Nav: Home

Frank Wilczek hosts first workshop on axions as professor at Stockholm University

December 05, 2016

Stockholm University and NORDITA host this week an international workshop on axions and dark matter. Axions are hypothetical particles proposed by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek who this year started his appointment as professor at Stockholm University.

Dr. Frank Wilczek shared the Nobel Prize in 2004 with David J. Gross and H. David Politzer for discovering the equations that describe the strong force that is responsible for holding atomic nuclei together. With a generous grant from the Swedish Research Council Frank Wilczek has started a joint appointment at Stockholm University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Throughout his career Frank Wilczek has worked on a number of different problems in condensed matter physics, astrophysics, and particle physics, including proposing new particles.

Axions are hypothetical particles invented in the late 1970s to solve a major blemish of the standard model of particle physics, namely its failure to explain why the fundamental laws of physics look almost the same if you run time backwards. To address this issue Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn postulated a new kind of symmetry, now called Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry. Frank Wilczek and Steven Weinberg independently realized a key consequence of PQ symmetry, which its authors had overlooked: it implies the existence of a new particle that Wilczek named the axion, after a laundry detergent (since it removes a stain). If axions exist, they will not only solve a big problem in fundamental physics - they are also likely to supply the mysterious 'dark matter' observed by astronomers.

In recent years axions have inspired many new theoretical investigations, recorded in thousands of papers. Importantly, now the stage seems set for breakthroughs on the experimental front. Stockholm University and NORDITA (The Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics) are hosting an international axion dark matter workshop in Stockholm, December 5-9, bringing together leading researchers in the field. Frank Wilczek is among the organizers of the workshop.

Frank Wilczek comments: "It's been a joy to see the ideas around axions grow in many directions, from their roots in fundamental physics to cosmology and even, recently, the description of interesting materials. But I'd love to see axions themselves move from virtual reality to augmented reality. I'm optimistic that we'll make that big step soon. The physics world is hungry for it, and we're mobilizing.''

More information on Axion Dark Matter workshop in Stockholm, December 5-9
Contact information

Frank Wilczek, phone ++468164997, email

Film from Frank Wilczek's Installation colloquium, November 24

Colloquium with Frank Wilczek November 24 2016 at Fysikum, Albanova, to celebrate his installation as professor at Stockholm University. "Augmenting Reality: Axions, Anyons, and Entangled Histories". See film

Stockholm University

Related Dark Matter Articles:

Looking for dark matter
Dark matter is thought to exist as 'clumps' of tiny particles that pass through the earth, temporarily perturbing some fundamental constants.
New technique looks for dark matter traces in dark places
A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan -- published today in the journal Science - concludes that a possible dark matter-related explanation for a mysterious light signature in space is largely ruled out.
Researchers look for dark matter close to home
Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don't know what, exactly, it is.
Galaxy formation simulated without dark matter
For the first time, researchers from the universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter.
Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.
New clues on dark matter from the darkest galaxies
Low-surface-brightness (LSB) galaxies offered important confirmations and new information on one of the largest mysteries of the cosmos: dark matter.
A new approach to the hunt for dark matter
A study that takes a novel approach to the search for dark matter has been performed by the BASE Collaboration at CERN working together with a team at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).
Could the mysteries of antimatter and dark matter be linked?
RIKEN researchers and collaborators have performed the first laboratory experiments to determine whether a slightly different way in which matter and antimatter interact with dark matter might be a key to solving both mysteries.
Placing another piece in the dark matter puzzle
A team led by Prof Dmitry Budker has continued their search for dark matter within the framework of the 'Cosmic Axion Spin Precession Experiment' (or 'CASPEr' for short).
Physicists have found a way to 'hear' dark matter
Physicists at Stockholm University and the Max Planck Institute for Physics have turned to plasmas in a proposal that could revolutionise the search for the elusive dark matter.
More Dark Matter News and Dark Matter Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at