Astroparticle physics is a rapidly growing field of research at the intersection astrophysics, theoretical physics, particle or high-energy physics, and cosmology. Progress in these disciplines has, in the past decade, highlighted some profound questions that lie at their interfaces. These questions have, in different ways, become central to their research programmes. It is precisely such questions that astroparticle physics addresses, for example:
- What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy?
- How can the forces of Nature be unified? Does this union leave measurable signatures in the present Universe?
- What do black holes and neutron stars teach us about the fundamental laws of physics?
- In what ways are high-energy neutrinos, cosmic rays, gamma rays and gravity waves produced and how do these new messengers enhance our knowledge of the extremes of the Universe?
These questions are profound, challenging and appealing, and answering them will require advanced and innovative methods from the various disciplines.
GRAPPA (GRavitation and AstroParticle Physics in Amsterdam), is a centre of excellence of the U. of Amsterdam. At GRAPPA, 10 faculty and a large number of associated faculty from the three institutes involved in the GRAPPA initiative – Astronomy (API), High-Energy Physics (IHEF) and Theoretical Physics (ITFA) – work together to tackle these profound and challenging questions with advanced and innovative methods, and at same time they perform a vigorous teaching and training program to allow new generations of scientists to push even further the frontiers of knowledge.