Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics founded as part of PRISMA Cluster of Excellence

Opening conference with international top-ranking scientists to discuss results collected by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN


The sensational discovery of the Higgs particle in the summer of 2012 put the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) into the spotlight of worldwide attention. At the same time, the breakthrough proved the enormous capability of the particle accelerator. In order to upgrade the LHC for the use in experiments at even higher collision energies, it was shut down in February 2012. Following the initiative of the newly-founded Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics (MITP), highly-renowned experts are meeting in Mainz from March 18 to 22, 2013 to investigate the results of the data collected by the LHC. "It is highly appropriate that the inaugural workshop of MITP centers on the consequences emerging from one of the most profound discoveries of the past 30 years," Matthias Neubert, professor for theoretical particle physics at Mainz University and founding director of the institute, stressed in his opening remarks. "With the Higgs discovery, particle physics has entered a crucial stage of further development. The findings ahead could shape our worldview in a similarly revolutionary way as the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics did in the early part of the last century." The scientists currently assess the status of the analyses of the data provided by the LHC and estimate the potential for the discovery of new physics. New models could possibly replace the existing standard model of particle physics, which at present can only explain a fraction of matter in the universe.

MITP was established as part of the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA ("Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter"). About 250 scientists collaborate in this new research cooperation, which will receive funding of EUR 35 million over the next five years. The cluster focuses on central questions concerning the nature of the fundamental constituents of matter and their significance for the physics of the universe. MITP represents a major initiative of the cluster, which aims at becoming an international theory center in the long run. For this purpose, the institute organizes scientific programs, workshops, and conferences, in close cooperation with external researchers. It thus provides scientists from different research areas in theoretical physics with a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange.