Particle and Astroparticle Physics (PAPP)

Credit: CERN

The goal of the Particle and Astroparticle Physics research community is to advance our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of matter and the structure of space and time itself. This is done through experimental and theoretical research in particle and astroparticle physics.

The aim of the PAPP theoretical activities is to uncover the fundamental laws governing physics at all distance and energy scales, beyond currently established theories. It revolves around a number of big, unsolved questions that are driving the PAPP field: What physics lies beyond the Standard Model of particle physics? How can we unify quantum theory and general relativity to obtain a quantum theory of gravity? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy? How did the Universe start? Can we understand black holes? The PAPP experimental program is mostly coordinated through the Nikhef partnership. The Netherlands plays an important role in experimental particle physics through its activities at the ATLAS, LHCb and ALICE experiments at the LHC at CERN. The eEDM experiment searches for the electric dipole moment of electrons. In astroparticle physics, the Netherlands is focused on multimessenger observations through studies of gravitational waves (VIRGO), the detection of high energy neutrinos (KM3NeT) and cosmic rays (Pierre Auger Observatory). The XENON experiment searches for traces of dark matter particles.

For more information, see also the NWO research community PAPP webpage and their vision document