The research in Microcosm, in NCSR ‘Demokritos’, involves the search for the elementary constituents of matter, and how these form the atoms and the nuclei, and for the fundamental forces responsible for this formation. In general, it involves the sciences of Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Astrophysics, Cosmology and the General Relativity.
This research is conducted at a theoretical and experimental level. The experimental part is mainly done with the help of particle accelerators. These are the most powerful microscopes, since the bigger the energy of the accelerated probe-particle, which interacts with matter, the more detail we can see in the structure of matter. Sophisticated detectors are developed for the identification and measurement of the properties of the particles, which are generated in these interactions, in the accelerator experiments.
The developed experimental methodology can find uses in other sciences and in industry as well.
The structure of matter according to the Standard Model. The molecules are made of atoms, each atom is made of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negative electrons. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons, which are made of quarks.