experts on at OKC) and for GRBs and AGNs (where Dublin has very good expertise and we also have activity in OKC). We decided that this topic would be interesting enough for both parties that we should try to arrange a small workshop together to investigate the scientific aspects of such a detector. Continue reading Collaboration between OKC and Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies

OKC is also about LHC and LHC is also about Dark Matter ….

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. If the particle making up dark matter is light enough it could well be produced in the lab, at the european lab called CERN located close to Geneva in Switzerland. CERN’s new accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider collides proton beams at a center of mass energy of 7 TeV and will later on go up to 14TeV. Being able to produce the dark matter candidate in the lab would be the perfect opportunity to study it. In fact with enough data one could even imagine measure its properties in great detail, and for instance determine its spin. Such measurements would allow us to discriminate between different classes of theories predicting dark matter particles, such as extra-dimension and supersymmetry. While this is in the domain of the possible, it is still a long way down the road. But in the end, only the complementarity of the dark matter searches in the sky and in the lab will allow us to pin down what is exactly dark matter. Continue reading OKC is also about LHC and LHC is also about Dark Matter ….

The Return of de Sitter

The return of De Sitter 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. The return of De Sitter, this is the name of the NORDITA workshop organized by OKC members Fawad Hassan and Ariel Goobar, together with Stefan Hofmann from LMU in Munich.
I asked Ariel Goobar, professor at OKC, and Stefan Sjörs, a PhD student in the Cosmology, Astroparticle Physics and String Theory group, to tell us about the conference.

Continue reading The Return of de Sitter

Interview with Zhaoyu


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. Continue reading Interview with Zhaoyu

News from the Venice Neutrino Workshop

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. Continue reading News from the Venice Neutrino Workshop

Welcome to the Oskar Klein Centre blog

As a way to communicate more quickly and efficiently between ourselves in the Oskar Klein Centre (OKC) and with the outside world, we have with the advice of Serena Nobili, responsible for OKC information and outreach, started this blog. Here you will now and then get updates on what is happening in the Centre Continue reading Welcome to the Oskar Klein Centre blog

Cosmology, astrophysics, astroparticle physics