The particle physics department (DPNC) studies the fundamental structures and laws of nature from the largest dimensions in the Universe to the smallest of the microcosm by using three complementary approaches:
- high-energy particle collisions with CERN’s LHC and the ATLAS detector, and ideas for future accelerators such as the FCC hh-ee-he
- experiments with neutrinos (T2K, Hyper-Kamiokande)
- astroparticle physics experiments on the ground (IceCube, CTA) and in space (AMS, POLAR, DAMPE)
More recently medical physics and its connection to particle physics has been added to this list
The research conducted at DPNC finds its motivation in the grand mysteries of the Universe which can be formulated in form of open questions:
- What is the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy?
- Can gravity be incorporated in the particle picture?
- Why are the neutrino masses so small and what can neutrinos teach us about the matter / anti-matter asymmetry?
- What can we learn about our Universe from cosmic rays?
- Is the hierarchy problem, i.e. the Higgs mass being so much smaller than the Planck mass, a broad hint or a deception?
- Is there physics Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics?
- How can novel solutions in particle physics benefit medical physics?
The proximity to and close connection with CERN and its Large Hadron Collider plays a key role in the department’s research program.
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New AMS results on heavy secondary fluorine nuclei show that cosmic rays don't all propagate the same way
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), steadily acquiring cosmic-ray data on the International Space Station (ISS) since May 2011, has measured with percent-level accuracy the spectrum of fluorine nuclei in cosmic rays, providing for the first time the characterization of heavy secondary cosmic-ray spectrum, that is their intensity as function of energy.
T2K results on CP violation selected among the top 10 scientific results of 2020 by Nature
T2K published in March 2020 the first indication of possible violation of the symmetry between neutrinos and antineutrinos in oscillations.
Latest results from AMS bring a new puzzle on the heaviest side of cosmic rays
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) installed on the International Space Station since May 2011 has measured with percent-level accuracy the spectrum of iron nuclei in cosmic rays, providing for the first time the characterization of these very heavy cosmic-ray component.
Dr. Steven Schramm awarded an SNF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship
Dr. Steven Schramm of the Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics (DPNC) has obtained an SNF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship in support of his project titled “Turning noise into data: a discovery strategy for new weakly-interacting physics.”
Dr. Steven Schramm awarded an ERC Starting Grant
Dr. Steven Schramm of the Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics (DPNC) has obtained an ERC Starting Grant providing funding of up to € 1.5 million over five years, for the DISCOVERHEP project (Turning noise into data: a discovery strategy for new weakly-interacting physics).
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