A shocked neighbor?!

Discovering exploding stars, supernovae, within hours from explosion opens new windows to study their nature. Last year, our group at the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) was involved in the study of the closest SNIa explosion in several decades, SN2014J. We have now a new exciting result - an early glimpse of ultraviolet light from a Type Ia supernova, iPTF14atg, reveals what appears to be a shocked neighboring star. The results published in the journal Nature uncover the nature of the kind of objects that are used as standard … Continue Reading ››

Dark matter at the heart of the Galaxy

A new study is providing evidence for the presence of dark matter in the innermost part of the Milky Way, including in our own cosmic neighbourhood and the Earth’s location. The study demonstrates that large amounts of dark matter exist around us, and also between us and the Galactic centre. The result constitutes a fundamental step forward in the quest for the nature of dark matter.

Still no Dark Matter in the latest analysis of LHC data…

Last night the ATLAS Collaboration released its latest search for dark matter and other beyond the standard model theories [1] based on the full dataset from the LHC Run I (2010-2012). By looking for proton-proton collisions where jets of hadronic particles are produced only in one direction (Figure 1), violating conservation of momentum only in appearance, we use ATLAS to search for  weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), such as dark matter particles. Because they are weakly interacting, the WIMPs escape ATLAS undetected and lead to what looks like missing momentum. Continue Reading ››

2014: another great year for the Oskar Klein Centre

After six very successful years of OKC leadership, Lars Bergström was asked to become the new Dean of the Mathematics and Physics Section of the Science Faculty of Stockholm University. As a consequence, he has stepped down as OKC director and  a new position at the Department of Physics at Stockholm University has been announced to find a replacement. In the mean time, I will serve as director of the centre. It is with a sense of great pride – and a fair bit of apprehension -  that … Continue Reading ››

Detecting dark matter in the lab with Xenon

In the beginning of November 2014, The Oskar Klein Centre officially joined the XENON dark matter project. The idea is to detect dark matter particles scattering of heavy nuclei.
Since one of the strongest limitation of dark matter detection is due to cosmic ray induced background, it is important to shield the detectors. For this reason XENON is situated in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, on the side of a ten kilometer long freeway tunnel crossing the Gran Sasso mountain, about 120 km from Rome. Thus, there is about 1500 meters of rock protecting the laboratory from cosmic ray backgrounds.