Theoretical Particle Physics
In particle physics, the laws of nature are investigated at the smallest accessible length scales. The building blocks of our everyday world (proton, neutron and electron) are just a fraction of all the particles out there. However, the excitement in this field is not so much driven by the discovery of new particles, as by the amazing symmetries and features of nature that they reveal. For instance, the Higgs boson, recently discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, is a "nugget" of vacuum that is related to the breaking of the electroweak symmetry, and helps explain where mass comes from.
We work on improving the description of scattering processes, mostly focussing on aspects relating to the strong force. The strong force is essential in describing the colliding protons at the LHC and produces lots of radiation that contaminates searches for new physics. Theoretical aspects involve effective field theories, factorization, resummation, Monte Carlo simulation, and mathematical tools for perturbation theory. Physics topics we are particularly interested in are the characterization of the Higgs boson and top quark, and the physics of jets of energetic hadrons. We also make predictions for potential signals of physics beyond the Standard Model (including supersymmetry). In this line of research we interact closely with our experimental and theoretical colleagues at IHEF and the nearby Nikhef institute.
prof. dr. E.L.M.P. (Eric) Laenen
dr. W.J. (Wouter) Waalewijn