Name: Daniel Blixt
Current position: Postdoc
Affiliation: Scuola Superiore Meridionale, Naples, Italy
Field of research: Theoretical physics (Modified gravity)
What is your career trajectory to date?
After finishing my Bachelor and Master studies at Stockholm University, I immediately started a PhD at the University of Tartu. I remained very shortly a Postdoc there until I moved to Scuola Superiore Meridionale for my current position.
What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?
What are the observational predictions of modified teleparallel theories? Presence of strongly coupled fields have made this question surprisingly difficult to answer in this field.
What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?
Uncertainty for the future. However, I am currently very lucky to have a 3 year position which is quite long for a postdoc.
Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?
A good coworker. Being able to contribute to several projects side by side and have constructive discussions which makes all of us grow together.
In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?
When I got accepted as a PhD student at the University of Tartu. It was the first time in memory I moved out from my hometown, and I was very interested in the PhD topic.
What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?
I would like to learn more about effective field theories and quantum gravity. Also I would like to improve my programming and teaching skills.
What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?
Observational predictions in teleparallel gravity. I have a feeling that the teleparallel community have reached a point of wisdom where we soon can make reliable predictions in the field.
What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?
Networking is very important to push science forward. Our knowledge grows when we interact. Initiatives should optimally be done both in person and online.
What’s your favorite food?
Chole (Indian chickpea dish)
Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising?
I grew up in Sweden and spent 5 years in Estonia. In both countries I have spent a lot of time hiking in the forest which have been wonderful. In Estonia I met my wife from who I have gotten a lot of support.
How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?
I like to eat some good food. Either at home or at a restaurant with friends.
Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?
I practice Kendo (Japanese martial art) twice a week. I also love traveling and spending time in nature.
If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?
I would be a high school teacher.
What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?
I would like to contribute to deeper insights regarding gravity. Hopefully the progress we make helps solving some of the mysterious of cosmology.