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CHIPP is an Association according to Swiss Law : 

-> CHIPP Goals
-> The science behind
-> Organizational structure
-> Statutes and bylaws
-> History
-> Activities
-> Responsibilities and Representatives
-> Related organisations


CHIPP Goals :

The purpose of the CHIPP Association is to strengthen particle, astroparticle and nuclear physics in Switzerland by being active in particular in the following fields:

  1. To help towards a successful participation of Swiss groups in projects (more);

  2. To advise the Universities/ETHs on vacant professorships and academic strategies, and coordinate teaching activities (more);

  3. To ensure a proper Swiss representation in relevant national and international bodies

  4. To promote public awareness on particle, astroparticle and nuclear physics (more).


The science behind :

Particle Physics explores the most fundamental laws of Nature:

  • what are the fundamental elements of matter?
  • what are the interactions between these constituents?
  • what are space and time?

Could it be that all phenomena taking place in the Universe could be derived from such basic laws?

All these questions are of fundamental nature and their answers are generally simple and unique. However, the process of answering to these fundamental questions is difficult, at the edge of technological achievements, and has a cost, for we are probing the frontier of our knowledge.

Experiments at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and other international laboratories have established the validity of a theoretical framework for the interactions between fundamental particles. Still fundamental questions remain unanswered. Some, but certainly not all, of these questions will be answered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Other questions will require complementary experiments like for example in the field of neutrino physics and astroparticle physics. In addition, detector R&D will be necessary for potential future applications. In parallel, possible spin-offs will play an important role. The success of particle physics research in Switzerland is largely a result from the highly-qualified and innovative scientific and technical teams.

Another fundamental aspect of particle physics in Switzerland is represented by the high-level theoretical studies, such as phenomenology, fundamental theory, cosmology and astrophysics. A strong connection between theory and experiment is vital to the field.

Particle physics will have to continue attracting the best students by developing and promoting its attractiveness.


Organizational structure :

Members of the CHIPP Association are the particle, astroparticle, and nuclear physicists holding a Master in physics and working for a Swiss institution, as well as the Swiss PhD nationals working at CERN. Membership is automatic.

The CHIPP is organized as a two-level system (organizational structure):

  • the strategic level comprises the Plenary meeting – the supreme body of the Association – and the Board, where all Professors active in particle, Astroparticle and nuclear physics assemble. Several subcommittees are dealing with specific issues: Outreach, Computing, CHIPP Prize.

  • The operational level, where the day-to-day business of the Association is handled by the Executive Board.

Since 2003 the following CHIPP Board members have served as CHIPP Chairs: Allan Clark (2004/2005), André Rubbia (2006/2007), Ulrich Straumann (2008/2009), Martin Pohl (2010/2011), Klaus Kirch (2012/2013), Olivier Schneider (2014/2015). In 2016, Tatsuya Nakada took over the Chairmanship.


Statutes and Bylaws :

The CHIPP Association is embedded the Swiss Civil Code and has given itself a set of Statutes and Bylaws, which have come into force on 26 January 2011, the day of the official ‘Gründungsversammlung’ required by Swiss Law.


History :

CHIPP has been founded in October 2003, thereby superseding the ‘Forum of Swiss High Energy Physicists’ (History, founding message of the first Chair). Forum Chairs have been: Pierre Piroué (before 1988; pre-Forum era), Ludwig Tauscher (1988-1996), and Claude Amsler (1997-2003).

Early 2011, CHIPP has acquired legal personality by transforming itself into an Association according to Swiss law. This step is a milestone in CHIPP’s history, as it allows the Association to conclude employment contracts and sign other legal documents. Since 1 January 2012, CHIPP is a member of the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences.

See the list of CHIPP Chairs and Vice-Chairs since 2003.


Activities :

  • CHIPP Prize for the best PhD student
  • CHIPP PhD School (once every 1 or two years) and topical Workshops (several per year) (more)
  • Long Term Financial Tables: in a rolling forward planning, CHIPP establishes an annual update of the foreseeable participations of Swiss groups in particle, astroparticle and nuclear physics in international projects (usual planning period covered by the table: up to six years). This table serves as input to the financial planning of the funding agencies (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF).
  • Funding requests for Maintenance and Operations of the LHC experiments (M&O): each year, CHIPP submits a joint funding request to cover the Swiss part of the Maintenance and Operations cost of the LHC experiments, as agreed at an international level in the CERN Resource Review Board RRB (Swiss representative: Pascal Fischer, SNSF).
  • Funding requests for LHC Computing: each year, CHIPP submits a joint funding request to cover the Swiss part of the cost for the LHC GRID Computing, as agreed at an international level in the CERN Resource Review Board RRB (CHIPP representative: Prof. Tatsuya Nakada, EPFL).
  • In the framework of a call for Innovation and Cooperation Projects for the period 2008-2011, issued by the Swiss University Conference SUK, CHIPP has embarked on a Swiss wide PostDoc programme called Swiss Centre for Advanced Studies in Particle Physics in the LHC Era. The project, which has filled nine PostDoc positions in international competition, has been extended into 2012.
  • CHIPP informs on vacancies and open position at its institutes (more).


Responsibilities and Representatives :

See also the CHIPP Functions and Tasks Document.


Related organizations :

  • CHAPS: College of Helvetic Astronomy ProfessorS

Contact :

    Prof. Tatsuya Nakada
    EPFL – High Energy Physics Laboratory
    BSP 615 (Cubotron UNIL)
    Route de la Sorge 1015 Lausanne
    Email: <tatsuya.nakada[at]>

Updated : M. Türler, Jan. 2017