Particle Physics

Particle physics probes the basic building blocks of matter and their interactions, which determine the structure and properties of the extreme diversity of matter in the universe. It aims at explaining what holds the world together in its most fundamental constituents.

Proton-Proton Collision (LHC, CERN)
Proton-Proton Collision (LHC, CERN)
Proton-Proton Collision (LHC, CERN)

Modern physics relies on an elegant «Standard Model of particle physics», a quantum field theory based on three symmetries and a symmetry breaking. This theory describes and explains magnificently all experimental results obtained so far. With the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the last missing piece of the Standard Model has been experimentally confirmed. Experiments at CERN and at other international laboratories now continue to test the validity and limits of the Standard Model in ever widening scope. However, for a comprehensive understanding of the laws of nature a theory beyond the Standard Model is needed, which should include gravitation and explain the presence of dark matter and dark energy in the universe.

  • Events
  • News
  • Publications

Prof. Florencia Canelli (University of Zurich) in front of the CMS detector at CERN. Photo: B. Vogel
  • 26.05.2017
  • news

LHC provides data again

After a half-year break, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will go into operation again in June. During the last few months, intensive maintenance work on the particle accelerator has been done. The physicist community is hoping to gain new insight into the building bricks that make up our world.
Michael Hoch - promoted particle physicist, photographer and artist - also likes to use artistic means for communicating particle physics. Photo: private
  • 28.04.2017
  • news

Artistic View on Physics

The highly complex research of elementary particle physics is for most people not immediately comprehensible. An artistic approach can help overcome the inaccessibility of this discipline and make particle physics understandable. This is the basic idea of the art @ CMS program, which is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year.
Researcher Dr Alessandro Sfondrini (ETH Zurich) wishes to make the 'holographic principle' understandable to students. Photo: private
  • 06.04.2017
  • news

A Voyage to the Boundaries of Physics

As complicated as particle physics may be, experiments such as those conducted at CERN make it clear how researchers in this discipline work. . However, theoretical physicists, whose work is based on mathematical models, have more difficulty explaining their work. A project from ETH Zurich attempts to provide easy-to-understand insight into a current field of research in theoretical physics.

Swiss physicists in dialog with the society

Swiss physicists want to make their fascinating research understandable to the interested public and to debate its meaning for our society together with representatives of other fields.