DFG to Fund High-Profile Research in Particle Physics


RWTH is one of three institutions forming a new Transregional Collaborative Research Center (TRR) funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.


The German Research Foundation, DFG for short, has approved a new Transregional Collaborative Research Center (TRR) operated by RWTH in collaboration with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Siegen. The University of Heidelberg will also contribute to the new TRR.

Starting in January 2019, the center, titled "Phenomenological Elementary Particle Physics After the Higgs Discovery," will receive 12 million euros in funding over a four-year period. Spokesperson for RWTH will be Professor Michael Krämer from the Chair of Theoretical Physics E.

The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 was widely considered to complete the standard model of Particle Physics, which describes the fundamental building blocks of matter and how they interact. However, there are a number of questions that remain unanswered: so far, it has not been possible to integrate gravitation in the model, and it does not explain cosmological phenomena such as the existence of “dark matter” and “dark energy.” For these reasons, the Standard Model of Particle Physics is incomplete, and it is to be replaced by a more comprehensive theory.

With the help of the collision of high-energy protons, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva is searching for new phenomena not accounted for by the Standard Model. As it has not been possible as yet to create new particles using the highest energies provided by the LHC, physicists increasingly turn to more indirect ways of searching for a physics beyond the Standard Model: new particles and interactions become manifest in quantum fluctuations, for example, which deviate from the predictions of the Standard Model and whose existence can be indirectly established.

The TRR “Phenomenological Elementary Particle Physics After the Higgs Discovery” reflects this paradigm shift, focusing on theoretical high-precision predictions to interpret the measurements conducted at the LHC and the development of new indirect methods for the search for a physics beyond the Standard Model. The TRR strives to fully exploit the potential offered by the LHC in this search for new phenomena.