17 May: Theme day The Universe and Mathematical Physics

In the last twenty years, significant progress has been achieved in both observational and theoretical studies of our universe. Developments within string theory have led to advances in the cross-disciplinary field between mathematics and physics. In addition, technological developments have led to a new generation of advanced astronomical telescopes and instruments, both on Earth and in space, opening up new windows of observations of astrophysical processes in our universe. Both lines of research are present in Uppsala.

This day will start with two broad introductory lectures by renowned scientists that will provide an international context for the research conducted in Uppsala. In the afternoon, in two parallel sessions, there will be in-depth discussions and presentations on the future potential of theoretical and practical studies of the universe, with topics such as theoretical astrophysics, space physics, observational astrophysics, gravitational waves, and, geometry and physics.

Lectures and presentations will be given in English.

Registration is now closed.

Some lectures and presentations are livestreamed at zoom. If they can be viewed digitally, there is an (L) after the title. You do not need to have registered to take part in the lectures digitally.

Follow this link to enter the livestream!

For more information about the programme, contact Eric Stempels and Tobias Ekholm


Location: Ångström Laboratory, house 10, Lägerhyddsvägen 1.
Registration opens at 08.30 outside Eva von Bahr, house 10, Ångström Laboratory.

The morning program takes place in Eva von Bahr.

09.15 - 09.30: Introduction. (L)

09.30 - 10.30: Innovation, Exploration, and the Search for Life Beyond Earth. (L)
Sara Seager, MIT, USA

10.30 - 11.00: Coffee break.

11.00 - 12.00: Building new bridges: geometry and physics. (L)
Sergei Gukov, Caltech, USA

12.00 - 13.30 Lunch and mingle
Lunch-salad can be picked up outside Eva von Bahr. Mingel at floor 1, room 101136.

The parallel sessions takes place at floor 1.

13.30 - 14.30: Parallel sessions (see program below)

14.30 - 15.00: Coffee break

15.00 - 16.00: Parallel sessions (see program below)


These sessions use a 'drop-in' format, where we showcase the wide range of research projects at our departments, including classical topics, front-line research and popular science. Come and enjoy our continuous presentations or take part in spontaneous discussions. The sessions roughly divide into the following:

Stars and the Galaxy,  room 101142, floor 1.

  • Evolved stars and winds
  • The history of our galaxy
  • First sources of light and dark physics
  • Chemical composition of the Sun and stars

Life and the Universe, room 101132, floor 1.

  • Characterization of exoplanets
  • SETI - the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
  • Stellar activity and magnetic fields
  • The Swedish Meteor Network

Space physics, room 101146, floor 1.

  • Spacecrafts and their instruments
  • Space weather
  • Magnetospheres and ionospheres of planets in the solar system
  • Physics in space: collisionless shocks, magnetic reconnection, turbulence
  • Icy moons in the Solar system
  • Plasma processes at comets

High energy phyiscs enumerative geometry and low dimensional topology, room 101125 and 101127, floor 1.
In this session we will discuss connections between low dimensional topology, enumerative geometry and high energy physics. We will illustrate this via the phenomenon of knotted circles in space. Problems of knots and links serve as illustrations of problems of low dimensional topology. There are many easy to define invariants that distinguish different knots. From a purely topological perspective the nature of these invariants are hard to understand. Over the last decades it has been shown how they arise naturally from high energy physics in combination with enumerative problems in geometry. This allows also for the use of simple combinatorial knot theoretic manipulations to solve hard problems from a completely different area and is a prime example of so called dualities at work in mathematical phyiscs.

Last modified: 2022-05-16