SH2204 Astroparticle Physics 7.5 credits

Astropartikelfysik

The fields of particle physics, astronomy/astrophysics and cosmology are combined to allow an understanding of the physical processes at work in the Universe. During the course, particular emphasis will be laid on the experimental aspects of astroparticle physics through a survey of current results and the experiments used to produce them. Astroparticle physics is an extremely dynamic field with regular new and  discoveries - this will also be reflected in the topics covered during the course.

  • Educational level

    Second cycle
  • Academic level (A-D)

  • Subject area

    Physics
  • Grade scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 17 for programme students

Autumn 16 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Classify the fundamental subatomic particles by their possible interactions.
  • Explain how ‘particle probes’ can open a new window on the universe compared to
    observations using electromagnetic radiation.
  • Explain how particles can be detected and their properties determined, and appreciate the
    limitations of different detection techniques.
  • Identify the astrophysical observations which motivate the key features of the current
    cosmological models.
  • Calculate parameters for the expansion of the universe in radiation- and matter-dominated
    epochs and compare this with observational data
  • Describe results that give evidence for the existence of dark matter, and hypothesize over the
    possible particle candidates for dark matter in the universe.
  • Experimentally confirm the existence of dark matter through radio telescope observations
  • Perform dimensional analysis to define relationships between physical variables in astrophysical
    systems.
  • Interpret data from figures published in the scientific literature and use this to perform
    calculations and develop conclusions.
  • Reflect on the current ‘open questions’ in astroparticle physics and the experiments planned to
  • address these issues.

Course main content

The course gives a solid foundation in Astroparticle Physics, with a particular focus on the
experimental aspects.

  • Overview of the concepts of particle physics
  • Cosmology: Big Bang, cosmic microwave background, content and dynamics of the Universe
  • Cosmic rays: galactic, production and acceleration, detection
  • Neutrino astrophysics: stellar neutrinos, high energy neutrinos, atmospheric, detection
  • Dark matter: dark matter candidates, experiments
  • Nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang and in supernovae
  • Detection techniques: Cosmic rays, high-energy photons, polarization, benefits of
    multimessenger approach
  • Outlook and connection to other research fields

Eligibility

Subatomic physics (SH2103), or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

SH2103 subatomic physics, or equivalent.

Literature

Particle astrophysics, D. Perkins (2nd edition, 2009). OUP.

Hand-outs.

Examination

  • INL1 - Home Assignments, 5.0, grade scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory, 1.0, grade scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Seminar, 1.5, grade scale: P, F

Home assignments (5 hp)

Seminar (1.5 hp)

Laboratory (1 hp)

Offered by

SCI/Physics

Contact

Mark Pearce, pearce@kth.se

Examiner

Mark Pearce <pearce@kth.se>

Version

Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 13.
Examination information valid from: Autumn 11.