Particle physics and astrophysics

Research is done in a continuum of fields from experimental and theoretical particle physics through theoretical and observational cosmology, astrophysics, and solar system physics to space physics involving solar activity and its consequences in the solar system.

Connections are tight with the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP) in the research of particle physics and cosmology. In experimental particle physics PAP and HIP operate a joint Detector Laboratory. Astronomy and space physics research is conducted within the joint Kumpula Space Centre with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the School of Electrical Engineering of Aalto University.

We participate in particle physics experiments at CERN in Switzerland and in the European Space Agency (ESA) satellite missions for cosmological observations. For our astronomers the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, the space-borne observing facilities ESA, and the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) in La Palma are the key sources of data. The ESO-related research is conducted in close co-operation with the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA).

In 2014, a major effort of the planetary system research group was the organization of the international conference entitled "Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014" in Helsinki on June 30 - July 4, 2014 ( With almost 500 participants from more than 40 countries, the conference turned out to be a complete success.

Experimental particle physics

Theoretical particle physics and cosmology

Observational cosmology


Space physics

Detector laboratory