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.

  • News

Prof. Laura Baudis (Uni. of Zurich) at the TEDxCERN event 2016
  • 28.11.2016
  • news

"We do not see the whole picture"

Laura Baudis, Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Zurich, recently talked about the extremely difficult search for Dark Matter at the TEDxCERN event in Geneva. In the talk, which is available as a video recording, she gives a well understandable insight into one of the hotest topics of current particle physics research.
Physics in Advent: Whether 'Nikolaus' or 'Weihnachtsmann' - without physics nothing works. Photo: PiA
  • 18.11.2016
  • news

24 simple and yet ingenious experiments until Christmas

Once more, clever pupils from all over Switzerland are invited to the pre-Christmas competition 'Physics in Advent'. Starting on December 1st, participants are asked to solve a simple physical task every day. Special prices for individual pupils as well as for whole school classes are provided. Indeed, teachers from Swiss schools are invited to participate in the competition with their class. One of the prizes is a class trip to CERN.
Prof. Günther Dissertori (47), particle physicist at the ETH Zurich and new deputy spokesman for the CMS experiment at CERN.
  • 15.11.2016
  • news

"Like the CEO of a multinational company"

The abbreviation CMS stands for one of the currently largest physics experiments worldwide. Günther Dissertori, a particle physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, was recently appointed to the three-headed spokesperson-team of the CMS experiment, which is located at the large particle accelerator at CERN in Meyrin near Geneva. The 47-year-old scientist has to cope with a task that can be compared to the management of an international company with 4,000 employees.

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.

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