DCSC Scientific Illustration
Picture: Artists rendering of universe (Mette Høst)
Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology
The group works on the preparation of theoretical models for the smallest undividable elements of atoms and universal fundamental forces. There are still unsolved puzzles to which scientists are trying to find the answers.
Our knowledge about the smallest building blocks of the universe is explained in the Standard Model, which describes the elementary particles and the three fundamental forces that act between them: 1. Electromagnetic forces, which are responsible for the structure in atoms and molecules. 2. Weak nuclear forces, which explain radioactive decay and stellar energy generation. 3. Strong nuclear forces, which describe the structure at quark level. But there is a fourth fundamental force of nature - gravity, which is a force that cannot be explained by the Standard Model. Here, it becomes necessary to combine quantum physics with Einstein's general theory of relativity, and this is very difficult.
The string theory is a theoretical model that tries to explain all fundamental forces, including gravity. But the three spatial dimensions, as well as time as we know it, are not sufficient for the mathematical calculations. The model requires another nine dimensions, where forces with high energy produce invisible "superstrings".
Cosmic background radiation is electromagnetic radiation that originates from the creation of the universe 14 billion years ago. Because background radiation originates from the earliest phase of the universe, it contains information about the laws of physics. The radiation is measured in microwaves, and, by studying these waves, fundamental new knowledge can be acquired about the universe - from elementary particles to the fundamental properties of the universe.
Black holes are giant stars that have collapsed into a massive compressed block of concentrated mass. When a star dies in a supernova explosion, the neutrons will generally repel each other because of the strong nuclear forces, but the mass may be so heavy that gravity wins, causing the star to shrink to a black hole. New research based on the string theory model shows that there may also be black rings.