Strategic Research Program "High-Energy Physics"

Particle physics experiments

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN was designed to explore physics at the TeV energy scale where novel physical phenomena are expected to appear. The exploration of the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking (e.g. one or more scalar particles), the search for supersymmetry and possible new physics phenomena and the understanding of the family structure of quarks and leptons are among its main tasks. After decades of preparation the LHC started its research program in 2010 at 50% of the design energy. Increases in the luminosity have already allowed exciting measurements like the first observation of top-quarks at CERN, something the VUB was closely involved in, just like the consecutive publications in the field of top-quark physics. After a successfull Run 1, where the undisputed highlight was the discovery of a new particle consistent with a Standard Model Higgs boson, the collider was shut down in 2013-2015 to prepare the machine for operation at design energy and nominal luminosity. During the shut-down, the CMS experiment was upgraded, but most importantly the very large dataset that was collected in 2010-2012 wass be scrutinized for subtle signals of new physics. In 2015 the LHC has restarted at 13 TeV energy, and the design parameters are expected to be achieved in 2016. The searches for possible new physical phenomena are currently in full swing and the VUB group is continuing its leading role in the CMS collaboration.


Group leader

Prof. Dr. Jorgen D'Hondt
Inter-University Institute for High Energies (IIHE)

Email: jorgen.dhondt at
Phone: +32-2-629 32 04




Permanent Staff

10% Professor

  • Petra Van Mulders | publications 

Postdoctoral Research Associates

PhD students