News: Fysik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 21 Sep 2018 10:28:52 +0200​Awarded pioneer in plasma-physics faces accelerating challenges<p><b>​They are in x-ray machines at the hospitals and in the safety controls at the airports. They can detect fake artwork and sterilize food. Particle accelerators are fundamental in our society as tools of scientific discovery, but they are very large and expensive. This year’s Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award Laureate Chandrashekhar Joshi’s work promises to pave the way for smaller and cheaper accelerators to face crucial challenges in science and technology. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">By using plasma to accelerate particles, Joshi has shown a new paradigm for building accelerators of the future. Professor Joshi is considered the Father of the experimental field of High-Gradient Plasma-based Charged Particle Acceleration. During four decades, Joshi and his colleagues have carried out pioneering experiments. By using plasma, they have managed to accelerate particles thousands of times more rapidly than in a conventional accelerator. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The goal is to make the accelerators as small and cheap as possible. Aside from their use in high-energy physics, imagine that you have a thumb-sized accelerator that could be inserted into your body to irradiate a tumour or to be carried around in your briefcase.  That’s my dream for future accelerators, “says Chandrashekar Joshi, in connection with the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award ceremony on 20 September 2018.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Joshi made the first basic experiments in the field in the 1980’s and since then he has taught generations of students and researchers who are now scientific leaders worldwide. Today, he works at the University of California in the US, but he started his career on the other side of the world. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In his hometown, 150 kilometres outside Mumbai, it was very unusual to study abroad. </div> <div>“My father gave me a book about great scientists when I was around 10 years old. It was so cool, and I made up my mind: I also wanted to discover something that was not known before,” says Joshi. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I was the second person ever who left the place and went abroad. But even though I came from a small town in India, I probably had fewer difficulties in my career than Lise Meitner had in hers, because of her gender. In that context, her achievements are even more remarkable!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At that time, when the Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner understood that it was possible to split an atomic nucleus, women were not even allowed in the laboratories. </div> <div>&quot;She was always running against the wind. She was a real pioneer and I admire her a lot. When I studied nuclear engineering when I was an undergraduate, Lise Meitner and Marie Curie were like Gods of fission to us. Therefore, I’m very pleased to receive the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award. She did get many prizes during her career, but never the Nobel Prize she so well deserved&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In connection with the award ceremony in Gothenburg, Chandrashekhar Joshi gave a popular lecture at Chalmers in honour of Lise Meitner. </div> <div>He received the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2018 &quot;for conclusively demonstrating the advantages of using relativistically propagating plasma waves for electron acceleration.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></div> <div>Foto: Johan Bodell,<a href=""> </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Lise Meitner, the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award and previous laureates.  </a></div>Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Prize Laureate on stage at upcoming seminar<p><b>​The Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov is the major highlight at the initiative seminar &quot;2D materials beyond graphene&quot; on 1-2 October in Palmstedtsalen at Chalmers. &quot;I think that it was crucial for him to see that we have managed to gather leading scientists in this growing field of research for our seminar&quot;, says Ermin Malic, associate professor at the Department of Physics and director of the organizing Graphene Centre at Chalmers (GCC).</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Konstantin Novoselov, professor at the University of Manchester, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 for his achievements with the novel material graphene. He will open the seminar's second day with a lecture entitled &quot;Materials in the Flatland&quot;. </span><br /></div> <div>Ermin Malic is very pleased to welcome the prominent guest among the many other well-renowned speakers: </div> <div>&quot;Konstantin Novoselov is very busy and gets many of such invitations. Therefore, we are, of course, very happy that he picked our event. I think that it was crucial for him to see that we have managed to gather leading scientists in this growing field of research for our seminar. Certainly, the talk of Konstantin Novoselov is a highlight, but I am really excited about every single talk&quot;, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/emalic_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Every year, the Excellence Initiative Nano has a topical event under the title Initiative Seminar. This year, the seminar is organized by the Graphene Center, which is an umbrella for all research at Chalmers on atomically thin 2D materials. </div> <div>&quot;Graphene is the most prominent representative of this class of materials. However, other 2D materials gain more and more importance in the current research. Therefore, we have put the focus of the seminar to 2D materials beyond graphene, in particular including monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides and related van der Waals heterostructures. We have invited leading experts in this emerging and technologically promising field of research&quot;, says Ermin Malic (to the left).</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">What's not to miss at the seminar? </h5> <div>&quot;The program is relatively dense covering a large spectrum of 2D material research. We will have 18 excellent talks in 8 different sessions including exciton phenomena, novel heterostructures materials, energy applications, opto-electronic applications as well as composite and bio applications.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>There will also be a poster session reflecting the 2D material research at Chalmers. </div> <div>&quot;The idea here is to offer Chalmers researchers the opportunity to present their research on 2D materials, now also including graphene. We would like to show the full spectrum and the excellence of 2D materials-based research at Chalmers.