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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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

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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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.

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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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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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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

30 March 2023

Dorothea Samtleben new program leader of the neutrino group at Nikhef

Neutrino physicist Dorothea Samtleben is the new program leader of Nikhef’s Neutrino Physics group as of April 1. She is the institute’s first female program leader. Samtleben (Hamburg,…

23 March 2023

ATLAS reanalyzes W boson: slightly lighter, and much sharper in focus

The ATLAS experiment at CERN has presented a better estimate of the mass of one of the cornerstones of the Standard Model. The W boson turns out to…

22 March 2023

XENONnT detector improves record in dark matter search

The expansion of the XENON experiment at Gran Sasso in Italy is bearing fruit. The larger detector works better than its predecessors. So reports the XENON collaboration today…

Future events

31 March 2023

Nikhef/NINA COLLOQUIUM: “Precision measurements of atomic nuclei for nuclear astrophysics” by Anu Kankainen (University of Jyväskylä)

Friday 31 March, 11.00h, at Nikhef/CWI in Z009. Speaker: Anu Kankainen (University of Jyväskylä) Title: “Precision measurements of atomic nuclei for nuclear astrophysics” Abstract: Almost all chemical elements…
3 April 2023

PhD defense Sachin Shain @ UvA

Sachin Shain Poruvelil, PhD at Nikhef, will defend his thesis Monday 3 April 2023 at 14.00 at the University of Amsterdam. “Aspects of strong and new CP violation”…
21 April 2023

Inaugural lecture Auke-Pieter Colijn @UvA

Auke-Pieter Colijn will give his inaugural lecture at the UvA on 21 April: Title: Messengers from the Primordial Soup Chair: Experimental techniques in Astrophysics Date: 21 April 2023…
Auke-Pieter Colijn bij een opstellingAuke-Pieter Colijn bij een opstelling