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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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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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%).

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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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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.

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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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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

26 May 2023

Gravitational Wave Detectors Start Next Observing Run to Explore the Secrets of the Universe

This week the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA (LVK) Collaboration has begun a new observing run with upgraded instruments, new and even more accurate signal models, and more advanced data analysis methods….

22 May 2023

NWO funds the Maastricht hunt for subtle particle differences

Science foundation NWO is awarding a research grant to Nikhef physicist Keri Vos, affiliated with Maastricht University. This was announced in The Hague. Vos is affiliated with the…

15 May 2023

Kluyver prize 2023 for KM3Net thesis Lodewijk Nauta

Former Nikhef PhD student Lodewijk Nauta wins the Jan Kluyver Prize 2023 or the best English-language abstract in his dissertation on the first measurements with the KM3NeT neutrino…

Future events

7 October 2023

Open day 2023

Nikhef offers a look behind the scenes during the Open Day of the Amsterdam Science Park in 2023. This year, the open day will take place on Saturday…
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