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In Search of Unknown Particles

Further € 4.3 Million for Research at CERN

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A physicist is working on a new LHCb detector. © Janina Nicolini​/​TU Dort­mund
The new detector for the LHCb ex­peri­ment – the black block – was co-developed and built by physicists from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity.

Scientists from around the globe are working at the CERN re­search center in Switzerland, home to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Around 50 physicists from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are participating in two large-scale projects at the LHC and contributing to the parallel development of theoretical models. As of July, their work is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a further € 4.3 million for three years as part of ErUM-Pro proj­ect funding.

At CERN, in­ter­na­tio­nal sci­en­tists are searching for particles to date unknown. In order to solve physics questions so far unanswered, they are also studying properties and interactions of already known elementary particles. In a ring-shaped underground tunnel about 27 kilometers long, packets of protons are accelerated to almost the speed of light and made to collide. Billions of elementary particles are created in the process. Gigantic detectors record their tracks, their energy, and their decay.

Physicists from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are involved in work on two detectors: The teams led by Professor Johannes Albrecht and Professor Bernhard Spaan are conducting re­search on the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment (LHCb). The focus here lies on precision measurements and the search for rare decays. The group led by Professor Kevin Kröninger is contributing to the ATLAS experiment. This is concerned with the search for so far unknown forces and elementary particles. Theoretical studies of the processes taking place in the particle accelerator are the res­pon­si­bi­li­ty of the working group led by Professor Gudrun Hiller. To interpret the data, theoretical models and analyses are required.

New LHCb detector

The work of the experimental particle physicists and TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity necessitates regular on-site presence at CERN. These visits are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, among others. The ministry’s funding is, however, indispensable above all for the maintenance and operation as well as the upgrading and further development of the detectors. The LHC has been modified and overhauled in recent years, so that the accelerated protons now collide more violently than ever before. To be able to make the best possible use of the functionalities of the redesigned particle accelerator, the detectors also need to be upgraded. “We’re currently installing a new LHCb detector and have made an im­por­tant contribution to the construction of the tracking detector in the frame­work of the funding provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research,” says Professor Johannes Albrecht. The LHCb upgrade is scheduled to go into operation in the spring of 2022. The next step will be to upgrade the ATLAS experiment. Here too, the sci­en­tists will ben­efit from the ministry’s funding.

Contact for further in­for­mation:

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Cam­pus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Cam­pus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Cam­pus to South Cam­pus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Cam­pus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duis­burg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Cam­pus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Cam­pus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Cam­pus and offers a direct connection to South Cam­pus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Cam­pus North and the smaller Cam­pus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).