About the centre
The Oskar Klein Centre (OKC) brings together scientists from the departments of physics and astronomy at Stockholm University and the department of physics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). It was created thanks to a 10-year Linnaeus grant from the Swedish Research Council in 2008.
Today, the OKC is a rich scientific environment that comprises more than one hundred particle physicists, astronomers, astrophysicists, and cosmologists.
All researchers at the Oskar Klein Centre are appointed in one of the participating departments. The OKC itself breaks down those departmental boundaries, and instead fosters collaborations between different areas of research. The Centre has a bottom up organization: OKC-researchers conceive of and organize activities that contribute to the overall research questions driving the OKC.
The daily running of OKC is overseen by the OKC director, in close collaboration with the Steering Group. The directors and steering group are appointed for 3-year terms. The steering group is composed of:
- The OKC Director
- 3 representatives from Cosmology, Particle Astrophysics, and Strings (CoPS) at SU Fysikum
- 3 representatives from Elementary Particle Physics (ELPA) at SU Fysikum
- 3 representatives from SU Astronomy
- 1 representative from Particle and Astroparticle Physics at KTH Physics
The long-term strategy for the Oskar Klein Centre is overseen by the Scientific Advisory Board.
Steering Group Minutes (authorized access only)
Some of the regular activities are listed here—our full calendar is available on our Indico page.
- Working Group meetings: The OKC has five Working Groups, centered around a particular research topic. They are: Beyond the Standard Model, Cosmology and Gravity, Extreme Objects, Machine Learning, and Theory.
- Journal Club meetings: Aside from the official Working Groups, OKC researchers organize a number of journal clubs on topics of common interest. These include galaxy formation and evolution, machine learning, axions, or kilonovae. Any OKC-researcher is free to start their own journal club.
- OKC Colloquia and fika: Every tuesday afternoon, everyone at the OKC is invited to the OKC Colloquium. The colloquia cover topics that are of broad interest to all researchers at OKC. They are followed by a fika.
- Scientific fikas: On friday afternoon, students, PhD students and Postdocs get together for informal “scientific fikas”. These are informal talks on a topic of the speaker’s choice. The fikas provide an opportunity for early-career researchers to practice public speaking in a low-stakes environment and to network with their peers.
- OKC day: The OKC day is a regular, once-per-year day-long workshop for all researchers at OKC. The day is filled with scientific discussions and professional development workshops. It’s a unique chance for everyone at OKC to get together and delve deeper into where the OKC should go next.
Outreach and press
The Oskar Klein Centre organizes and participates in many events open to the general public. At the OKC, we love to talk to people about what we are interested in, the problems we are trying to solve, and the sciencific questions we search to understand.
Research at the Oskar Klein Centre
Research at the Oskar Klein Centre is broadly centered around questions in cosmology, astrophysics, and cosmoparticle physics. These include:
- What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy?
- What is the structure and fate of our Universe?
- How do galaxies form and evolve?
- How do extreme objects like supernovae, neutron stars and black holes behave?
- What is the correct theory of gravity?
- ... and more.
OKC researchers publish their work in leading research journals.
Research at the OKC is primarily organized in Working Groups. The Working Groups are defined by common research topic—not by disciplinary boundaries. Scientists can decide independently to contribute to one or more working groups according to their field of research or simply because they want to learn more about a specific subject. Each Working Group receives its own research budget. Members of the Working Groups decide how to organize the meetings and what projects to pursue. There are regular joint meetings between different working groups, to foster further collaboration.
All Working Group meetings are listed on the Oskar Klein Centre's Indico Server.
About Oskar Klein
Oskar Klein (1894-1977) was 23 years old when he traveled to Copenhagen to work with Niels Bohr. After various temporary positions, he became professor in theoretical physics at Stockholm University (then "Stockholm Högskola") in 1931. He stayed there until his retirement in 1962. Klein had a broad interest in various fields of physics. He is perhaps best known for the Klein-Gordon equation and the Klein-Nishina equation. His attempts to unify general relativity and electromagnetism by introducing a five-dimensional spacetime date back to 1926. They are today known as Kaluza-Klein theory.
Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture
This year's lecture
The 2023 Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture will be given by Alessandra Buonanno with the title Gravitational-Wave Astronomy: Theoretical Advances and Challenges
The lecture will take place on Thursday 23 November at 15.15 in the Oskar Klein Auditorium, AlbaNova.
Abstract: Since the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary black-hole merger in 2015, the LIGO and Virgo detectors have observed nearly 100 gravitational-wave signals from mergers of black holes, neutron stars and their mixture. These observations rely on precise theoretical predictions of the relativistic two-body dynamics and gravitational radiation. After reviewing the synergistic approach that successfully combines analytical and numerical relativity to produce accurate waveform models, I will discuss the astrophysical and fundamental physics properties that those models have allowed us to extract from gravitational-wave observations, and highlight the theoretical challenges that lie ahead to fully exploit the discovery potential of increasingly sensitive detectors on the ground, such as Cosmic Explorer and Einstein Telescope, and in space, such as LISA.
The lecture is sponsored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences through its Nobel Institute for Physics, and by Stockholm University.
Cosmology and Astroparticle Student and Postdoc Exchange Network (CASPEN)
The CASPEN Program aims to foster scientific advances on topics of mutual interest by enhancing the exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration.
The following institutions participate:
The Oskar Klein Centre (Stockholm University & KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)
Cosmoparticle Initiative (University College London, United Kingdom)
Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute (New York City, New York, USA)
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (Stanford, California, USA)
Institute for Computational Cosmology (Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom)
The primary aim of this scheme is to promote collaboration and to provide scientific and professional development opportunities for students and postdocs. Scientific themes of CASPEN include precision cosmology from large scale structure and the cosmic microwave background, the particle physics and astrophysics of dark matter and neutrinos, high energy cosmic ray and gamma ray physics, and theoretical and observational studies of galaxy formation.
All students and postdocs working in a relevant field are encouraged to apply.
How to apply to CASPEN
There are no set deadlines as this is a rolling program. You can apply as soon as you know your travel dates. Allocation of funds will be made by the relevant budget holder at the host institution, and is expected to be straight-forward and rapid in well-justified cases. The work can be based on an existing program or a new idea.
To apply, first identify a potential collaborator from a host institution and agree on a work plan and dates for the visit. Applicants are expected to identify a concrete proposal for a period between 3 days and approximately 2 weeks.
Job opportunities at the OKC
Are you interested in working at the OKC? PhD and postdoc positions are part of the university educational jurisdiction and are hence granted and administrated by the university institutions. Positions are usually affiliated with a particular project and supervisor. They are listed on the respective university job pages:
If you are interested in applying for research funding, the following web pages can be helpful to find opportunities and guidance:
Alumni of the Oskar Klein Centre tend to be very successful at securing research grants or other prestigious postdoc positions. Many of our alumni also pursue non-academic careers, with great success.
Last updated: November 6, 2023
Source: Oskar Klein Centre