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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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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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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Mechanical technology and gravitational waves research

Scale model of new research centre ETpathfinder revealed

The consortium of Belgian, German and Dutch knowledge institutes have revealed their plans for Einstein Telescope and ETpathfinder. On this occasion the Flemish minister of Innovation Philippe Muyters revealed the scale model of ETpathfinder, that will be built in Maastricht.



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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Technical groups at 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.

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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Recent news

19 September 2019

Videokunstenaar Rosa Menkman naar CERN: ‘Ik ga vooral vragen stellen.’

De Nederlandse videokunstenaar Rosa Menkman gaat volgende week een maandlang aan de slag op CERN als winnaar van de Collide International prijs, die kunst en wetenschap met elkaar…

9 September 2019

Muonen belofte voor nieuwe generatie superversnellers

Muonen, de zwaardere versie van het elektron, zouden goed een sleutel kunnen blijken voor een nieuwe generatie deeltjesversnellers met veel meer bruikbare bostingsenergie dan de huidige LHC-versneller op…

6 September 2019

New Horizons Prize voor Samaya Nissanke

Sterrenkundige Samaya Nissanke (Universiteit van Amsterdam & Nikhef) heeft de 2020 New Horizons Prize gewonnen in de categorie Physics and Math. Zij deelt de prijs, 100.000 dollar, met…

Future events

5 October 2019

Open dag 2019 zaterdag 5 oktober!

De Open Dag van Amsterdam Science Park is een samenwerking van AMOLF, ARCNL, AUC, CWI, Netherlands eScience Center, Nikhef, SURFsara en UvA-FNWI en is onderdeel van het Weekend…