ATLAS External Grants Katharina Behr (YIG)  · 

Fingerprints of the Vacuum

Helmholtz Young Investigator Group of Katharina Behr (2020-2026)

Research activities

The vacuum of space is not empty. This was impressively demonstrated by the discovery of a Higgs boson in 2012, which showed that the vacuum is permeated by a Higgs field. There are, however, strong reasons to believe that the vacuum is more complex and that additional Higgs bosons exist. These may hold the key to some of the most fundamental questions of particle physics today, such as the nature of dark matter or the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe.

The Young Investigator Group develops novel experimental techniques to search for rare and challengingly complex signatures of additional Higgs bosons that previous data analyses would not have been able to resolve. It will thereby probe the vacuum structure in a previously unaccessible kinematic regime and, additionally, measure processes predicted by the Standard Model, which may themselves be sensitive to new phenomena, at high precision on the dataset to be collected by the ATLAS experiment until 2023.

Furthermore, the YIG works towards preparing the ATLAS experiment for the high-luminosity phase of the LHC (from 2026) by developing fast, efficient algorithms for the reconstruction of particle trajectories in the new ATLAS tracking detector ITk), which will partly be built at DESY.

You are welcome to contact me if you are interested in pursuing a bachelors', masters' or PhD thesis in my group!

Group members


Group leader


PhD students

Master's students

Bachelor's' students


Katharina Behr

Trine Poulsen

Nicola de Biase


Contact Information

Katharina Behr
E-Mail: Katharina Behr
Location: 01C / O1.315
Notkestr. 85, 22607 Hamburg, Germany


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