High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics


From string theory to physics at large energy colliders, from neutrino phenomenology to alternative cosmologies.

The High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (HECAP) section at ICTP is studying some of the most exciting areas in physics today, from string theory to physics at large energy colliders, from neutrino phenomenology to alternative cosmologies.

HECAP collaborates closely with the staff of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the Department of Theoretical Physics of Trieste University, and with the physicists of the Trieste section of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).




Seminars view all

» Maximal freedom at minimum cost: on the future of general scalar-tensor theories in cosmology

» Towards an effective likelihood for Large-Scale Structure

» The Large Volume Scenario, Holography and the Swampland

» Galaxy Clustering in the Effective Field Theory Approach

Activities view all

» Spring School on Superstring Theory and Related Topics | (smr 3276)

» Advanced Workshop on Accelerating the Search for Dark Matter with Machine Learning | (smr 3280)

» Interpreting the LHC Run 2 Data and Beyond | (smr 3228)

» Summer School on Particle Physics | (smr 3300)

Members view all


Research and Visiting Opportunities

The HECAP section has research and visitors' programmes mostly aimed at scientists from developing countries.

Research: Director's Office

String Phenomenology and Cosmology

The main motivation to study string theory is because it promises to provide a framework to unify all matter and interactions, including gravity, in a consistent theory. Despite the intrinsic difficulty of dealing with a theory that manifests itself at scales as high as the Planck mass, for more than 25 years there has been continuous progress in order to connect string theory and low-energy physics. This refers to extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics and cosmology that could lead to some observable implications.

Phenomenology of particle physics
Researchers in this area, which bridges theoretical physics (such as quantum field theory and theories of the structure of spacetime) and experimental particle physics, are exploring: neutrino phenomenology; astroparticle physics; phenomenology at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other high-energy colliders; and flavor physics.
The study of the large-scale structure and the evolution of the universe has in the last few years entered a qualitatively new phase, driven by a host of experimental results. Topics being studied at ICTP include clustering dark energy, non-gaussianity, and eternal inflation.
String and higher dimensional theories
This field combines quantum mechanics and general relativity into a quantum theory of gravity that attempts to describe all the known natural forces and matter in a mathematically complete system. In string theory, the electrons and quarks inside an atom are vibrational modes of one-dimensional extended objects, relativistic strings. ICTP's string theorists are exploring holographic QCD and holographic hydrodynamics; topological string theory; spin-2 particles; and the spectrum of a class of brane solutions in minimal gauged supergravity in six dimensions.
Experimental Particle Physics
The Udine/ICTP ATLAS group, supported by the INFN, is part of the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The group has made (and is making) significant contributions to several measurements and observations involving the top quark, the Higgs boson and searches for new physics. The group is also strongly involved in science outreach and public engagement. In addition, it participates in the development of detectors for the LHC upgrade, as well as Monte Carlo simulation/validation and computing performance. ICTP joined forces with the University of Udine ATLAS group in 2008.