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December 14th 2017

The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN was the jewel on the crown of the Standard Model. At the same time the discovery opened the door to new insights: fundamental questions remain about the universe that the Standard Model cannot explain. Questions such as: is the universe stable? Why has antimatter disappeared from the universe? Were the nuclear forces and electromagnetism a single force in the past?

This research programme will look for this physics using the Higgs boson as a doorway. From a theoretical perspective, but also in close collaboration with colleagues from ATLAS and LHCb-experiments, the scientists involved in this quest have chosen three different directions in their research.

In the first direction they focus on the extremely accurate predictions for LHC collision processes that produce the Higgs boson. By comparing these with equally accurate measurements, the researchers can make statements about small deviations that can be a consequence of new physics. In the second direction they will look at the properties of the B-meson decay process and other processes that are extremely sensitive to particles that have not been discovered yet, especially to extra Higgs particles. In the third direction they will anticipate new discoveries by taking the Higgs potential as a guide, and theoretical models that provide answers to the questions already stated will take centre stage.

Programme leader Eric Laenen: "With a new run of the LHC coming up there are fantastic opportunities for new discoveries. Through this programme, focused on the Higgs boson, and through our collaboration and expertise, we can now play a leading role in the exciting search for physics beyond the Standard Model."

This programme is a collaboration between:

  • FOM Institute Nikhef: R. Fleischer, E. Laenen, A. Schellekens, J. Vermaseren
  • VU University Amsterdam: P. Mulders
  • Radboud University: W. Beenakker, R. Kleiss
  • University of Groningen: D. Boer, E. Pallante, R. Timmermans
  • Utrecht University: T. Prokopec
  • Leiden University: A. Boyarsky


programme titel: Higgs as a probe and portal
programme leader: Prof.dr. E.L.M.P. Laenen
research groups at Nikhef, Vrije Universiteit, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Universiteit Utrecht en Universiteit Leiden
duration: 2015 - 2020
budget: M€ 2,1