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Arne Johnson

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About me

Arne Johnson

Professor emeritus in Experimental Nuclear Physics.

Main interests: nuclear structure and development of advanced

detectors for nuclear spectroscopy and applications.

Studies, positions and tasks:

I studied Engineering Physics at KTH 1963 -1967, got a PhD at KTH in 1973 and became docent there in 1974.

In 1986 I became adjoint professor in Nuclear Physics at KTH and

in 1997 professor in Nuclear Physics at KTH.

97.07-99.01  Vice dean of the TFY faculty, KTH

99.02-99.09 Dean of the TFY faculty, KTH

99.10-04.12  Dean of the faculty of Computer Science, Electrical,

                       Engineering and Engineering Physics (DEF), KTH

05- 08          Vice Head, School of Engineering Sciences, KTH

In addition I have e g had the following duties:

- Deputy of the Board of AFI, Stockholm, 76-80.

- Member of the Provisional Board of the Cyclotron Laboratory in

  Uppsala, 1984 until the formation of the new The Svedberg

  Laboratory in 1986.

- Evaluator for The Natural Research Council (NFR) in 1984, 1985

  and 1995

- Member of the Board of NORDBALL (A Nordic detector system, ref 1)

   since the start in 1985 until the end of NORDBALL around 2000.

   I was one of the initiators of NORDBALL and responsible for

   the Swedish Ge-detectors and the analog electronics.

- Member of the provisional Board of The Physics Centre in

   Stockholm 1986 - 1989.

- Swedish member of the EUROBALL Coordination Committee

 (ECC) 1992-2003 and chairman of it´s subgroup for ancillary

 detectors 1992 -1996. Swedish leader for EUROBALL  (ref 2).

 (EUROBALL is a European project in nuclear spectroscopy.)

- Chairman elect of ECC 1995 -1996 (1 y).

- Chairman of ECC 1996-1997 (1 y)

- Member of the program advisory committee (PAC), Legnaro,

   Italy, 1995 -1998

- Chairman of the program advisory committee (PAC) for


- Member of the Board of The Physics Department KTH 1993-1997.

- Member of the board of the Göran Gustafsson foundation

  UU/KTH 1999-2008

- Member of the Owners Committee (OC) 2003 - 2013 for the

   EUROBALL equipment

  ( a continuation of the EUROBALL Coordination Committee).

- Chairman of a number of committees at KTH including

  chairman 1999 - 2011 of the Appointment Committee for

  professors and associate professors for a large part of KTH.


My main research has concerned nuclear structure and detector development. More than 150 publications in international journals with referee systems. Many papers are very well cited with a maximum over 500 citations. Besides research at the Research Institute of physics (AFI), later the Manne Siegbahn Institute (MSI), Sweden, I have been working at a large number of leading laboratories in both Europe and the US like NBI, Denmark, Daresbury, England, Orsay and Strasbourg, France, GSI, Germany, Legnaro, Italy, Jyvaskyla, Finland and Brookhaven, Oak Ridge and Berkeley , USA.

My most important scientific result is the discovery of "backbending" in atomic nuclei (with H.Ryde and J.Sztarkier, see refs 3,4,5 and also ref 6 ). This discovery is regarded as excellent and a major discovery by an international evaluation initiated by the Swedish National Science Research Council. "Backbending" is presented in most modern textbooks on nuclear physics and also presented eg in Physics Today several times, Nature, New Scientist and a Cern Report by the Cern Director.

During my military service at FOA (Swedish National Defence Research Imstitute) I was heavily involved in developing a detector system for radioactive Xenon leaking from underground bomb tests. This system was adopted in a first step by UN for a globally spread monitoring system and has later on been further developed by Sweden. I was also involved in constructing a portable system for measuring radioactive iodine in milk after the Chernobyl accident.

Teaching: Since 1966 I have been teaching regularly at KTH ( basic and advanced courses) and been supervisor for five PhD students at KTH as well as for many diploma works. Author (with I.Bergström) of a compendium (366 p) in nuclear physics.

Five articles on popular science, initiator of the posters of the Nobel Prize, participated in radio programs (Vetandets Värld), more than 20 talks on popular science (for teachers, schools, the workers union (LO, ABF etc).

Referee for Nuclear Physics, Physics Letters, Physica Scripta, Physical Review Letters and Physical Review.

Opponent and member in grading committees for PhD theses in many occations.


The Manne Siegbahn medal, 1972 (Research Institute of Physics, Sweden)

The Letterstedts Price of the Royal Academy of Sciences ,1986 (Sweden)

The Borelius Medal , 2006, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)


1. The NORDBALL — A multidetector system for the study of nuclear structure.

     B.Herskind,  Nucl. Phys. A 447(1986) 395

2. The Euroball Spectrometer,

    J. Simpson,  Z.Phys. A 358 (1997)

3. Evidence for a "singularity" in the rotational band structure.

    A.Johnson, H.Ryde and J.Sztarkier, Phys.Lett. 34B(1971)605

4. Nuclear moment of inertia at high rotational frequencies.

    A.Johnson, H.Ryde and S.A.Hjorth, Nucl.Phys. A179(1972)753

5. Nuclear rotation at high angular velocities.

    A.Johnson and Z.Szymanski,

    Phys.Rep. 7C(1973)181 (invited paper)

6. Fifty Years of Backbending.

    R.Wyss and M.A.Riley, Nucl. Phys. News 32, vol 2 (2022)16


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