Being fascinated by fundamental research, and in particular by high-energy physics, after obtaining my diploma in physics (and a degree in Mathematics), I embarked on a PhD in theoretical physics at Mainz University under the supervision of Prof. M. Neubert. Since, even though it delivers an intriguing theory for the building blocks of matter and their interactions, the Standard Model (SM) of Particle Physics is not capable of explaining various fundamental facts of nature, my goal was to study the phenomenology of SM extensions and to propose new theories that can complete it. During my PhD, I worked extensively on various models with extra space dimensions and on Higgs and Flavor Physics.

Subsequently, I held postdoc appointments at ETH Zürich and at CERN, where I had great opportunities to follow my interests and broaden my research to further areas of particle physics and cosmology. One focus was on exploring models with a composite Higgs boson and on axion physics, where I proposed new setups to address various shortcomings of the SM in a comprehensive way, while another was on effective field theories. Here, I suggested new means to extract information about Higgs self-couplings, including links with baryogenesis, and on Higgs couplings to matter.

In 2017, I moved to the MPIK, getting the chance to build my own group to explore my research agenda and to advice and support students and guide them into the world of high energy physics, as I experienced in my own PhD.

Education and positions held

  • 2017 -Present
    • Junior Research Group Leader, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg
  • 2014 – 2016
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, CERN, Genève
  • 2011 – 2014
    • Postdoc, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich
  • 2011
    • Ph.D. in Physics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, summa cum laude (with distinction)
  • 2008
    • Degree in Mathematics and Physics (Staatsexamen), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, with distinction
  • 2008
    • Degree in Physics (Diplom), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Research Summary

The main focus of our research is to obtain a better understanding of nature at shortest distances, combining different directions to close in on the completion of the Standard Model (SM) of Particle Physics. In fact, the discovery of the Higgs boson at the CERN Large Hadron Collider was a milestone in fundamental physics, but left us with various unanswered questions, such as on the origin of its surprising lightness, the nature of the `Dark Matter’ (DM), populating our universe, the reason for the huge hierarchies in fermion masses, and the very existence of a baryon-asymmetric universe.

Our overarching objective is finding answers to these issues, by working both on the observational and theoretical side. Therefore, we propose on the one hand methods to better extract and pin down fundamental properties of nature and on the other develop extensions of the SM that can address the puzzles above, considering them together in a comprehensive approach and thereby generating synergies and new avenues to the next theory of nature.

On this road, we have for example already delivered several new ideas that explain the lightness of the Higgs boson while not being in conflict with other measurements, new theories for DM, as well as new ideas to address the fermion-hierarchy puzzle together with other aforementioned issues in a unified and simple SM extension, which are actively considered and searched for by the theoretical and experimental communities.

Key publications

  • 03/2019 S. Blasi and F. Goertz
    Softened Symmetry Breaking in Composite Higgs Models
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 123 (2019), 221801
  • 12/2016 L. Calibbi, F. Goertz, D. Redigolo, R. Ziegler and J. Zupan
    Minimal axion model from flavor
    Phys. Rev. D 95 (2017), 095009
  • 04/2016 R. Contino, A. Falkowski, F. Goertz, C. Grojean and F. Riva
    On the Validity of the Effective Field Theory Approach to SM Precision Tests
    JHEP 07 (2016) 144
  • 10/2015 A. Carmona and F. Goertz
    Lepton Flavor and Non-Universality from Minimal Composite Higgs Setups
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 (2016), 251801
  • 07/2015 I. Brivio, F. Goertz and G. Isidori
    Probing the Charm Yukawa Coupling in Higgs + Charm Production
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 115 (2015), 211801