Welcome everybody! The Particles and Cosmology group, led by Prof. Stefan Antusch, is working on the development of a more fundamental elementary particle theory which resolves the challenges of the present "Standard Model", gives rise to a consistent evolution of the universe and which can be tested by ongoing and future experiments. Towards this goal, we are currently focusing on particle theories of the early universe, unified theories of forces and the origin of particle masses and mixings, as well as on ways to probe new physics with neutrinos.
Researchers from the Particles & Cosmology group at the Department of Physics have found that in the early universe after inflation, so-called oscillons can act as "gravitational wave factories" and produce much more gravitational waves than previously thought. Oscillons are localized and strong scalar field fluctuations that are comparatively long-lived. Numerical simulations showed that the produced gravitational waves have a specific frequency, related to the underlying theory of the early universe, and manifest themselves as a pronounced peak in the otherwise rather broad spectrum of gravitational waves from early universe dynamics. If this peak is in the right frequency range, the effects from the oscillons can be observed by the running or planned gravitational wave detectors, e.g. by the aLIGO-AdVirgo detector network. The detection of such a gravitational wave signal would provide a fascinating window into the physics of the early universe. The results are published in Physical Review Letters.
On February the 6th and 7th, the "Swiss Cosmology Days 2017" will take place at our Department. The Swiss Cosmology Days are yearly meetings aimed at promoting communication and exchanges amongst Cosmologists working in Switzerland. They offer a platform for scientists to present their research, lead exciting discussions and enable closer collaborations and networking. Young scientists are particularly encouraged to participate.
The Higgs boson was discovered in the particle accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN in 2012 – and scientists are expecting to gain more groundbreaking insights from this large research facility in Geneva during the next twenty years of its operation. Nevertheless physicists are already working meticulously on a new and even bigger accelerator with the name FFC that shall make particle collisions of even higher energy possible. Stefan Antusch, Professor for Theoretical Physics at the University of Basel, explains the state and the aim of this new project.