Press Release 084/2015

4.6 Million Euros for Particle Physicists

Federal Ministry of Education and Research Funds Work of KIT Physicists at the European Research Center CERN
Particle tracks after a proton-proton collision producing a Higgs boson. They were recorded by the CMS detector of CERN’s LHC accelerator. (Photo: © 2012 CERN / CMS Collaboration)

Particle physicists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are granted of about EUR 4.6 million for research at the European Research Center CERN in the current funding period. With these funds, the BMBF wishes to finance current operation and further development work at the CMS detector that contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. At KIT, about 70 physicists in eight working groups focus on the operation, further development, and physical data analysis of the CMS.


Recently, the 27 km long LHC accelerator ring of CERN started operation again. It now makes protons collide at the record energy of 13 TeV, nearly twice the energy of past measurements. And it is planned to more than double the collision rate of protons again. By analyzing the data, KIT physicists hope to obtain a far better understanding of the properties of the Higgs boson and of the existence of dark matter. In addition, they search for further Higgs bosons that were postulated by theories, such as the so-called supersymmetry.


The KIT researchers do not only focus on the current experiment, but also on the long-term use of the detector. They set up a long-term research and development program that concentrates on the design of a new silicon track detector that is to replace the world’s largest silicon strip detector accommodated in the CMS prior to the high-intensity phase of the LHC. KIT’s Institute of Experimental Nuclear Physics (IEKP) and the Institute of Data Processing and Electronics (IPE) are involved in this work. The KIT working groups are headed by professors de Boer, Husemann, Müller, Quast, and Weber. The group of KIT researchers is the largest group of a university at CERN. KIT’s Thomas Müller is the spokesperson of all German research groups involved in the CMS project.


Experimental work is supported by KIT’s theoreticians, also with funding by the BMBF. Their precision calculations are required to produce reliable prognoses of Higgs properties and postulate physical processes beyond the standard model of particle physics. KIT’s computer scientists operate GridKa, one of eleven tier-1 computing centers worldwide that process and store data of CERN’s large-scale experiments.


Current funding for a period of three years is granted under the BMBF project “Elementary Particle Physics by the CMS Experiment at the LHC” (BMBF-FSP 104) and the BMBF research infrastructure project (FIS project 05H2015) “Improvement of the Track Detector for the Phase II Upgrade of the CMS Experiment.”


The photo may be downloaded at

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

kes, 27.07.2015

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Kosta Schinarakis
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21165
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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The press release is available as a PDF file.