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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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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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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Programme spotlight

eEDM: The electron’s electric dipole moment

Researchers within the Nikhef collaboration based in Groningen cool down and manipulate molecules to study the fundamental interactions and symmetries of the Standard Model of particle physics, including the electric dipole moment of electrons (eEDM).


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.


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

27 January 2020

Nikhef in space: AMS-2 antimaterie-detector weer in bedrijf

De AMS-2 antimaterie-detector op het ruimtestation ISS is na de laatste checks van zaterdag weer in gebruik. Astronauten Morgan en Parmitano controleerden in een urenlange ruimtewandeling de nieuwe…

26 January 2020

Overeenstemming in Bad Honnef over deeltjesstrategie

Bij het overleg over de toekomstige strategie van de Europese deeltjesfysica, afgelopen week in Bad Honnef, is overeenstemming bereikt over de aanbevelingen aan de European Strategy Group. Die…

24 January 2020

Voorstanders van een lineaire deeltjesbotser bij CERN benadrukken flexibiliteit

In een reactie op het pleidooi van een groep vooraanstaande natuurkundigen om een nieuwe 100 kilometer groter cirkelversneller te bouwen bij CERN hebben voorstanders van de lineaire CLIC-versneller…

Future events

6 February 2020

Unravelling the secrets of the universe – Nikhef researcher Stefan Hild

Stefan Hild (Nikhef and Maastricht University) will give a lecture about gravitational waves and how to unravell them. The lecture will be held in Brasserie Dudok (The Hague)…
Artist impression ETpathfinder Artist impression ETpathfinder