Triple NWO Vidi success for IoP theoretical physicists

19 May 2014

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant to an impressive total of three theoretical physicists at the Institute of Physics: Dr Alejandra Castro, Dr Christoph Weniger, and Dr Jasper van Wezel (now at U Bristol).

The awarded Vidi grants will give the scientists the opportunity to develop their own line of research and establish their own private research groups. Each scientist will receive a maximum of 800,000 euros.

In total, NWO accepted 88 applications in this funding round, of which 8 went to applicants in NWO's Physics division. The fraction awarded to UvA physicists is an all-time high.

Alejandra Castro

Dr Alejandra Castro: Gravity as a hologram

Black holes give rise to a radical possibility: our universe is like a hologram. The goal of the project is to explore the repercussions of holography. The basic question to answer is: how does geometry emerge from a quantum theory?

Christoph Weniger

Dr Christoph Weniger: Shedding light on dark matter

The Universe is dominated by dark matter, a puzzling substance that is not made of anything we know. I will use telescopes and particle colliders to search for telltale signs of dark matter and figure out what it is. 

Dr Jasper van Wezel: Electronic Corkscrews

Electrons in some types of metals can cooperate in such a way that they all simultaneously adopt the shape of a corkscrew. The electrons then appear as left- or right-handed spirals. This project is aimed at investigating the role of such corkscrew electrons in the formation of superconductors: metals that, when cooled, conduct electric current without any resistance. 

About the NWO Vidi grants

The Vidi grant is aimed at outstanding researchers who, after obtaining their doctorates, have conducted successful research for several years. The scientists are among the best ten to twenty percent in their field of study. A Vidi grant will enable them to conduct research for five years. The Vidi grant is part of the NWO's Innovational Impulse programme which consists of the Veni, Vidi and Vici grants.

Published by  IOP