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>The participants can also look forward to hearing about exciting new research: </div> <div>&quot;Definitely. The field is very dynamic and there are still many open questions that are relevant for fundamental research and possible technological applications. The invited speakers perform cutting-edge research in this field, so we can expect many new insights and hopefully exciting discussions&quot;, says Ermin Malic.</div> <div> </div> <div>The two busy days aim at a broad audience; researchers, postdocs, PhD and master students and even industry representatives who are interested in novel developments in nanotechnology. Already, over 100 people are registered for the seminar, which takes place in the elegant auditorium Palmstedtsalen in Chalmers student union building. </div> <div>&quot;The large majority of the registered participants are researchers and students from Chalmers. However, some of the international speakers bring their own students to the seminar. We have also participants from other Swedish universities as well as company representatives.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>The invited speakers come from Sweden, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, USA and UK. Among them are Frank Koppens (ICFO, Spain), Paulina Plochocka and Bernhard Urbaszek (CNRS, France), Thomas Müller (University of Vienna, Austria), Kristian Thygesen (DTU, Denmark) and Miriam Vitiello (National Research Council, Italy). Chalmers is represented by Timur Shegai (Physics), Saroj Dash (MC2), and Vincenzo Palermo (IMS).</div> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Lunch and coffee breaks will offer a lot of time for deeper discussions&quot;, concludes Ermin Malic.</span></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo of Konstantin Novoselov: By Sergey Vladimirov (vlsergey) (Konstantin NovoselovUploaded by vlsergey) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons</div> <div>Photo of Ermin Malic: Private</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The seminar is free of charge, but don’t forget to register no later than 19 September. <br /><a href="/en/centres/graphene/events/2D%20beyond%20graphene/Pages/Registration.aspx" target="_blank" title="Link to seminar page">Read more, register and see full schedule of the seminar​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Chalmers grant to support her postdoctoral studies in the US<p><b>​Postdoctoral researcher Nooshin Mortazavi at the Department of Physics, Chalmers, has recently been granted SEK 135 000 from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. The grant will cover research costs during her first year at Harvard University in Boston, USA.</b></p>Through this foundation, Chalmers can support researchers who spend some time at a University in the United States. The foundation is aimed at researchers who, in collaboration with leading research environments and colleagues at prominent universities in the USA, wish to develop their research by finding new inspiration or guiding it along with new paths.<br /><br /><div>Earlier this year Nooshin Mortazavi was awarded an international postdoctoral grant from the Swedish Research Council (VR) to carry out research on &quot;High-Temperature Thermoelectrics Based on Natural Superlattice Oxides&quot; in John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard. The project has an ambitious goal: conversion of large amounts of waste heat to electricity using an intriguing but poorly characterized class of still-developing high-temperature ceramics, known as natural superlattices (NSLs).</div> <br /><div>Nooshin Mortazavi will spend up to three years abroad before returning to Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""><br /></a></div> <div><a href=""><br /></a></div>  <span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Nooshin Mortazavi’s research.</a><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></span><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Swedish Research Council.</a><br />Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Eriksson receives Arne Sjögren&#39;s Prize<p><b>​Martin Eriksson, former PhD student at the Department of Physics, is honored with Arne Sjögren&#39;s Prize, which is now awarded for the fifth time. The prize of SEK 30,000 goes to the most innovative dissertation in nanoscience, and was instituted in memory of the chalmerist Arne Sjögren (F68).</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/arne_sjogren_a_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />At his passing in 2012, Arne Sjögren (to the right) donated SEK 370,000 to Chalmers, the amount on which the prize was based. Martin Eriksson is rewarded for his dissertation &quot;There's Plenty of Room in Higher Dimensions – Nonlinear Dynamics of Nanoelectromechanical Systems&quot;, which he defended in September 2017. He received his award at a simple ceremony during the recent networking meeting with researchers in the excellence initiative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Marstrand.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;I feel very proud and honored! It's been very exciting to come back and see old colleagues again and to get the opportunity to share my research, since many hours have been spent struggling to achieve the results&quot;, says Martin Eriksson.</div> <div>In connection with the award ceremony, led by the excellence initiative director Bo Albinsson, Martin Eriksson also held a lecture in which he presented his dissertation.</div> <div>&quot;His analysis of nonlinear dynamics in small mechanical systems, has paved the road for for new studies, experimental and theoretical, on this topic&quot;, the jury writes in the motivation.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/meriksson_IMG_5060_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">After his dissertation, Martin Eriksson had a postdoctoral service at Chalmers. Then he developed his research through various collaborations with researchers in the United States. The new results are expected to be published in the scientific journals Physics Review Letters and Nature Nanotechnology.</span><br /></div> <div>Martin Eriksson recently took office at the consulting company ÅF in Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/balbinsson_IMG_4901_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The Excellence Initiative's director, Professor Bo Albinsson (to the left), is very pleased to be able to hand out Arne Sjögren's Prize, which is now awarded to a doctor in nanotechnology from Chalmers for the fifth time:</div> <div>&quot;The doctoral students are the bloodstream of Chalmers research, and awarding an annual prize to the best thesis in nanoscience is a very important task,&quot; he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo of Arne Sjögren: Hans Block</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read Martin Eriksson's doctoral thesis</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">About Arne Sjögren's Prize &gt;&gt;&gt;</h5> <div>​The prize has been founded to recognize an outstanding student in the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology area, with the prime aim to boost a future career in academia or industry. It has been made possible by a generous donation by Chalmers alumnus Arne Sjögren (F68) who in his will donated part of his estate to be used for the benefit of research in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Earlier Prize winners:</h5> <div>2013 (for best dissertation 2012) Samuel Lara-Avila</div> <div>2014 No prize was awarded</div> <div>2015 Jakob Woller</div> <div>2016 André Dankert</div> <div>2017 Jelena Lovric</div> <div>2018 Martin Eriksson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about Arne Sjögren and his will (in Swedish)​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> Wed, 05 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0200 sophisticated microscope to Gothenburg after prize-competiton<p><b>​Steven Jones, PhD student at the Department of Physics, Chalmers, recently won a brand-new Raman microscope together with his supervisor Professor Mikael Käll.