Astroparticle Physics – University of Copenhagen

The Niels Bohr International Academy > Astroparticle Physics

Astroparticle Physics Group

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[NEW: Mid-term overview of our activities]

The interface between astrophysics & cosmology and fundamental physics is undergoing a revolution. Studies of the Hubble expansion, surveys of galaxies and maps of the cosmic microwave background have provided a wealth of data which have answered basic questions concerning the geometry and content of the universe. However this poses even more fundamental questions e.g.

  • What is the nature of dark matter – is it constituted of relic particles arising in new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics?
  • Is dark energy really accelerating the universe or is it just an illusion due to interpreting the data using an oversimplified cosmological model?
  • What is the physical mechanism behind primordial inflation which generated the seed density fluctuations which have grown into galaxies?
  • How was the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe created?
  • What are the sources of high energy cosmic rays and how does Nature accelerate particles to such huge energies?

To tackle such complex interconnected issues requires new theoretical ideas, as well as a concerted experimental programme.

The activity in this field at NBI was catalysed by the award of a Niels Bohr Professorship 2013-18 to Subir Sarkar (University of Oxford) by the Danish National Research Foundation. With subsequent hires of several Assistant Professors, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students, the Astroparticle Physics Group is now active in all the above areas. We are members of the Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology group, and also have close links with the Dark Cosmology Centre.

The grant has enabled the Niels Bohr Institute to become a full member of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole - the NBI IceCube group is based in its Discovery Center. Group members are also involved with the Deep Space project for measuring B-mode polarisation in the CMB, and the forthcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array for high energy gamma-ray astronomy.

The Niels Bohr Professorship is funded by The Danish National Research Foundation (2013-18)