Our research is conducted in the fields of particle physics and astroparticle physics.
Overview of research areas
- Experimental particle physics with the
- Studies of the properties of the Higgs particle and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model, primarily related to Dark Matter and Supersymmetry
- Development of instrumentation, specifically the new High-Granularity Timing Detector for HL-LHC
- Theoretical particle physics:
- Physics beyond the Standard Model: neutrino physics, dark matter physics
- Other particle physics and fundamental symmetries
- Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and astrophy: signatures of the photosphere, jet properties, particle acceleration, emission mechanisms
- Supernovae and their remnants
- Disk jet connection in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and multiwavelength studies of blazars
- Instrumentation and new space missions:
- Hard X-ray polarisation with PogoLite/Pogo+ and X-Calibur/XL-Calibur
- Projects for small satellite platforms (CUBES, part of MIST)
Particle physics studies the smallest building blocks of matter and the interactions through which they interact. The word "particle" generally refers to various types of small objects (e.g. protons, gas particles, or even household dust), but particle physics concerns the indivisible constituents of matter, the so-called elementary particles, that exist now and have existed in the early universe, and the fundamental interactions necessary to explain their behaviour and processes at the highest energies.
The experimental particle physics group at KTH is active at the frontline of hadron collider physics and has contributed to the ATLAS experiment since 1990.
- The scientific focus of the data analysis activities is on measuring the properties of the Higgs boson and searches for physics beyond the standard model, specifically new particles that could explain the dark matter that dominates our universe.
- The group contributes actively to detector instrumentation, from 1990 to the development, construction, commissioning and operation of the electromagnetic calorimeter based on liquid-argon technology, and for the High-Luminosity LHC the group is contributing to the development of the High-Granularity Timing Detector which will provide picosecond timing measurements.
Theoretical aspects of particle physics involve modelling of elementary particles and their interactions, exploration of new models that can predict new phenomena or explain experimental anomalies, and phenomenological aspects working along the experimental side in determining the prospects of new experiments for further probing the present theory. Theoretical particle physicists often work in cooperation with experimental collaborations, looking for new ways to probe the inner mechanisms of the Universe, from the Big Bang to solar processes and particle physics at accelerators.
The theoretical particle physics group at KTH is particularly interested in the physics of neutrinos, very light neutral particles related to electrons, and those of dark matter. The research is conducted in projects with members of the faculty and students working in smaller groups with international collaborators all over the world. The group also has direct interests in the experimental neutrino oscillation community as members of experimental collaborations such as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), Hyper-Kamiokande, India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), and the European Spallation Source Neutrino Super Beam (ESSnuSB).
Astroparticle physics and astrophysics
Astroparticle physics is a branch of particle physics that studies elementary particles of astronomical origin and their relation to astrophysics and cosmology. It is a relatively new field of research emerging at the intersection of particle physics, astronomy, astrophysics, detector physics, relativity, solid state physics, and cosmology.
Currently we are doing research within :
Gamma-ray bursts, supernovae and active galactic nuclei
- Gamma-ray bursts: we are analyzing properties of primarily properties of long gamma-ray bursts both from theoretical and observational side. We are studying signatures of photospheres in gamma-ray bursts, emission mechanisms in both prompt and the afterglow phase and developing different models for explaining the observed properties.
- Supernovae: We are studying the properties of supernovae and their remnants in order to understand the progenitors, the explosion mechanism and the compact objects created in the explosions.
- Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN): We are performing multiwavelength spectral and variability studies of AGN in order to undertand the disc-jet connection and to locate the high-energy emitting regions.
- Cosmic rays: in this area we are doing multimessenger studies to investigate connection with neutrions.
Instrumentation and development of new space missions
- PoGOLite/PoGO+ Hard X-ray polarisation of the Crab and Cygnus X-1 : A balloon-borne Compton telescope launched from the Esrange Space Center, northern Sweden, in 2016. Our observations have revealed the hard X-ray polarization fraction and direction of the Crab , elucidated properties of is periodic pulsations , constrained the emission geometry of the Cygnus X-1 binary system , and provided an upper flux limit for its synchrotron jet emission .
- CUBES : a part of the MIST student satellite. A technological readiness demonstrator for evaluating the performance of novel detector materials and techniques which have limited space heritage. These include MPPC photo-sensors and GAGG inorganic scintillators.
- X-Calibur/XL-Calibur: A balloon-borne X-ray polarimeter achieving high sensitivity through the use of X-ray optics for focusing emission onto a compact detector system. A short flight was conducted from McMurdo, Antarctica, in late 2018, during which the GX 301-2 pulsar was studied . The payload is currently being upgraded (X -> XL) with a new mirror and detector to allow even better sensitivity for an upcoming flight.
KTH Space Center
KTH Space Center coordinates and promotes space-related activity at several KTH departments, with an overarching objective of establishing KTH as a "Space University" and a hub for Swedish space research and technology.
Oskar Klein Centre
We are a part of the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics where researchers and students enjoy a large palette of supporting activities like weekly OKC Colloquia, biweekly Working Group meetings, OKC Day gatherings every term, and cross-disciplinary science pubs. The OKC carries out a number of popular science outreach activities in order to share our operations with the public.