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BMBF Funds TU Dortmund University’s Research at CERN with 3.7 Million Euros

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View into an experimental hall at CERN in Geneva with a giant magnetic apparatus. © CERN
The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment focuses on precision measurements and the search for rare decays. Scientists from the Faculty of Physics of TU Dortmund University are participating in the LHCb.

At CERN, the world’s largest center for particle physics, scientists from all over the world are trying to find new particles. In addition, they are investigating the properties and interactions of already known elementary particles in order to solve previously open questions in physics. Around 40 physicists from TU Dortmund University are involved in two of the four major projects that are running on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator and in the accompanying development of theoretical models. This research is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with 3.7 million euros from 2019 for 2.5 years.

Scientists from the Faculty of Physics of TU Dortmund University are participating in the ATLAS experiment under the direction of Professor Kevin Kröninger, and their colleagues led by Professor Bernhard Spaan are working on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment. The objectives of both experiments are to test the Standard Model and to search for new phenomena – albeit with a different focus: The ATLAS researchers are searching for previously unknown forces and elementary particles. The LHCb experiment focuses on precision measurements and the search for rare decays. The work of the physicists from TU Dortmund University is supported by theoretical investigations of the processes taking place at the LHC. These accompanying investigations are carried out by the third working group of TU Dortmund University headed by Professor Gudrun Hiller. Theoretical models and analyses are necessary to interpret the data.

Regular on-site research at CERN

BMBF funding is essential for the maintenance and operation as well as for the expansion and further development of the experiments. The infrastructure that researchers use for their work must be constantly adapted to the current requirements of the projects. It is also essential for the work of the experimental particle physicists from TU Dortmund University that they conduct regular on-site research at CERN. These stays are also funded by the BMBF.

The particle accelerator LHC will not be in operation until around the end of 2020 due to conversion work aimed at improving the functionality of the facility. When the LHC is operational again, the accelerated nuclear constituents will collide at an energy of 14 teraelectronvolts – more powerfully than ever before. “The increased center-of-mass energy opens up new possibilities for us to visualize previously unobserved phenomena and new elementary particles – if these exist,” said Professor Kevin Kröninger.

The research of the Dortmund scientists does not pause during the interruption in operation of the particle accelerator. “We are busy evaluating the data we have collected over the past few years. In addition, we have to further develop or modify our experiments in order to make the best possible use of the functionalities of the renewed LHC from 2021,” said Professor Bernhard Spaan.

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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 Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). 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 Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord 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 20 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".

Dortmund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dortmund Airport to TU Dortmund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dortmund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dortmund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. 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 Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

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