Riccardo Catena

Associate Professor, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics, Department of Physics

My name is Riccardo Catena, Associate Professor and leader of a research group consisting of 1 postdoc, 2 PhD students and 2 master students at the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers), Sweden. I received the habilitation (venia legendi) at the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 2014 and was promoted to oavlönad docent at Chalmers in 2016. Habilitation and "docentur" represent the highest levels of pedagogical qualification in Germany and Sweden, respectively. Since 2017, I am an elected member of the board of the Section for Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics of the Swedish Physical Society. My research is funded by an individual research project grant of the Swedish Research Council and I am co-PI in a research project financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.​

My field of research is astroparticle physics – the area of basic science lying at the interface of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. My contributions to this field range from the theoretical modelling of physical systems or phenomena which cannot be described by the Standard Model of particle physics, to the interpretation of cosmological and astrophysical data on the origin, composition and evolution of our Universe and of its constituents. Currently, my research focuses on one of the major unsolved mysteries in modern physics: dark matter. There is incontrovertible evidence for the presence of invisible mass, or dark matter, in our Universe. Evidence is based on the observation of unexpected gravitational effects in extremely different physical systems, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, the Cosmic Microwave Background and the large scale structure of the Universe. While the European space satellite Planck has conclusively shown that dark matter constitutes about 85% of all matter in the Universe, its nature remains a mystery. What is dark matter made of? Addressing this question, I am especially interested in modelling the microscopic properties of dark matter, in computing their observable consequences, and in designing strategies to experimentally test them. 

My complete list of publications can be found​ here​​​



Below, I list the courses that I designed and taught. WT denotes Winter Term, ST Summer Term. For some bachelor courses, I have been responsible for the coordination of the many associated exercise classes, or "tutorials" (up to 20 in the case of Electrodynamics).​​

Courses for Master and PhD students

ST 2018. Astroparticle Physics, Chalmers University of Technology.

​ST 2017. Astroparticle Physics, Chalmers University of Technology.

15-19/08/2016. Invited lecturer at the Jyväskylä summer school of a series of lectures on dark matter.

ST 2016. Astroparticle Physics, Chalmers University of Technology.

ST 2014. Dark Energy Lab, University of Göttingen.

7-11/10/2013. Invited lecturer at the CP3-Origins/DESY/Göttingen school of a series of lectures on dark matter. 

ST 2011. Lecturer of a series of lectures on dark matter as a part of the course "Advanced Cosmology" taught by Prof. Luca Amendola at the University of Heidelberg.


Courses for Bachelor students

4-8/09/2017. Invited lecturer at the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes summer school of a series of lectures on Cosmology and Particle Physics.

WT 2014/2015. General Relativity, University of Göttingen.

WT 2013/2014. Introduction to Supersymmetry, University of Göttingen.

WT 2012/2013. Astroparticle Physics, University of Göttingen.


Exercise classes for Master students

ST 2011. Lecturer for the tutorials in Advanced Quantum Field Theory at the University of Heidelberg.

WT 2010/2011. Lecturer for the tutorials in Advanced Cosmology at the University of Heidelberg.

ST 2010. Lecturer for the tutorials in General Relativity at the University of Heidelberg.


Exercise classes for Bachelor students

ST 2015. Responsible for the coordination and lecturer for the tutorials in Quantym Field Theory at the University of Göttingen.

ST 2013. Responsible for the coordination and lecturer for the tutorials in Electrodynamics at the University of Göttingen.

ST 2012. Responsible for the coordination and lecturer for the tutorials in Quantum Field Theory at the University of Göttingen.

WT 2011/2012. Responsible for the coordination and lecturer for the tutorials in Quantum Mechanics at the University of Göttingen.

WT 2009/2010. Lecturer for the tutorials in Quantum Mechanics at the University of Heidelberg.​

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Publication list

C​​urrent me​​mbers

Martin Krauss (Postdoc)

Vanessa Zema (PhD student)

Anastasia Danopoulou (Master student) 

Erik Johansson (Master student)

Julia Ravanis (Master student) 


Former members

Anton Bäckström (Master student)  

Kåre Fridell (Master student, now PhD student at the Technical University of Munich, TUM) 

Fredrik Hellström (Master student, now PhD student at Chalmers)

Axel Widmark (Master student, now PhD student at Stockholm University)

Christian Döring (Master student, now PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg)

Olmo Piana (Master student, now PhD student at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen)

Tobias Binder (Master student, now postdoc at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (KIPMU), University of Tokyo)

Bodo Schwabe (Master student, now postdoc at the University of Göttingen)

Oskar Stangenberg (Master student)

Timon Emken (Master student, now PhD student at the Centre for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology, CP3-Origins, University of Southern Denmark, Odense

Jan Möller (Master student)​



Published: Tue 28 Apr 2020.