Experimentelle Teilchen- und AstroteilchenPhysik

Despite enormous progress in the understanding of the nature of elementary particles and their interactions, many very fundamental questions still remain unanswered, including:

  • The mystery of dark matter, which is known to exist in the universe in vast amounts, but consists of a particle that so far is unknown.
  • The origin of electroweak symmetry breaking, which is believed to occur via the Higgs boson, a particle that still remains undetected.
  • The apparent matter-antimatter imbalance of the universe, suggesting the presence of sources responsible for the breaking of the CP symmetry that go beyond those observed so far.

Our research group on experimental particle and astroparticle physics is tackling these questions by performing a number of experiments. Using detectors at high-energy particle colliders (D0 detector at the Tevatron collider as well as the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider LHC), we are working to detect the Higgs boson and, once discovered, study its properties. These detectors are also used to search for the production of new particles, in particular dark matter particles. The IceCube detector, situated at the South Pole, can observe high-energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources, potentially including the annihilation of dark matter. Neutral kaon decays are studied with the NA48 and NA62 detectors to understand the mechanism of CP violation and to detect new, very rare decay modes signaling the presence of new physics.