Black holes leave their marks all over the observed universe. They do however also inspire new and exciting ideas about space and time itself, both in the micro-cosmos and on the large scales of the universe.
After eight years of existence, the Oskar Klein Centre of cosmoparticle physics ranks among the most dynamic and successful European research centres in the field. We are proud for having hosted outstanding postdocs and recruited world leading researchers.
Today, a new chapter in the OKC success story is about to unfold: it is time for me to pass on the baton to Hiranya Peiris, as she starts her journey as the new director of the centre.
The observations of the first gravitational wave by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) captured the attention of the world this February, confirming the existence of gravitational waves as well as further confirming Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
Ruth Pöttgen is a postdoctoral researcher in the ATLAS group at Stockholm University. In 2015, she obtained her Ph.D. at the Johannes Gutenberg – University in Mainz, Germany, for her thesis on a “Search for Dark Matter in Events with a highly energetic jet and missing transverse momentum at a centre-of-mass energy of 8 TeV with the ATLAS Detector”. At the ATLAS collaboration meeting in February, Ruth was awarded one out of 4 ATLAS Thesis Awards for outstanding contributions to the ATLAS-Experiment in the context of a Ph.D. thesis; more than 100 theses were eligible.
It seems that nearly exactly 100 years after their prediction by Albert Einstein, Gravitational Waves have finally been directly detected for the first time. Speakers of the LIGO experiment announced yesterday that they have witnessed the final stages of the inspiral and merger of a massive black hole binary system. This marks the beginning of a new type of astronomy with gravitational waves that allows to explore a so-far completely unknown side of the Universe.
The 2015 Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Rashid Sunyaev of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, who is also the recipient of the Oskar Klein Medal for 2015.
Dark matter is one of the basic ingredients of the Universe, and searches to detect it in laboratory-based experiments are being conducted since decades. However, until today dark matter has been observed via its gravitational interactions that govern the dynamics of the Cosmos at all length-scales. In 2014, with a grant of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, OKC has joined an international collaboration, called XENON, that builds and operates detectors to find the elusive dark matter particles in the laboratory.