Syksy Räsänen

Lecturer in theoretical physics at the
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics,
Division of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Leader of the theory project
"Cosmology of the early and late universe" at the

Helsinki Institute of Physics

Teoreettisen fysiikan dosentti Helsingin yliopistolla,
yliopistonlehtori hiukkasfysiikan ja astrofysiikan osastolla,
adjungoitu tutkija Fysiikan tutkimuslaitoksella



University of Helsinki
Department of Physics
P.O. Box 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Finland

Tel +358 (0)2 941 51012
Fax +358 (0)2 941 50610

Email syksy dot rasanen at helsinki dot fi

Teaching
Research interests
  • My main research topic at the moment is the effect of cosmological structure formation on the expansion of the universe and on light propagation. I am interested in the backreaction conjecture, according to which structure formation would lead to the observed larger expansion rate and longer distances without the need for dark energy or modified gravity. I also currently work on tests of homogeneity and isotropy, the cosmic microwave background and inflation. Past research topics include dark energy, string gas cosmology and the ekpyrotic scenario. I am a member of the Euclid consortium.

  • In addition to my PhD students Mikko Lavinto and Pyry Wahlman, my current collaborators include Krzysztof Bolejko at the University of Sydney, Alexis Finoguenov and Peter Johansson at the University of Helsinki, Shaun Hotchkiss at the University of Sussex, Martin Kunz at the University of Geneva, Sesh Nadathur at the University of Helsinki and Francesco Sylos Labini at the Enrico Fermi Center in Rome.

  • Popular articles about backreaction include these from Scientific American, New Scientist and Space.com. For an introduction for physicists, see this review or this review.
CV, publications and talks
Popular
  • I write a popular blog on particle physics and cosmology called Kosmokseen kirjoitettua for the astronomical society URSA. (I used to write the blog Maailmankaikkeutta etsimässä for the Magazine Tiede until quitting at the end of May 2013.) (In Finnish.)

  • I write a monthly science column for the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

  • An article (co-written with Kari Enqvist) on the curious phenomenon of relativity denialism in the magazine Tieteessä tapahtuu. (In Finnish.)

  • In 2014, I was awarded the J.V. Snellman prize for communicating science to the public by the University of Helsinki.

  • In 2013, I co-scripted a circus show about the history of the universe.

  • A recent talk on publishing in particle physics and cosmology at an event about the future of Finnish university research and teaching, organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy of Finland. (In Finnish.)

  • A comment on some misconceptions regarding general relativity and quantum physics in the magazine Tieteessä tapahtuu. (In Finnish.)

  • An interview about open access and the boycott of the corporate publisher Elsevier in the May 2012 issue of Yliopistolainen. (In Finnish on page 10, in English on page 24.)

  • An article on Einstein as a dissident of physics and politics in the magazine Tieteessä tapahtuu. (In Finnish.)

  • I often give public talks. One of my favourites in recent years was this one on dark energy at Arkadia International Bookshop. (In English.)

    Video recordings of talks include one at Studia Generalia about dark matter, at Vox about doing physics (my piece starts at 42.50) and at Tiedeviikko about my own research. (In Finnish.)

  • Recordings of interviews include a light-hearted half an hour at Radio Rock's Heikelä Korporaatio, touching on matters such as the big bang, free will, roleplaying games and time travel. I was also interviewed on Heikelä Korporaatio about the December results in the search for the Higgs particle (starting at 14.57). There's also a later interview about matters such as the Higgs particle, Schrödinger's cat and the occupation of Palestine. (In Finnish.)

    I took part in a discussion on hope and despair at the Pokrova religious community on Good Friday. (In Finnish.)

  • I am a member of HS-raati, a group of Finns whom the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat asks for opinions on topical matters. My answers on issues such as the "war on terror", the Occupy movement, the legacy of Steve Jobs, the presidency of Tarja Halonen, intervention in Syria, president Niinistö's working group on social exclusion the Muhammad video and Pekka Himanen's sustainable development report can be found on the HS website. (In Finnish.)