The Standard Model of particle physics describes nature at its most fundamental level, in terms of the basic constituents of matter. Despite its success, it fails to explain phenomena such as the existence of dark matter or the abundance of matter over antimatter. In addition, several unexplained puzzles including, for instance, the discrepancy between the experimental value and theoretical prediction of the muon anomalous magnetic moment, challenge the validity of the Standard Model and might provide first hints for “new physics”.
The PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence makes unique contributions to the investigation of the deep open questions surrounding the validity of the Standard Model. PRISMA+ scientists search for new particles and forces via a combination of innovative precision experiments performed on the JGU campus and large-scale experiments at international facilities.
The construction and operation of the “Mainz Energy-recovery Superconducting Accelerator” (MESA) is one of the key goals of the cluster. MESA will allow for a new generation of low-energy precision experiments, including searches for messenger particles to the dark sector, measurements of the proton electromagnetic form factors at ultra-low momentum transfers, precision determinations of the electroweak mixing angle and measurements of the neutron skin of heavy nuclei.
PRISMA+ comprises five main interconnected research areas:
A: Exploring the intensity frontier at MESA
B: Precision physics at the low-energy frontier
C: Exploring the weakly interacting universe
D: Physics at high-energy accelerators
E: Theory and phenomenology of fundamental interactions
Research in Theoretical Physics at PRISMA+ is further strengthened by the Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics (MITP). MITP is a community-driven platform for international visiting scholars to discuss the key questions at the frontiers of their field. Founded in 2013, MITP has rapidly evolved into an internationally recognized and highly regarded center for scientific exchange and collaboration.