I came across the term "Particle Phenomenology", which is "the application of theoretical physics to experimental data by making quantitative predictions based upon known theories" (quote from Wikipedia).

It appears to be a field between particle experiment and particle theory. My question is: who contributes to the field of "Particle Phenomenology", experimentalists or theorists?


2 Answers 2


I copy here from a prominent US university.

Particle physics phenomenology is the field of theoretical physics that focuses on the observable consequences of the fundamental particles of Nature and their interactions. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson provides an exquisite confirmation of the Standard Model, but important mysteries remain, including the nature of dark matter, the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe, the properties of the neutrino sector, and the lightness of the Higgs mass. The Princeton phenomenology group works at the interface between theory and experiment to tackle these many challenges.

Italics mine.


It appears to be a field between particle experiment and particle theory.

Exactly. There is one big gray wash from engineering to experimental (particle) physics to phenomenology to theoretical physics to mathematics that defining clear boundaries between those is a moot exercise.

Typically when particle theorists deal with real data, that is called phenomenology. Often, experimentalists contribute to that too.

Since phenomenology doesn't require expensive equipment, the job market for phenomenologists is similar to that for theorists. That fortifies the notion to count phenomenology towards theory.


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