National Institute for Subatomic Physics

Nikhef's mission

The mission of the National Institute for Subatomic Physics Nikhef is to study the interactions and structure of all elementary particles and fields at the smallest distance scale and the highest attainable energy.

Two complementary approaches are followed:
- Accelerator-based particle physics - Studying interactions in particle collision processes at particle accelerators, in particular at CERN;
- Astroparticle physics - Studying interactions of particles and radiation emanating from the Universe.

Nikhef coordinates and leads the Dutch experimental activities in these fields. The research at Nikhef relies on the development of innovative technologies. The knowledge and technology transfer to third parties, i.e., industry, civil society and general public, is an integral part of Nikhef’s mission.


The National Institute for Subatomic Physics Nikhef is a partnership between the  Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) and five universities:  Radboud University, the University of Groningen, the University of Amsterdam,  Utrecht University and VU University. FOM is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Nikhef is based at Amsterdam Science Park.


The National institute for subatomic physics Nikhef has a long history. The present name originates from the original name "National Institute for Nuclear Physics and en High Energy Physics".