Austria became a Member State of CERN in 1959. At that time, CERN offered the ideal framework for Austria to achieve international standards of research quickly and efficiently. In 1966 the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (HEPHY) was founded. At the same time a small group was formed at the University of Innsbruck. Subsequently, Austrian physicists have been strongly involved in various frontier experiments at a succession of CERN accelerators, from the ISR to the LHC.
Two physicists of Austrian origin served as Directors-General of CERN: Victor Weisskopf (1961-1965) and Willibald Jentschke (1971-1975).
Today, HEPHY is involved in the CMS experiment at the LHC. It is responsible for a large part of the CMS trigger system and is participating in the construction of the Inner Silicon Tracker, the High Granularity Calorimeter (HGCAL) and associated read-out electronics. The Institute also has specialists in advanced data analysis methods for track and vertex finding. The Innsbruck group is participating in the ATLAS experiment, concentrating on developing software for physics analysis.
The Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) is home to the Atominstitut with its TRIGA reactor. Here the focal point is particle and astroparticle physics with neutrons. The institute also studies neutron-induced reactions at the n_TOF facility. The Stefan Meyer Institute for subatomic physics (SMI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna participates in two experiments at CERN: the ASACUSA collaboration at CERN-AD/ELENA, measuring the proprties of antihydrogen; and the ALICE collaboration analysing heavy-ion collisions (since 2015). Due to its expertise in fast timing detectors SMI is participating in the upgrade of the ALICE forward detectors.
HEPHY regularly organizes the well established Vienna Conference on Instrumentation, and the "Alps" - an Alpine LHC Physics Summit Conference. In the past, the European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics, the European Conference on Accelerators, the European School of High Energy Physics, and the CERN schools on computing and on accelerators have been held in Austria.
This page was last updated on 25 February, 2020