International Master of Particle and Astroparticle Physics

The Nikhef Research School of Subatomic Physics (OSAF) is the Dutch national graduate school for research in the field of particle and astroparticle physics. The International Master's programme 'Particle and Astroparticle Physics' is embedded in the education programme of this graduate school.

Contents of the programme

What are the smallest building blocks ("particles") of the universe? Via which forces do these particles interact? Can one understand the apparently random particle masses? Why do we live in a matter (as opposed to anti-matter) dominated universe? These and many other questions are the context of experiments in (astro)particle physics.

The experiments are performed at the few large international particle accelerator laboratories like CERN/Geneva, and FermiLab/Chicago. Other locations include deep in the sea, under mountain rock, within the Antarctic ice and at satellites in outer space. The particle accelerator experiments allow the researchers to investigate interactions in a controlled environment and are thought to approach the conditions in the universe a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. The non-accelerator experiments are of even more speculative nature: the study of neutrino radiation from our Sun or from supernovae, the search for proton decay and the detection of gravitational waves radiated by e.g. a collapsing star binary.

Common features of all these exciting experiments at the knowledge frontier are the use of state-of-the-art technology, innovative software (the web was invented at CERN) and a collaboration between international teams of excellent scientists.


Master of Science in Physics (MSc Physics)


The Master's program is a joint effort of the University of Amsterdam and the VU University in Amsterdam. Close cooperation with Utrecht University, Twente University and Radboud University offers students of these universities the opportunity to include the Master's program in their MSc programme for Experimental Physics, Applied Physics or Physics and Astronomy, respectively.