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In the summer semester 2013, BTU physics students visited the largest man-made research instrument: the Large Hadron Collider LHC at CERN near Geneva. Maria Hempel, a BTU Ph.D. student, together with Tobias Bär, a Ph.D., a student from the University of Hamburg, supervised the Cottbus group. The first major discovery at the LHC in 2012 was the Higgs particle, whose eponymous formula can be read here. In 2013, the two physicists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert received the Nobel Prize for their theory, which was confirmed by the experiments at CERN and other data.

The underground particle accelerator, which is over 26-kilometers in length, is the most powerful accelerator in the world. Inside, protons are accelerated to near the speed of light and collided. This creates new kinds of matter, which determined the events at the dawn of the universe. Physicists from all over the world work together at the LHC and hope for new insights into the origin and composition of our universe. This raises a fundamental question that students in the natural sciences at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg can dedicate themselves to.