Nikhef rules with regards to coronavirus

Due to the precautionary measures taken to minimise the spread of the coronavirus, Nikhef is open only to a limited extent. External guests can only access the building for necessary visits, by invitation and accompanied by a Nikhef employee.

Programme spotlight

XENONnT: Dark matter

Of all matter in our Universe, only about 5% consists of ‘ordinary matter’ as we commonly know it, built up from atoms. This is what all stars, planets and other visible materials are made up from. However, no less than 95% consists of dark energy (68%) and dark matter (27%).


Astroparticle physics

Astroparticle physics combines physics and astronomy. In the cosmos, very strong magnetic fields create what can be considered a ‘natural’ particle accelerator. To perform astrophysics research, scientists ‘just’ need to build the right detectors. Nikhef is active in KM3NeT, Auger, XENON1T/nT and Virgo.

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Physics Data Processing

Advanced computing for physics and other sciences. Nikhef researchers are mainly developing increasingly better grid software, and transferring their grid knowledge, so that  scientists who are struggling with an ‘impossible’ data problem can profit from the grid.

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Particle Physics

In particle physics, very large detectors are used to study elementary particles. Particles such as protons are accelerated in a particle accelerator, and made to collide with each other. The detectors record these collisions, which release a lot of energy to create new particles. Nikhef is active in ALICE, ATLAS and LHCb at CERN and eEDM in Groningen.

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Detector R&D

Answering big elementary particle physics questions requires pioneering experiments. The Detector R&D program at Nikhef is aimed at conceptualizing and testing of instrumentation concepts before they are implemented in scientific programs at Nikhef.

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Technische afdelingen Nikhef

Mechanical technology

The Mechanical Technology (MT) department is made up of approximately 30 MBO-, HBO- and University schooled technical engineers. The main task of the department is to develop, design and realise mechanical solutions for the mostly international projects that Nikhef participates in.



Nikhef’s Theoretical Physics group performs theoretical research on a wide range of fundamental topics in high-energy physics, ranging from particle and astroparticle physics to cosmology, gravitational waves and string theory.

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National Institute for Subatomic Physics

Welcome to Nikhef. We are the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. Our institute performs research into the elementary building blocks of our Universe, their mutual forces and the structure of space and time.
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Please note that some of the content on our homepage and further pages has not been translated into English yet.

Recent news

15 April 2021

Five new lines for KM3NeT detector placed on the seabed off Sicily

During a week-long campaign, five new detector lines of the KM3NeT neutrino telescope were installed in the deep sea off Sicily and connected to a new connection box…

14 April 2021

Green light from eScience Center for two software projects at Nikhef

The Netherlands eScience Center has honored two Nikhef software projects aimed at accelerating future discoveries in the particle world. Both projects focus on the use of graphics processors…

8 April 2021

Nikhef physicists excited in media about ‘new crack in particle theory’

In the media, several Nikhef physicists reacted enthusiastically about the new measurements of the magnetic dipole moment of the muon at Fermilab, which were presented Wednesday. The measurements…