Utomhusansiktsporträtt av Jan Conrad

Photo: Eva Dalin/SU

About Jan's research

What we think of as normal matter only accounts for less than 5% of the Universe: the rest is unseen dark matter and dark energy. Jan Conrad wants to detect dark matter, which would be a breakthrough in physics and open up a whole new view of the Universe.

While scientists can easily see the matter that makes up humans, our planet, and even other solar systems, dark matter remains invisible to conventional telescopes and other techniques. In his search for dark matter, Jan Conrad will look for an elementary particle called Weakly Interacting Massive Particles or WIMPs, which scientists think are a kind of dark matter.

Astrophysicists hypothesize WIMPs have existed since the Universe was very young, but no one has detected them yet. Conrad will search for indirect signs of WIMPs: gamma rays, a form of high-energy radiation that is released during collisions between WIMPs, or as the particles decay.

Conrad will start his search using existing telescopes that can detect gamma rays aboard a satellite called FERMI, as well as arrays of telescopes on the ground. To improve the chances of success, he is also involved in the development of a new ground-based European telescope array specifically intended to detect gamma rays.

Text: Wallenberg Academy Fellows

This website uses cookies

Cookies ("cookies") consist of small text files. The text files contain data which is stored on your device. To be able to place some type of cookies we need your consent. We at Foundation for Swedens young academy, corporate identity number 802477-9483 use these types of cookies. To read more about which cookies we use and storage duration, click here to get to our cookiepolicy.

Manage your cookie-settings

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies are cookies that need to be placed for fundamental functions on the website to work. Fundamental functions are for instance cookies that are needed for you to use menus and navigate the website.

Statistical cookies

To know how you interact with the website we place cookies to collect statistics. These cookies anonymize personal data.

Personalization cookies

In order to provide a better experiance we place cookies for your preferances