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/mikroskopvinstbild200x270.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The competition took place at a recent International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (ICORS) on Jeju Island in South Korea. The task was to formulate and motivate the best project to be solved by using the sophisticated instrument from Nanobase.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Steven Jones’ winning pitch was about his project on measuring the temperature in plasmonic nanoparticles by using so-called anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The microscope will be placed in Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory (CMAL) and the instrument will be available for research activities at both Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a></div>Mon, 03 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 nano researchers at successful networking event<p><b>​150 participants, 65 research posters and a wide range of reputable speakers. It was a successful community building event for the excellence initiative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Marstrand on 20-22 August. &quot;This has evolved into the annual meeting place for the area&#39;s researchers, and with 150 participants it feels like we have established something really good,&quot; says director Bo Albinsson.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_balbinsson_IMG_4530_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Chalmers former Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance has since been reorganized into an excellence initiative. It was the first time the researchers met in the new form for three days at Marstrands Havshotell, and overall the ninth networking meeting.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It is an opportunity to talk about both current and future issues. Those who are interested and active come here and know that it's good to meet and greet. Several have been here since the beginning – and it must mean that some think it's worth coming here,&quot; says Bo Albinsson (to the left), who is a professor of physical chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</div> <div>He is the director of the excellence initiative together with co-director Göran Johansson, Professor of Applied Quantum Physics and Head of the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory at MC2.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_IMG_4657_robert_hadfield_bra_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The participants were invited to a packed program with speakers from Sweden and other countries. Chalmers was represented by, among others, Per Delsing, Julie Gold and Giulia Ferrini. Among the invited international speakers were Robert Hadfield (to the right), University of Glasgow, and Tuomas Knowles, University of Cambridge.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During the three days, 65 posters were exhibited and judged by a jury consisting of Professor Erwin Peterman, Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands, and Professor Tero Heikkilä, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The top three posters were rewarded with SEK 5,000 each, to be used for conference trips.</div> <div>On Wednesday morning, prizes for best posters were awarded to Maja Feierabend, Astrid Pihl and Ludvig de Knoop. Also, Arne Sjögren's award for best doctoral dissertation in the nano area 2017 was awarded to Martin Eriksson from the Department of Physics.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_IMG_5050_arrangorer_b_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">The community building event was arranged by Astrid Pihl, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Maja Feierabend and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Ingrid Strandberg (picture above), PhD students at the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Microtechnology and Nanoscience –</span><span style="background-color:initial"> MC2.</span></div> <div>&quot;Preparations have taken place since April. At the end, there were a lot of logistics before all pieces fell into place,&quot; says Ingrid Strandberg, adding that all three were very pleased with the event.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/research/strong/nano">Read more about the excellence initiative Nano</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 10:00:00 +0200 smart technology gadgets can avoid speed limits<p><b>Speed limits apply not only to traffic. There are limitations on the control of light as well, in optical switches for internet traffic, for example. Physicists at Chalmers University of Technology now understand why it is not possible to increase the speed beyond a certain limit – and know the circumstances in which it is best to opt for a different route.</b></p><div>Light and other electromagnetic waves play a crucial role in almost all modern electronics, for example in our mobile phones. In recent years researchers have developed artificial speciality materials – known as optomechanical metamaterials – which overcome the limitations inherent in natural materials in order to control the properties of light with a high degree of precision. For example, what are termed optical switches are used to change the colour or intensity of light. In internet traffic these switches can be switched on and off up to 100 billion times in a single second. But beyond that, the speed cannot be increased any further. These unique speciality materials are also subject to this limit.</div> <div> </div> <div><span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/340x296px/philippeandsophieapple340x295.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>“Researchers had high hopes of achieving higher and higher speeds in optical switches by further developing optomechanical metamaterials. We now know why these materials failed to outcompete existing technology in internet traffic and mobile communication networks,” says Sophie Viaene, a nanophotonics researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div>To find out why there are speed limits and what they mean, Viaene went outside the field of optics and analysed the phenomenon using what is termed non-linear dynamics in her doctoral thesis. The conclusion she reached is that it is necessary to choose a different route to circumvent the speed limits: instead of controlling an entire surface at once, the interaction with light can be controlled more efficiently by manipulating one particle at a time. Another way of solving the problem is to allow the speciality material to remain in constant motion at a constant speed and to measure the variations from this movement.