9 June 2011

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Australia joins the hunt for the secrets of the universe

Australian scientists might find out how our universe began and where extra dimensions came from thanks to the Australian Government’s support of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale.

The Centre, which will explore the answers to some of the fundamental questions in physics, is being provided over $25 million through the ARC Centre of Excellence scheme.

Opening the Centre at the University of Melbourne, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the Gillard Labor Government’s support for the Centre is helping our scientists link with the world’s best research equipment.

“Researchers from the Centre will partner with the best and brightest minds from around the world to work on some of the biggest science projects, including the ATLAS experiment,” Senator Carr said.

The ATLAS experiment involves around 3000 scientists from 37 countries. ATLAS is the general-purpose detector used at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.

“Located in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Geneva, the LHC has the unprecedented energy needed to probe big questions like the origins of mass, the secrets of the big bang and dark matter and the search for new dimensions in space. Having access to this equipment is vital for the Centre’s researchers,” Senator Carr said.

The Centre is a collaborative research venture between the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide, the University of Sydney, and Monash University. The Centre will involve international collaboration with Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information about the Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale, visit the CoEPP website. For more information about the ARC Centres of Excellence scheme, visit the ARC website.

Media contacts: 
Sheena Ireland, Minister's Office, 0427 092 100
Tamsin Allen, ARC, 0412 623 056