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.View projects
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.
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.View projects
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.View project
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.View project
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.Read more
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%).Read more
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.
Definite proof: the proton has some intrinsic charm
Researchers at Nikhef and others have found the first evidence that not only up- and down quarks exist inside the proton, but also medium-heavy charm quarks. Their analysis…
Quantum Machine Learning promising in CERN’s LHCb experiment
A quantum-flavoured milestone in high energy physics: the LHCb collaboration at CERN reports its first quantum computing-related work. In a publication in the Journal of High Energy Physics,…
NWO funds three new groundbreaking Nikhef projects
Three large projects under the Nikhef flag receive NWO funding for research that explicitly pushes the boundaries of current physics. This involves faster detectors, precision measurements on the…