</div> <div> </div> <div>But Viaene and her supervisor, Associate Professor Philippe Tassin, say that the speed limit does not pose a problem for all applications. It is not necessary to change the properties of light at such high speeds for screens and various types of displays. So there is great potential for the use of these speciality materials here since they are thin and can be flexible.</div> <div>Their results have determined the direction researchers should take in this area of research and their scientific article was recently published in the highly regarded journal Physical Review Letters. The pathway is now open for the ever smarter watches, screens and glasses of the future. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The switching speed limit is not a problem in applications where we see the light, because our eyes do not react all that rapidly. We see a great potential for optomechanical metamaterials in the development of thin, flexible gadgets for interactive visualisation technology,” says Philippe Tassin, an associate professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div>  <br /></div> <div>Text and image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div>Caption (the image in the text above):Chalmers researchers Sophie Viaene and Philippe Tassin recently published their research findings in nanophotonics in the well-respected journal Physical Review Letters. They have determined what direction to take in their area of research. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><a href=""><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></span>Read the scientific article <a href="">Do Optomechanical Metasurfaces Run Out of Time?</a> in Physical Review Letters. The article is written by Chalmers’ researchers Sophie Viaene and Philippe Tassin together with Vincent Ginis and Jan Danckaert from the Vrije Universitet Brussels and Harvard University.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">How nanophotonics and optomechanical metamaterials work:</h4> <div>Nanophotonics is a sub-field of physics which studies how to control and manipulate light by using structured electromagnetic materials.</div> <div>Light and electromagnetic waves are of crucial importance in our society, for the internet, smartphones, TV screens and so on. But in order to make further progress in developing optics technology, natural materials are no longer adequate. Artificial speciality materials, known as optomechanical metamaterials, are needed to circumvent the limitations inherent in natural materials. The research involves studying and designing artificial materials in order to develop properties which enable these materials to manipulate electromagnetic waves – ranging from microwaves through terahertz waves to visible light. The researchers design the materials by allowing small electric circuits to replace atoms as the underlying building blocks for the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter. These structured electromagnetic materials allow components to be designed that can exert high-level control over light with a high degree of precision. <br /></div></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information:</h4> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Philippe-Tassin.aspx">Philippe Tassin</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers</div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/viaene.aspx">Sophie Viaene</a>, Researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers<br /></div>Thu, 28 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0200 summer course with a focus on nuclear safety<p><b></b></p><div>Since last year, Chalmers University of Technology is coordinating the research and innovation project Cortex to improve nuclear power safety. On 18-21 June 2018, about 30 young researchers from Europe, the US and Asia took part in a summer course at Chalmers, organised by <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christophe-Demazière.aspx">Professor Christophe Demazière </a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The topic was reactor dynamics with a focus on nuclear safety. About half of the participants were on-site, at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. The other participants took part in the activities via distance education, thanks to a multimedia room at the department. In addition, an innovative pedagogical format relying on flipped classrooms and adapted to both the on-site and off-site audiences was used throughout the course.</div> <br /><div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Chalmers-gets-5,1-M€-to-improve-nuclear-safety.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the news article &quot;Chalmers gets 5,1 MSEK to improve nuclear safety&quot;.</a>  <br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the project at Cortex webpage. <br /></a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Follow Cortex on LinkedIn.</a><br /><a href=""></a></div>Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200 alloys could be possible, thanks to ground-breaking research<p><b>Many current and future technologies require alloys that can withstand high temperatures​ without corroding. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have hailed a major breakthrough in understanding how alloys behave at high temperatures, pointing the way to significant improvements in many technologies. The results are published in the highly ranked journal Nature Materials.​</b></p><div style="font-size:14px"><div><span>Developing alloys that can withst​and high temperatures without corroding is a key challenge for many fields, such as renewable and sustainable energy technologies like concentrated solar power and solid oxide fuel cells, as well as aviation, materials processing and petrochemistry. </span></div> <span> </span><div><span><br /></span> </div> <span> </span><div><span>At high temperatures, alloys can react violently with their environment, quickly causing the materials to fail by corrosion. To protect against this, all high temperature alloys are designed to form a protective oxide scale, usually consisting of aluminium oxide or chromium oxide. This oxide scale plays a decisive role in preventing the metals from corroding. Therefore, research on high temperature corrosion is very focused on these oxide scales – how they are formed, how they perform at high heat, and how they sometimes fail.</span></div> <span> </span><div><span>The article in Nature Materials answers two classical issues in the area. One applies to the very small additives of so-called ‘reactive elements’ – often yttrium and zirconium – found in all high-temperature alloys. The second issue is about the role of water vapour.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.66px"> </span></div></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/TItan%20Microscope.