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.


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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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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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.

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%).


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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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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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

16 September 2021

The simple proton proves more than ever to be a world unto itself

Forget the pictures in textbooks of the proton consisting of three quarks, two up and one down, plus some gluons. A new study by Nikhef theorist Juan Rojo…

10 September 2021

Four new Nikhef wishes on National Research Facilities Roadmap

Nikhef’s ambitions for four major scientific facilities have been recognized in the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure. Minister Van Engelshoven of Education and Science officially received the…

27 August 2021

Standard Model now also captured in Dutch particle poems

Dutch poets have captured the Standard Model of particle physics in twice seventeen poems about the elementary particles. The poetic Standard Model is published today in the Dutch…

Future events

2 October 2021

Save the date: 2 October – Amsterdam Science Park Open Day

Discover more about the secrets of the universe or the surprising properties of smart materials during the Amsterdam Science Park open day. Or take a look behind the…