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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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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Background: Cosmic rays

Auger observatory: 20 years of observing Mother Nature's super accelerator

It is as big as the province of South Holland and is made up of hundreds of measuring stations on the Pampa: the Pierre Auger observatory for cosmic rays in the province of Mendoza in Argentina. This year the observatory has been open for 20 years. (Dutch only)


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

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).

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.


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

9 December 2019

Versneller CERN komt pas in de zomer van 2021 weer in bedrijf

De LHC-deeltjesversneller op CERN is pas in juni 2021 weer beschikbaar voor metingen aan botsende protonen. Dat is 3,5 maand later dan eerder was gepland. De extra tijd…

4 December 2019

Ophef in deeltjesland: bestaat er een vijfde natuurkracht?

Hebben Hongaarse natuurkundigen met een simpele meetopstelling een nieuwe natuurkracht ontdekt die alle grote versnellers en detectoren al decennia over het hoofd zien? Niet waarschijnlijk, denken de meeste…

3 December 2019

Het is er weer: het boekje dat bijna iedere deeltjesfysicus op zak heeft

The Review of Particle Physics is een 1800 pagina’s dikke deeltjesbijbel die elk jaar verschijnt. De hoofdzaken passen in dundruk in een boekje dat nog steeds haast iedere…

Future events

16 December / 17 December 2019

Jamboree 2019

The Nikhef annual meeting will be held in Pakhuis De Zwijger, Piet Heinkade 179, 1019 HC Amsterdam on the 16th and 17th of December, 2019. The theme of…
21 January / 22 January 2020

Physics@Veldhoven 2020

Physics@Veldhoven takes place each year in January. It is a large congress that provides a topical overview of physics in the Netherlands. Traditionally, young researchers are given the chance…
6 February 2020

Unravelling the secrets of the universe – Nikhef researcher Stefan Hild

In 2015, researchers observed a gravitational wave emitted by two merging black holes. This spectacular discovery marked the birth of new ways to explore our universe.  For instance,…
Artist impression ETpathfinderArtist impression ETpathfinder