Particles and the Cosmos

Some of the most spectacular astrophysical phenomena are intricately connected to particle physics properties. Elementary particles are unique probes for exploring otherwise invisible astrophysical phenomena. Conversely, the cosmos is a unique laboratory to study elementary particle properties under conditions that cannot be realised within terrestrial experiments.

Through large-scale neutrino experiments, Origins scientists search for lepton number violation in neutrinoless double beta decay (GERDA/LEGEND), probe the neutrino mass (KATRIN), perform neutrino astronomy, carry out precision oscillation measurements and undertake sterile neutrino searches (IceCube, Borexino, JUNO, KATRIN).

Exploring the nature of dark matter
They are also deeply involved in direct and indirect Dark Matter search experiments, in both neutrino and gamma-ray astronomy (CRESST, DEAP, IceCube, MAGIC/CTA, FERMI), and with particle collider experiments (ATLAS). Origins scientists will collaboratively address four key topics at the crossroads of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology:

  • the nature of Dark Matter
  • neutrino properties and their role in astrophysics
  • the origin of the cosmic matter anti-matter asymmetry
  • the origin of high-energy cosmic rays