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Precision Experiments in Particle Physics at Low Energies

Module PH2272

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2019 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2019SS 2018

Basic Information

PH2272 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 30 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2272 is Bastian Märkisch.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course gives an introduction to precision experiments on particle physics and fundamental forces, which are not performed at collider experiments at particle accelerators. The course gives an introduction to the underlying physics motivation of such modern experiments and highlights their complementarity to searches for new physics at colliders. A focus of the course are the wide range of experimental techniques, which involve methods form atomic and molecular physics, particle and nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.

The course covers:

  • Precision tests of the Standard Model of particle physics, including
    • Electric Dipole Moments
    • studies of the weak interaction
  • Search for dark matter candidates
  • Neutrinos and their properties
  • Searches for hypothetical new short-range forces
  • Test of fundamental assumptions like Lorentz-invariance

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in this module, the student is able to

  1. Understand the concepts of modern precision particle physics experiments
  2. Discuss precision measurements
  3. Explain the evidence, motivation and experimental searches for different dark matter candidates
  4. Discuss and understand the latest results from neutrino physics


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Introductory lecture in nuclear and particle physics at bachelor level [PH0016 or equivalent]

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Precision Experiments in Particle Physics at Low Energies Märkisch, B. Wed, 14:00–16:00, PH 3268

Learning and Teaching Methods

The lecture presents the learning content in consecutive topical blocks. Modern experiments are discussed on the basis of original publications and extensive cross references to latest results are provided. Short summaries of a number of related experiments are prepared and presented by the students in flash presentations.

The lecture coninuously offers the possibility for intensive discssions of the topics of the course and thematically related questions that arise from the referenced material.


Blackboard, PowerPoint, Multimedia presentation.

Website for presentation material, additional literature and links.


All original literature articles are handed out in the course.

B.R. Martin and G. Shaw; Particle Physics
H.G. Börner, F. Gönnenwein; The Neutron: A Tool and an Object in Nuclear and Particle Physics
R. J. Barlow; Statistics: A Guide to the Use of Statistical Methods in the Physical Sciences

Review Paper:
D. Dubbers, M.G. Schmidt, The neutron and its role in cosmology and particle physics, Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 11111171 (2011), arXiv:1105.3694 [hep-ph]
T. Chupp, P. Fierlinger, M. Ramsey-Musolf, J. Singh: Electric Dipole Moments of the Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei and Particles, Rev. Mod. Phys. 91, 015001, arXiv:1710.02504

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • What is the experimental evidence that neutrinos have mass?
  • How do precision experiments provide sensitivity to physics beyond the Standard Model?
  • Describe the technique typically used to measure electric dipole moments.
  • How could WIMPS be detected in the laboratory?
  • How does one test experimentally for Lorentz-invariance?

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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