The SFB is centered at the interface of particle physics, string theory and cosmology. The upcoming experiments at the ‘Large Hadron Collider’ (LHC) at CERN (Geneva) will elucidate the nature of the elementary building blocks of matter, uncover the mechanism responsible for their mass generation and discover or severely constrain physical phenomena which go beyond the established theory of the known elementary particles. Similarly, cosmological observations which are planned for the coming years will improve the understanding of the still mysterious Dark Matter and Dark Energy and will further establish the history of the very early universe.
Various research groups of the SFB are involved in the LHC and in aspects of the upcoming cosmological observations. In parallel theoretical and mathematical investigations are carried out. In particular (supersymmetric) extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics are in the focus of interest. Such theories lead to interesting predictions for new particles within the discovery reach of the LHC and they also suggest a promising explanation of the dark matter. In addition, neutrino physics, the physics of very weakly interacting sub-eV particles, questions concerning the origin of the highest energy particles observed in the universe, cosmic leptogenesis and quantum field theoretic foundations of cosmology are further research projects of the SFB. Particle physics and cosmology are expected to be unified within string theory. The mathematical development of string theory and its application in particle physics and cosmology therefore form a central research block of the SFB. On the one hand, the mathematical foundations of string theory are developed in close interdisciplinary contact with modern mathematics. On the other hand models of inflation and particle physics which come out of string theory are investigated. The interplay of string theory and strongly coupled quantum field theories – such as (supersymmetric) quantum chromodynamics – are further central research projects.
The research arena of the SFB is the interface of Particle Physics, String Theory and Cosmology. Accordingly the SFB is structured into the following sections: