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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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%).

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.


Two new lines of neutrino detector KM3NeT submerged and they are already working

The two new detector lines that have been sunk to 2.5 kilometer depth in the Mediterranean Sea in France, have already detected their first passing particles. In total 6 active detector lines with 18 DOMs (detector units) each now reach a kilometer high from the seabed.



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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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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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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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

2 April 2020

Opgefrist routeplan Europese deeltjesfysica uitgesteld vanwege coronacrisis

De CERN Council heeft besloten om de geplande vaststelling en presentatie van de nieuwe European Particle Physics Stategy eind mei in Boedapest niet te laten doorgaan. Gezien de…

2 April 2020

Nikhef ontvangt voorlopig geen externe bezoekers

Op dit moment ontvangt Nikhef geen externe bezoekers in verband met de maatregelen om de verspreiding van het Coronavirus tegen te gaan. Nikhef medewerkers en klanten van Nikhef…

1 April 2020

Twee (mogelijk zelfs drie) nieuwe deeltjes gespot in de LHCb-detector

Tussen de brokstukken die de LHCb-detector op CERN registreert van protonbotsingen in de Large Hadron Collider zijn zeker twee tot nog toe onbekende deeltjes gevonden. Het betreft zogeheten…

Future events

7 April 2020

LHC Seminar by Hannah Arnold @ CERN

Next Tuesday, Hannah Arnold, postdoc in the ATLAS group at Nikhef,will present the CERN LHC seminar: seminar will take place Tuesday 7 April, 11:00-12:00, and can befollowed using…
17 April 2020

FYSICA 2020: remote, postpone or cancel?

FYSICA 2020 is planned at University of Twente on Friday 17 April 2020. Due to the corona virus, it is not possible to organise FYSICA at University of…
12 June 2020

Bessensap 2020

On Friday June 12 we will organise the 2020 edition of Bessensap! Around 350 journalists, press officers and researchers will meet to exchange knowledge on the latest developments…

BLOG Lex Greeven: Wat ik op feestjes vertel over mijn werk

LHCb-promovendus Lex Greeven van Nikhef blogt over zijn werk als promovendus in een groot deeltjesexperiment op CERN. Deze week: hoe vertel ik het aan mijn vrienden? Als iemand mij op...

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