University of Groningen joins Nikhef collaboration

The University of Groningen and the Nikhef board signed a collaboration agreement today. With this, the Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity of the University of Groningen has joined the national collaboration Nikhef. Groningen is joining the fruitful collaboration in the area of particle and astroparticle physics of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), Radboud University, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam.

Nikhef director Stan Bentvelsen responded enthusiastically: "With the admission of the Van Swinderen Institute, Nikhef broadens and strengthens its scientific portfolio. We have already worked together successfully for many years and this agreement confirms this intensive collaboration. In the Netherlands you need to consolidate strengths to make the difference at the international level. The activities in Groningen fit seamlessly within Nikhef's current work with respect to the theory as well as the experimental LHCb research programme at CERN. Furthermore, I see fantastic opportunities in an entirely new and exciting direction to discover physics beyond the standard model of elementary particles."

High-precision expertise

In line with its theoretical and experimental research programmes the Van Swinderen Institute (VSI) is developing an extremely precise measurement method for the electric dipole moment of the electron. This fits within the tradition of VSI's expertise regarding high-precision experiments but also provides an approach that is complementary to the techniques used by Nikhef. The scientific questions focus on the fundamental characteristics of elementary particles and a search for new particles, and these questions therefore fit superbly within Nikhef's mission.

Jasper Knoester, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen, also sees the added value: "It is fantastic that the Van Swinderen Institute will join forces with colleagues in the same discipline via the national Nikhef collaboration so that we can strengthen and complement each other's scientific efforts."

Dutch National Research Agenda

The Nikhef collaboration strengthens the possibilities for finding answers to questions from the Dutch National Research Agenda, especially within the exemplary route 'Building blocks of matter, foundations of space and time'. This fundamental and curiosity-driven theme is based on questions that the Dutch public posed.