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(Astro-) Particle Physics

Research carried out in the (astro-)particle physics section of the Physics Department focuses on three main topics: experimental particle physics, in particular through its involvement with the LHCb experiment at CERN, experimental gravitational waves, as active members of the VIRGO, LIGO, and Einstein Telescope gravitational waves observatories, and theoretical particle physics.

The research activities of our section are embedded in Nikhef, the Dutch Institute for Subatomic Physics, which coordinates research in theoretical and experimental particle and astroparticle physics as well as gravitational waves across The Netherlands.

Members of our section are involved in various educational programs, including the Bachelor and Master joint degrees (with the UvA) on Physics and Astronomy, the Medical Natural Sciences (MNW, Medische Natuurwetenschappen) Bachelor program, and the Bachelor program on Mechanical Engineering offered in collaboration with the University of Twente. Furthermore, section members are part of the national graduate schools in theoretical and experimental particle physics, namely the Dutch Research School of Theoretical Physics (DRSTP) and the Research School on Subatomic Physics (OSAF) respectively.

You can find below more information about the research activities in each of these three topics and the list of staff members. Furthermore, information about available bachelor and master research projects (internships) supervised by section members can be found in the Nikhef education wiki, one can find there the updated projects descriptions for bachelor and master internships.


The LHCb experiment  is one of the main experiments analyzing the data provided by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. The focus of the LHCb activities is to investigate the properties of particles called B-hadrons, which provide unique information about the differences between matter and antimatter and also about the structure of the fundamental interactions between particles.

The Gravitational Waves group is involved in several gravitational waves observatories, from existing ones such as LIGO and Virgo to proposed new facilities, in particular the Einstein Telescope (ET) and its predecessor ETpathfinder. Members of our section are particularly active in instrumentation for current and future GW experiments to ensure that the best possible sensitivity to GW phenomena is reached.

The research of the Theoretical Particle Physics group focuses on a number of topics in particle physics phenomenology, from the determination of the quark and gluon structure of nucleons and nuclei to effective field theories and high-energy neutrino interactions. A common theme is the use of state-of-the art machine learning tools and a strong collaboration with experimental activities at the national and international level.