The objective of the research centre is to bring together expertise in experimental, computational and theoretical physics to study aspects of relativistic heavy ion collisions and particle physics
The research programme is founded on three major components:

  1. Experimental: The experimental physics component is through membership in the ALICE (A Large Ion Collider) and in the ATLAS collaborations at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  2. High Performance Computing for Physics Applications: CERN, noted for the invention of the World Wide Web, is regarded as one of the leading science centres in the world and is renowned for scientific and technological breakthroughs.
    The information technology aspects of the projects are highlighted by the fact that UCT will be the first node in Africa and the Southern hemisphere to be used as a testbed for the ALICE-GRiD project. This new protocol is envisaged to be the next level of high bandwidth data transfer and distribution. To this end, support from the University of Cape Town has been instrumental in setting up a Linux PC farm which will be incorporated into the GriD Cluster in the foreseeable future.
  3. Theoretical: During the past decade much theoretical research work has been done at UCT in thermal-statistical and hydrodynamical models. Several Ph.D. and M.Sc. theses have been written at UCT on these models.