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="font-size:10.66px"><span style="background-color:window"> <span style="font-size:14px">“Adding reactive elements to alloys results in a huge improvement in performance – but no one has been able to provide robust experimental proof why,” says Nooshin Mortazavi, materials researcher at Chalmers’ Department of Physics, and first author of the study. “Likewise, the role of water, which is always present in high-temperature environments, in the form of steam, has been little understood. Our paper will help solve these enigmas”. </span></span></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.66px"><span style="background-color:window"><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></span></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><span style="font-size:14px"></span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>In this paper, the Chalmers researchers show how these two elements are linked. They demonstrate how the reactive elements in the alloy promote the growth of an aluminium oxide scale. The presence of these reactive element particles causes the oxide scale to grow inward, rather than outward, thereby facilitating the transport of water from the environment, towards the alloy substrate. Reactive elements and water combine to create a fast-growing, nanocrystalline, oxide scale. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“This paper challenges several accepted ‘truths’ in the science of high temperature corrosion and opens up exciting new avenues of research and alloy development,” says Lars Gunnar Johansson, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Chalmers, Director of the Competence Centre for High Temperature Corrosion (HTC) and co-author of the paper. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“Everyone in the industry has been waiting for this discovery. This is a paradigm shift in the field of high-temperature oxidation,” says Nooshin Mortazavi. “We are now establishing new principles for understanding the degradation mechanisms in this class of materials at very high temperatures.” </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>Further to their discoveries, the Chalmers researchers suggest a practical method for creating more resistant alloys. They demonstrate that there exists a critical size for the reactive element particles. Above a certain size, reactive element particles cause cracks in the oxide scale, that provide an easy route for corrosive gases to react with the alloy substrate, causing rapid corrosion. This means that a better, more protective oxide scale can be achieved by controlling the size distribution of the reactive element particles in the alloy.</span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>This ground-breaking research from Chalmers University of Technology points the way to stronger, safer, more resistant alloys in the future. </span></div> <div><br /> </div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth and Johanna Wilde</div> <div>Image: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Caption (the image in the text above): Nooshin Mortazavi and the Titan TEM microscope, which was used to investigate the nanocrystalline oxide forming on high-temperature alloys.  ​​<br /></div> <div><br /> </div> <a href=""></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><div style="display:inline !important"><a href="">Read the scientific paper <span style="background-color:initial"><em>Interplay of water and reactive eleme</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>nts in oxidation of alumina-forming alloys</em> </span></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">in Nature Materials.</a></span></div> <div><div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release from Chalmers University of Technology and download high-resolution images. ​</a></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about: Potential consequences of the research breakthrough</h4> <div>High temperature alloys are used in a variety of areas, and are essential to many technologies which underpin our civilisation. They are crucial for both new and traditional renewable energy technologies, such as &quot;green&quot; electricity from biomass, biomass gasification, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), concentrated solar energy, and solid oxide fuel cells. They are also crucial in many other important technology areas such as jet engines, petrochemistry and materials processing.</div> <div>All these industries and technologies are entirely dependent on materials that can withstand high temperatures – 600 ° C and beyond – without failing due to corrosion. There is a constant demand for materials with improved heat resistance, both for developing new high temperature technologies, and for enhancing the process efficiency of existing ones. </div> <div>For example, if the turbine blades in an aircraft's jet engines could withstand higher temperatures, the engine could operate more efficiently, resulting in fuel-savings for the aviation industry. Or, if you can produce steam pipes with better high-temperature capability, biomass-fired power plants could generate more power per kilogram of fuel. </div> <div>Corrosion is one of the key obstacles to material development within these areas. The Chalmers researchers' article provides new tools for researchers and industry to develop alloys that withstand higher temperatures without quickly corroding. </div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More About: The Research</h4> <div>The Chalmers researchers’ explanation of how oxide scale growth occurs – which has been developed using several complementary methods for experimentation and quantum chemistry modelling – is completely new to both the research community, and the industry in the field of high-temperature materials.</div> <div>The research was carried out by the High Temperature Corrosion Center (HTC) ( in a collaboration between the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Chalmers, together with the world leading materials manufacturer Kanthal, part of the Sandvik group. HTC is jointly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, 21 member-companies and Chalmers. </div> <div>The paper was published in the highly prestigious journal <a href="">Nature Materials​</a>. </div> <div><br /><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Related news: ​</h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/on-the-quest-for-high-entropy-alloys.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />On the quest for high-entropy alloys that survive 1500 °C ​​</a><br /></div> <div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/Nooshin%20WEB.