Phenomenology of theories beyond the Standard Model of particle physics


The Standard Model of particle physics is at present a very successful description of the elementary particles and their interactions as quantum field theory with gauge symmetries. The recent discovery of the Brout Englert Higgs boson provides a further extraordinary achievement of this remarkable theory. However, there are many open questions in the Standard Model that still need to be solved. These include the hierarchy problem, that is the explanation of the large hierarchy between the electroweak scale and the Planck scale, and the origin of the dark matter, an unknown form of matter that should populate our cosmos and galaxies abundantly to explain the current structure of the Universe.
These and other challenging and unanswered questions lead to the formulation of models which are extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics, which are named Beyond Standard Model (BSM) theories. The research in phenomenology of BSM physics aims at formulating well motivated BSM theories to address some of the open problems in the current paradigm of particle physics, and intend to determine the experimental signatures that such new scenarios can display in high energy physics experiments. Such experiments include high energy particle colliders, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, dark matter dedicated experiments, such as XENON1T, and also experiments probing signals from our universe like IceCube.


The research group in BSM phenomenology at VUB counts a faculty member and few PostDocs and PhD students, and it is firmly embedded in the HEP@VUB, a strategic research program supported by VUB with the intent to promote the research in high energy physics at VUB and the synergy among the different groups. The pheno group carries on research activity on several topics in BSM phenomenology including Supersymmetry and its breaking, Signals of BSM physics at colliders, Dark matter simplified models and their experimental signatures, inflation and SUSY breaking.

The student will be involved in one of the research projects, including also collaborations with PostDocs and young PhD students as well as interactions with the other research groups in high energy physics at VUB (TENA, CMS and IceCube groups). The pheno group has also important connections with the neighbouring groups of ULB and UCL, with common activities and gathering.

For any additional information, please contact Prof. Alberto Mariotti.


  • Supersymmetry, extra dimensions, and novel scenarios to address the hierarchy problem
  • Simplified models of dark matter and their experimental signatures


Prof. Alberto Mariotti.