Graduiertenkolleg Symmetry Breaking

The Graduate School Symmetry Breaking in Fundamental Interactions at Johannes Gutenberg University offers an international PhD program, which focuses on graduate training through excellence in research in the fields of

·      Elementary Particle Physics (experiment and theory)
·      Hadron Physics (experiment and theory) and Nuclear Chemistry
·      Atomic Physics and Physics with Ultra-Cold Neutrons
·      Nuclear Chemistry
·      Particle Astrophysics

Scientists from the Institutes of Physics and Nuclear Physics have joined in an interdisciplinary effort to study the role of symmetries and symmetry breaking in fundamental physics on all energy and length scales, using a variety of experimental and theoretical methods.

Graduate students will be part of research groups pursuing cutting-edge research in various areas of fundamental physics. Particular focus is given to a well-balanced program of graduate-level courses in theoretical and experimental physics, covering all aspects of fundamental physics. Students can apply for research and travel grants to pursue own research goals.


One of the key ideas in modern physics is the realization that symmetries are of fundamental importance for our understanding of the laws of nature and the structure of matter. The hallmark of the Graduate School Symmetry breaking in fundamental interactions is the application of a range of complementary theoretical and experimental methods for pursuing a common research goal. Research activities range from experiments at high-energy particle colliders to precision measurements using ion traps or ultra-cold neutrons. Three main areas form the basis for the Graduate School: "The origin of mass and the structure of matter", "The Standard Model and beyond", and "Breaking of fundamental symmetries". Precision measurements are the key to understanding of the role of symmetries in nature. The participating scientists are internationally renowned experts and have access to unique local facilities at Mainz, which play a special role for the training of graduate students. These include the electron accelerator MAMI-C, the research reactor TRIGA, and high-performance computing clusters. The principal investigators also contribute significantly to research activities at national and international laboratories, such as CERN, Fermilab, GSI, and ILL.  

For more details please click on the link to the graduate schools homepage: 


Summer Schools

Every other year the scope of the annual retreat will be enlarged significantly to include a physics school and/or a topical workshop, focusing on one of the main research fields of the Graduate School.

The physics school will cover a broad program of introductory and more advanced lectures, while a workshop will focus on a more in-depth exposition of a few selected topics. Short presentations by the students and researchers from Mainz enrich the program.

The next summer school will take place in Frauenwörth/Chiemsee, September 11th - 16th, 2011. More information and registration:

Annual Retreats

The annual retreats offer fellows and collegians the opportunity to better get to know each other and discuss physics in an informal atmosphere. Students can present their research projects in short presentations followed by discussions. In addition, lecture courses by distinguished scientists from leading institutions will be given, covering fields of relevance to the Graduate School.

Our last retreat (which was organized together with the EMG research group) took place in Bingen, September 27th-29th, 2010. More details: