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.