The announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Takaaki Kajita (Univ. of Tokyo) and Arthur McDonald (Queen’s University, Canada) for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, and thus the revelation that neutrinos have mass, is an exciting occasion for its recognition of fundamental scientific research of the kind done by all of us at the Oskar Klein Centre.
Our colleague and friend Per Olof has passed away after a very brief period of illness. Peo, as we all called him, played a key role in the field of neutrino physics, both nationally and in the international arena. He started his career with six years at CERN (1976-1982), and was coordinator and spokesperson for several neutrino experiments using bubble chambers.
Today’s issue of Science highlights a breakthrough in astroparticle physics many decades in the making. After tantalizing hints in the past year, the IceCube Collaboration now reports on a follow-up analysis, leading to a larger event sample and compelling evidence that the first high-energy neutrinos from outer space are starting to be seen.
Christopher Savage is a Oskar Klein Fellow since the summer of 2009. He is working on direct detection of Dark Matter and seems to be very happy about it! I asked him to tell us more.
Why did you choose the OKC for doing a postdoc?
The broad focus on cosmology, with an emphasis on interaction between different areas, was very appealing. In addition, I had started working on capture of dark matter in stars and there is a lot of expertise in that area here in Stockholm (particularly Joakim Edsjö).
This spring there have been several PhD theses defenses here at the Oskar Klein Center, and as much as we hate saying good bye to some of our best students, we are proud to have been part of their professional lives. Jakob Nordin, Sara Rydbeck, Yashar Akrami, Teresa Riehm and Henrik Johansson defended their theses this spring. We wish them all the best for their future life!
Things have been happening lately with experiments which could eventually shed some light on dark matter.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, which was completed last December, defiantly started data taking in its final configuration on Friday the 13:th of this month. Data from 5397 optical modules are recorded at a rate of 2370 events per second, and about 50 million events per day are sent North for analysis via satellite (unfortunately,
almost all are due to atmospheric muons, not neutrinos).