Core Research Area Particle, Astro- and Mathematical Physics
The core research area Particle, Astro- and Mathematical Physics uniquely unifies basic particle physics research and quantum field theory with questions from the fields of astronomy and mathematics: What are the basic building blocks of matter? What does dark matter consist of and what is dark energy? What is the structure of space and time? What is the origin and history of our universe and what is it made up of?
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, as formulated in the Theory of General Relativity. At the same time, astronomical and cosmological observations show that previous depictions of nature are incomplete. For example, we still cannot explain the properties of dark matter, which forms the largest part of the mass of the universe. While we can produce anti-matter in the lab, 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.
In their search for answers to these questions, researchers in the Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe focus on understanding mass and gravity at the fascinating interface between quantum physics and cosmology.
This research is part of a worldwide network and takes place primarily in major international collaborations all over the globe. The methods and technologies developed have an enduring influence on numerous areas in science and society. Hamburg’s combination of observational, experimental, and theoretical research is exceptional. Leading researchers make the intersection of these 3 areas unique.
Participating faculties and research centers
- 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (4MOST)
- BOREXino Experiment
- Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA)
- Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)
- Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
- Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef)
- European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN)
- European Southern Observatory (ESO)
- Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
- German Long Wavelength Consortium (GLOW)
- High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)
- High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.)
- International Linear Collider (ILC)
- Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO)
- Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)
- Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)
- Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)
- PIER – Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research
- Pierre Auger Observatory
Key programs and collaborative projects
- Cluster of excellence „Quantum Universe“
- SFB 676 Particles, Strings, and the Early Universe
- Research Training Group 1670 Mathematics inspired by String Theory and Quantum Field Theory
- BMBF-FSP 104 Physics with the CMS experiment (in German only)
- Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics (HAP)
- Helmholtz Alliance Physics at the Terascale