High Energy Physics is the study of the basic constituents of matter and their interactions.
A large fraction of the energy in particle collisions is converted into particles flying away from the
collision point in a fashion reminiscent of exploding fireworks. Most of the created particles have
an ephemeral existence, decaying after a brief period of time into more stable ones. Detailed studies
of the properties of all known particles have revealed an inner order, which has been coded into a
theoretical framework known as the Standard Model. Matter in all its forms, from stars to living
organisms, can be described in terms of 12 fundamental particles, six quarks and six leptons,
interacting among themselves by exchanging force particles - gluons, photons, or W and Z bosons
- following strict mathematical rules based on symmetry principles.
Founded in 1970, our Laboratory has made substantial contributions that helped establish the Standard Model as the premier theory of elementary particle physics.
Our experiments at the Intersecting Storage Rings at
CERN were among the first to provide evidence for the existence of quarks
through the measurement of high transverse momentum particle production;
in experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory we discovered and
measured the rate of neutrino-proton elastic scattering, an example of
the neutral current interactions predicted by and essential to the foundation
of the Standard Model; and in experiments at the Fermilab Tevatron, our team contributed to the
discovery of the top quark.
We are currently looking forward to more discoveries at Fermilab and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.