Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe
The Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe focuses on fundamental questions about the origins, history, and nature of the Universe. How did the Universe evolve after the Big Bang? What is dark matter and how did it emerge? How do particle physics and gravity affect the development of the Universe? How can gravitational waves help us understand the early Universe?
The spectacular discovery of the Higgs boson and the first direct proof of gravitational waves have confirmed 2 fundamental concepts in physics: the creation of mass in elementary particles in quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of space and time, known as the Theory of General Relativity.
At the same time, astronomical and cosmological observations show that previous descriptions of nature are incomplete. For example, we still cannot explain the properties of dark matter, which forms the largest part of the Universe’s mass. We can produce anti-matter in the lab, but we cannot find it in the cosmos. Nor do we yet understand the origins of the currently accelerating expansion of the Universe or its even faster acceleration directly following the Big Bang.
All of these factors seem to be connected to the behavior and properties of elementary particles in the very early Universe in the immediate wake of the Big Bang but our current understanding of quantum physics and gravity falls short of explanations.
In their search for answers to these questions, Quantum Universe researchers will therefore focus on understanding mass and gravity at the fascinating interface between quantum physics and cosmology.
Research will range from the development of theoretical mathematical models, the physics of the Higgs boson, and theoretical and experimental work on the search for dark matter to gravitational waves as a window onto the early Universe.
More than 300 researchers in the fields of mathematics and physics (particle, astro-, and mathematical physics) will be working in the cluster.
Participating faculties: Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
Further participating institutions: Helmholtz-Zentrum Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)