Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Press Release 152/2018

New Transregional Collaborative Research Center on Particle Physics

Researchers Want to Uncover Fundamental Theory

The discovery of the “Higgs boson” in 2012 completed the standard model of particle physics. Researchers in the “Phe-nomenological Elementary Particle Physics after the Higgs Dis-covery” CRC 257 Transregional Collaborative Research Center, which the German Research Foundation (DFG) has now ap-proved, are dedicating themselves to better understanding the underlying fundamental theory. Karlsruhe Institute of Technolo-gy (KIT) is the host university, and the University of Siegen and RWTH Aachen are the partners. The DFG also provides further funding for two Transregional Collaborative Research Centers with KIT participation.


With the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN, a major breakthrough in particle physics was achieved in 2012 which provided proof of all the particles predicted by the standard model. The standard model of particle physics is mathematically complete and can describe nature in great detail. However, cosmological and astrophysical observations indicate that there must be an even more fundamental theory beyond this model.


“A series of fundamental questions such as the nature of dark mat-ter or the surplus of matter observed in the universe cannot be an-swered by the standard model. This points to the existence of ‘new physics’ beyond this theory,” says the spokesman for the new Transregional Collaborative Research Center, Professor Kirill Melni-kov from the Institute for Theoretical Particle Physics at KIT. On the one hand, initial results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) showed no reference to such physics beyond the standard model; on the other hand, a few anomalies have appeared in some precise experiments (low energy, flavor) that point to a deviation from the standard model – and could develop into heralds for “new physics”.


This is where the work of CRC 257 begins. The aim is to gain a comprehensive picture of possible physics beyond the standard model.


With state-of-the-art theoretical methods and newly developed search strategies, the scientists want to lay the theoretical founda-tion for future data analyses at LHC, flavor factories and other low-energy experiments. This is how they create the option of identify-ing even the smallest deviations from the standard model, finding references to this “new physics”. Interpreting the results will be the major element in identifying the more fundamental theory on which the standard model is based.


The “Phenomenological Elementary Particle Physics after the Higgs Discovery” CRC 257 will be funded from January 2019, initially for four years with a total of around twelve million euros. Partners of KIT in this group are the University of Siegen and RWTH Aachen, and scientists from the University of Heidelberg are also involved.


This Transregional CRC is one of ten new Collaborative Research Centers in Germany. The DFG has also extended funding for 13 Collaborative Research Centers, including two with scientists from KIT.


CRC 88:  Cooperative Effects in Homo- and Heterometallic Com-plexes (3MET)

Applicant: TU Kaiserslautern together with KIT.

Further information: http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/142808194


CRC 150:  Turbulent, chemically reacting, multi-phase flows near walls

Applicant: TU Darmstadt together with KIT

Further information: http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/237267381


Press release from the DFG:


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 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 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.

le, 26.11.2018
Monika Landgraf

Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer

Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Margarete Lehné

Margarete Lehné
Deputy Head of Press Office

Phone: +49 721 608-41157

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Contact for this press release:

Margarete Lehné
Stellvertretende Pressesprecherin
Phone: +49 721 608-21157
Fax: +49 721 608-45681
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The press release is available as a PDF file.