Fundamental Physics - Schott Lab

Welcome to the website of the working group of Prof. Dr. Matthias Schott. We are working on unrevealing the mysteries of the universe at various experiments, which we either built ourselves or where we contribute with hardware developments and data analysis. We are continuously seeking motivated students and researchers to join our efforts in designing detectors or developing new ideas for exploring physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular we are aiming on the following long term goals.

We already had the most precise and most accurate measurement of the W boson mass until our friends from CDF published their measurement in 2022. Since then, we have only the most accurate measurement :) Our goal is to achieve an uncertainty of 10 MeV on the mass - then we switch to different topics... 

Most people don't know that non-abelian gauge theories predict topological effects which should be observable in experiment - unfortunately, this was never achieved. We developed with colleagues from Durham University a first prediction for the LHC, and we are currently trying hard to find evidence for such effects, which would be truly spectacular.

Our group is looking for axion-like particles since more than a decade, unfortunately so far without any success. On the positive side, we have delivered the most stringent model independent limits as well as the first limits on long-lived axion-like particles at the LHC, allowing for a completely new type of search strategy. If we dont find evidence for axions in the next decade neither at the IAXO experiment nor at our own experiment on campus (Supax), we will give up ...

We like to measure things better than anybody else - and since αS is (apart from the fermion masses) the only free parameter in Quantum Chromo Dynamics. Hence we think this is enough motivation :) Once we reach a precision of 0.5%, we consider this topic as closed - it would then be extremely hard to beat this; however, it will take a while until we get there.

The Higgs boson was the last missing particle of the Standard Model until its discovery in 2012. This is what most people get told. In fact, it is not completely true: We never got an experimental confirmation that there is a difference between tau-neutrino and anti-tau neutrinos. To formulate it a bit aggressive: The anti-tau neutrino was never experimentally observed - and we would like to change this!

We know latest since the observations by LIGO that gravitational waves are cool. We have not expertise in the search for "normal" gravitational waves, but we can actually look for high-frequency gravitational waves with frequencies between 200 MHz and 10 GHz. Those waves might be created by mergers of primordial black holes and clearly an observation would be cool. It would be amazing if we observe such signatures, but given that this field is just starting, our goal is more realistic: we want to setup a first international effort for such searches within GravNet

If you are also interested in those topics and want to hear more about them or help us achieving those goals, do not hesitate to drop us an email - we will certainly come back to you. 

ATLAS Heavy Ion

Physics Research

Our passion lies in addressing fundamental questions about the universe and potentially discovering new phenomena beyond our current understanding. We pursue a diverse range of approaches, with a focus on electroweak precision measurements to validate the internal consistency of the Standard Model. Additionally, we directly search for axion-like particles and explore novel aspects of strong interactions. Recently, our interest has extended to neutrinos at colliders and the search for high-frequency gravitational waves.

New Small Wheel ATLAS
New Small Wheel ATLAS © ATLAS, CERN


Our research group actively participates in various experiments aimed at answering fundamental questions in physics. While our primary involvement is in the ATLAS Experiment at the LHC, we also take pride in contributing to the FASER Experiment, constructing detectors for BabyIAXO, and conducting our experiments with SUPAX and GravNet.

DNN Illustration

Deep Learning

For experimental physicists, it is challenging to resist the allure of recent advances in machine learning, particularly deep neural networks. We have initiated a concentrated effort to estimate associated uncertainties when using neural network-based classifiers and explore methods to reduce training time.

Pandemic Illustration

Pandemic Modelling

While modeling pandemics may not strictly fall under physics, it's intriguing that many simulations have been developed by physicists. We have adopted an agent-based model (JUNE), originally developed for the UK, and adapted it for Germany to study various effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although this is a side project, we enjoy the opportunity to learn new things.

© Matthias Schott

Detector Development

In the realm of detector developments, our main research focus is on gaseous micropattern detectors such as Micromegas. We co-designed and constructed the first prototype detector for the ATLAS New Small Wheel project based on Micromegas, followed by the construction of 100m² of ultra-planar drift panels for the experiment. Additionally, we are developing dedicated Micromegas-based solutions for other experiments, such as NaNu or FASER, and have successfully built several prototype detectors based on new technological concepts. Moreover, we are constructing active muon veto systems based on scintillators and operating ultra-low-noise electromagnetic cavities.

© ATLAS Collaboration

Light at the LHC

The Light@LHC project is funded by the ERC within a Consolidator Grant and aims to search for axion-like particles with long lifetimes at the ATLAS Experiment. These particles could potentially explain the observed discrepancy in the muonic (g-2) value. In this project, we have developed new methods to estimate systematic uncertainties for displaced photon signatures, innovative reconstruction algorithms for collinear photons, and contributed to the setup of the FASER experiment and its upgrade.


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Prof. Dr. Matthias Schott

Gruppe Schott, Leitung


Nußallee 12

53115 Bonn

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Nicole Felde


Nußallee 12

53115 Bonn

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