SRP 1. High Energy Physics and Theoretical Physics
The most important open questions in contemporary elementary particle physics are the origin of mass and the physical mechanisms determining the state of the Universe (including Dark Matter and Energy). This program includes both theoretical work and numerous international experiments in particle physics and cosmology. The strategy of the Institute is to be involved in both: in the development of new theories and in their experimental testing in forthcoming experiments.
1.1 Experimental High Energy Physics
In the experimental side NICPB is a member of the CMS collaboration of the forthcoming Large Hadron Collider at CERN. NICPB is the coordinator of Estonian scientists and summer students at CERN. As a spin-off of the experimental particle physics program, a distributed computing concept Grid is under development and NICPB participates in it in both levels – Estonian and European level.
The Institute houses a Tier-2 computing centre, which is one of the biggest computing centres for the CMS experiment in Europe.
1.2 Theoretical Particle Physics
The direction of the theoretical work in NICPB is phenomenological, and relies on availability of experimental data. Experimental neutrino physics and cosmology are currently and in the near future under fast development. This motivates the NICPB group work in developing neutrino mass models and connecting them to experimental data. The neutrino masses might be directly connected to the expansion of the Universe shortly after the Big Bang. A fundamental problem in understanding the genesis and existence of the Universe is the emergence of asymmetric matter, or why there are ten orders of magnitude more matter than antimatter. One explanation goes through the leptogenesis, and NICPB participates in this work. Another priority of the NICPB group is the connection of the inflation of the Universe to the elementary particle theory.