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Nooshin Mortazavi is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. <a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Materials-scientists-wins-two-prestigious-fellowships-------.aspx">She was recently awarded prestigious fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Wallenberg Foundation. ​</a><span style="background-color:initial">She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at either Harvard University or at Stanford University in the US – followed by two years at Chalmers Univ</span><span style="background-color:initial">​ersity. </span></div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information: </h4> <div><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx">Nooshin Mortazavi​</a>, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, , +46 73 387 32 26, +46 31 772 67 83, <span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/lg.aspx">Lars-Gunnar Johansson</a>, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 28 72, <span style="background-color:initial">,​</span></div> </div></div>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0200!.aspx!.aspxClean water for the win!<p><b></b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/atiumresidenset270x170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />A patented innovation to detect and selectively remove heavy metals, such as mercury, from water has attracted a great deal of attention lately. Now, Chalmers Assistant Professor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Björn-Wickman.aspx">Björn Wickman</a> and his colleagues at the startup<a href=""> Atium</a> have won another prestigious award. On Friday 15 June 2018 they received the SKAPA award at the residency of the County Governor of Västra Götaland. The prize was distributed by the County Governor Anders Danielsson and the County Jury Chairman Andreas Albertsson, who also works as a business developer at GU Ventures.</div> <div><br /></div> The award is one of the country's finest innovation prizes, awarded every year since 1986. The regional winners also qualify for the national finals in Stockholm on 8 November. <br /><br /><div><a href="">Atium will also represent western Sweden in the National finals of Venture Cup​</a> in September. Last year Björn Wickman and the team - Emma Ericson, Johan Björkquist and Cristian Tunsu - also made it to the idea competition Swedish Venture Cup Top 20. The innovation has also been awarded by Almi företagspartner Väst and WaterCampus Business Challenge.</div> <br />Atium’s concept is based on Björn Wickman's research at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.<br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release about the SKAPA award (in Swedish).</a><br />​Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200 for international workshop on detection of dark matter<p><b></b></p><div>Dark matter is one of the great mysteries of the universe. For every star, galaxy and dust cloud we can see in space, there are five times more invisible, so-called dark matter. On 11-15 June 2018, there was a workshop on dark matter at Chalmers University of Technology. The conference was the first of its kind in Gothenburg and the event attracted about 50 international experts in the field – both experimentalists and theorists.</div> <div><br />&quot;The detection of dark matter may come at any moment in the coming years. We must be prepared to interpret a discovery with optimal strategies, in order to learn as much as possible about dark matter,” says Riccardo Catena, assistant professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the organiser of the event.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Unveiling-the-nature-of-dark-matter.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about dark matter. </a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/calendar/Pages/Workshop-on-dark-matter.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the workshop at Chalmers 11-15 June 2018. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Unveiling-the-nature-of-dark-matter.aspx"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/darkmatterute750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></a>The workshop attracted <span style="background-color:initial">about 50 international experts in the field – both experimentalists and theorists.</span></div> <div>Image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</div>Sun, 17 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200 master of light elected to the Young Academy of Sweden<p><b>​Chalmers physicist Philippe Tassin is elected member of the Young Academy of Sweden. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and one of eight prominent researchers who will join the academy for five years.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">In the Young Academy of Sweden, just over thirty selected young researchers collaborate on issues related to research policy and outreach. The Academy is an independent platform providing young researchers with a strong voice in the science policy debate and promoting science and research to young adults and children.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;I'm really looking forward to working with researchers from across the country and collaborating with researchers from a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. As a member of the Young Academy of Sweden, I want to further my commitment to a number of research policy issues and popular science activities,&quot; said Philippe Tassin, the only physicist to be elected.</span><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>Studying how light can be controlled</span></h5></div> <div>Philippe Tassin’s research group is active in nanophotonics, a subfield of physics studying how light can be controlled and manipulated with electromagnetic structured materials. Light and electromagnetic waves are of paramount importance to our modern society, for the internet, smartphones, TV screens, etc. But further progress of optics technology is limited by the availability of natural optical materials.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">To circumvent the limitations of natural materials, Tassin and his co-workers study and design man-made structured materials that can manipulate electromagnetic waves—from microwaves, over terahertz waves, to visible light—in ways that are impossible with natural materials. This is achieved by using small electric circuits instead of atoms as the basic constituents for the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter. Electromagnetic structured materials have the potential to create devices that can exert precise and advanced control over light.</span><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Researcher, teacher and clarinettist</h5> <div>Philippe Tassin’s research has attracted attention around the world and he himself has worked in Belgium, Greece, and the USA before joining Chalmers in 2013. Along with his research, he teaches electromagnetism, optics, quantum mechanics, and computer science at Chalmers. Music being a great interest to him, he also likes to play the clarinet whenever he has the time.</div> <div>As a member of the Young Academy of Sweden, he can take his interest in science and education policy and in science popularization to a new level.  <br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;I would like to work with questions regarding the internationalization of Swedish universities, the public's awareness of science, and academic careers. There are no simple solutions to these challenges, but I think it is important that young academics have a voice in the debate and take their responsibility.” </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More Chalmers Professors in the academy</h5> <div>In addition to <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Philippe-Tassin.aspx">Philippe Tassin​</a>, Chalmers Professor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/rikard-landberg.aspx">Rikard Landberg </a>from the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is also elected  to the Young Academy of Sweden. Read more about him in the article <a href="">Food and nutrition makes an entry in Young Academy of Sweden​</a>. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers Professor </span><a href="/en/staff/Pages/kraiberg.aspx">Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen</a><span style="background-color:initial"> at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment is already a member of the academy. </span><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​​</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about Philippe Tassin </h4> <div><strong>Born</strong>: 1982 in Belgium, he moved to Gothenburg in 2013 when he started working at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Interests: </strong>When he does not teach or research, he can be found playing clarinet in a symphony orchestra, on the ski slopes, discovering countries all over the world, or simply reading a good book.</div> <div><strong>About his passion for physics:</strong> “You face a problem that no one has ever solved before. After having tried and failed many times, you find the solution and then you realize you’re the only person in the world to know the solution. This is one thing that inspires me”.</div> <div><strong>Read more about Philippe Tassin and his research</strong>:</div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />How to trick light into flexing its muscles</a></div> <div><div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Worldwide-attention-for-optic-invention-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Worldwide attention for optic invention from Chalmers </a></div></div> <div>​<a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles​</a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />With a Love for Music and Mathematics​​</a><br /></div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about the Young Academy of Sweden </h4> <div>The Young Academy of Sweden is a transdisciplinary academy for a selection of the most prominent, younger researchers in Sweden. Its operations rest firmly on three pillars: transdisciplinarity, science policy and outreach. The Academy is an independent platform that provides younger researchers with a strong voice in the science policy debate and that promotes science and research to young adults and children. In the Academy young researchers meet across institutional and disciplinary borders to discuss research and research related topics. The Young Academy of Sweden was formed at the initiative of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and currently has 33 members.</div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more on the webpage of the Young Academy of Sweden. </a></div> <a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Find all Chalmers researchers who are or have been members of the Young Academy of Sweden.</a>Mon, 28 May 2018 14:00:00 +0200 scientist awarded two prestigious fellowships<p><b>​Postdoctoral researcher Nooshin Mortazavi has recently been awarded two prestigious fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundations and Wallenberg Foundations. She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at either Harvard University or at Stanford University in the US – followed by two years at Chalmers University of Technology after her return.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">I am now trying to understand which position is a good fit for me and my career goals and is located in a place where I enjoy spending time. This is indeed a very tough decision to make,&quot; says Nooshin Mortazavi who currently works at the Division of Materials Microstructure at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>One choice is a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to carry out research on &quot;High Temperature Thermoelectrics Based on Natural Superlattice Oxides&quot; in John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University, Boston, USA. The project that Nooshin Mortazavi has proposed to carry out at Harvard comes with an ambitious goal: conversion of large amounts of waste heat to electricity using an intriguing but poorly characterized class of still-developing high-temperature ceramics, known as natural superlattices (NSLs).</div> <div>In this program, she will spend up to three years abroad, followed by two years of research at Chalmers. This fellowship is the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s most exclusive program where only five candidates are chosen in Sweden from different fields of research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Nooshin Mortazavi has also been selected as one of the Wallenberg’s fellows of a postdoctoral scholarship program at Stanford University, California, USA. This grant supports her to make an impact on the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. In this program she will spend two years at Stanford, followed by two years of research at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I plan to expand my research horizon from metallic materials to ceramics with various applications in emerging renewable energy technologies such as thermoelectric materials and SOFCs. It is a privilege to be in a situation where I can choose, even though it is hard to decide. Apparently, it is not possible to perform two projects in the east and west coast of the US simultaneously…&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In August 2018 Nooshin Mortazavi was also granted a scholarship of 135 000 SEK from the Barbro Osher Foundation. The grant will help cover research costs.<br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information: <br /></h4> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx">Nooshin Mortazavi</a>, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""> </a>, +46 73 387 32 26, +46 31 772 67 83 </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Nooshin Mortazavi defended her doctoral thesis at the Department of Physics at Chalmers on 21 December 2017. <a href="/en/departments/physics/calendar/Pages/Thesis-defence-Nooshin-Mortazavi-171221.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the abstract here.   </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more about the foundations and the fellowships:</h5> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Wenner-Gren Foundations.</a><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Stanford-Wallenberg Fellowship. </a><br /></div></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 23 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 of physics awarded by the City of Gothenburg<p><b>​Professor Per-Olof Nilsson at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology is well-known for his skills in communicating science to the public in an accessible, creative and passionate way.</b></p>Through the years, he has inspired thousands and thousands of students of all ages. With his popular Physics toys, crowded science cafés and many other activities he has spread his enthusiasm for physics and natural sciences to the public. Now, he has been awarded a badge of merit by the City of Gothenburg. (Göteborgs stads förtjänsttecken).<p></p> <p></p> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/po-nilssonflytandekvave350x305.jpg" width="208" height="180" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block">&quot;</span>This really shows how important it is to communicate science to the public. Most of all I’m happy on behalf of Chalmers because public understanding of science is crucial in our society,” says Per-Olof “P-O” Nilsson.<p></p> <p></p> The motivation for the award from the City of Gothenburg will be announced in connection with the award ceremony on 4 June.<p></p> <p></p> The reconstruction work of the new locations for Per-Olof Nilsson’s Physics toys at the Gothenburg Physics Centre has recently begun.<p></p> <p></p> “I’m really looking forward to a new start and I hope that we can soon invite lots of young people to explore physics with us again”, says P-O Nilsson.<p></p> <p></p> Besides <a href="">Per-Olof Nilsson</a>, Chalmers Professor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Ann-Sofie-Sandberg.aspx">Ann-Sofie Sandberg </a>has also been awarded the badge of merit by the City of Gothenburg. <a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Gothenburg-award-to-Ann-Sofie-Sandberg.aspx">Read an article about her.   </a><span><span><span style="display:inline-block"><span style="display:inline-block"><br /></span></span></span></span><p></p> <p><strong>Text</strong>: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></p> <p><br /></p> <p></p> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about Professor Per-Olof &quot;P-O&quot; Nilsson</h5> <div><span><span></span></span></div> <p></p> <p><span><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Watch</a><span> a short video clip when he demonstrates the “Finnish rocket.”</span><br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Watch a news feature about P-O Nilsson when he was awarded the prize from “Längmanska Kulturfonden” in 2015. The film was recorded at the old location for the Physics toys. </a><br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the plans for ”Fysiklek” at Gothenburg Physics centre.</a><br /></p>Mon, 14 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 the nature of dark matter<p><b>​Dark matter is one of the great mysteries of the universe. It is highly abundant, yet nobody knows what it is. But now, scientific instruments have become sensitive enough that soon, researchers will be able to detect the leading dark matter candidate – that is, if it exists.</b></p><div><span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Riccardo_Catena_IMG_0222270x170.jpg" width="256" height="162" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span>For every star, galaxy and dust cloud we can see in space, there are five times more invisible, so-called dark matter.</div> <p></p> <div><div>&quot;We do not know what dark matter is, but without it we cannot explain how the universe evolved into what we see today. Dark matter is one of the pillars of modern cosmology”, says Riccardo Catena, researcher at the Division of Subatomic and Plasma Physics at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Hints of invisible matter</h2></div> <p></p> <div>As early as the 1930s, the Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky noted that galaxies in nearby galaxy clusters moved faster than could be explained by the gravity of just visible matter. He therefore suggested the existence of invisible matter. But the idea did not get much attention.</div> <p></p> <div>However, when the American astronomer Vera Rubin studied the rotation of galaxies in the 1970s, she discovered the same thing – the velocities of the stars were too great to be explained by visible matter alone. Now, the science community began to take the idea of dark matter seriously.</div> <p></p> <div>Dark matter has also been shown to be indispensable to the formation of the structure of the universe.</div> <p></p> <div>“In the early universe, the gravitational force, which pulls matter together, and radiation, which draws matter apart, struggled against each other. In order for galaxies and galaxy clusters to form as quickly as they did, a dark component that is not affected by radiation is needed”, explains Catena.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">An unknown particle</h2> <p></p> <div>Most of the evidence indicates that dark matter consists of some type of particles – particles that neither absorb nor emit light, or other radiation, are stable for billions of years and move at a significantly lower speed than light.</div> <p></p> <div>No known particle matches these criteria. Therefore, scientists are looking for a new particle. The most popular hypothesis is that it is a particle about as heavy as an atomic nucleus and which interacts weakly with common matter, a so-called weakly-interacting massive particle, or WIMP.</div> <p></p> <div><div>If the hypothesis is correct, the earth passes through clouds of WIMPs all the time. Most of them pass unaffected right through the earth, but in theory, some of them should happen to hit the nucleus of an atom in a detector. If so, there is a chance to detect it.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Weak signals to interpret</h2></div> <p></p> <div>But the signals are extremely weak. One of the leading experiments, Xenon1T, is located in Italy under a mountain to shield its huge detector from disturbances such as cosmic rays.</div> <p></p> <div>&quot;The experiments are becoming increasingly sensitive. If WIMPs exist, we should find them within ten years”, says Catena.</div> <p></p> <div>He himself is a theorist and calculates what the signature signals from WIMPs would look like, in order for those running the experiments to know what to search for.</div> <p></p> <div>“I also design strategies for how to interpret the measurements, so that we can learn as much as possible about the WIMPs once they are found.”</div> <p></p> <div>In June he will arrange a conference for both experimentalists and theorists in dark matter research. Several prestigious speakers have already accepted invitations.</div> <p></p> <div>“The detection of WIMPs may come at any moment in the coming years. We must be prepared to interpret a discovery with optimal strategies, in order to learn as much about them as possible”, says Riccardo Catena.</div> <p></p> <div>Text: Ingela Roos, <a href=""></a></div> <p></p> <div> <a href="/en/departments/physics/calendar/Pages/Workshop-on-dark-matter.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The workshop &quot;Preparing for dark matter particle discovery&quot; will be held at Chalmers from the 11th to the 15th June 2018.</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Joint-efforts-to-reveal-the-darkest-secret.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an earlier article: Joint efforts to reveal the darkest secret in the Universe </a><br /></div>Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200