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NWO awarded Projectruimte grants to UvA physicists Rene Gerritsma and Wouter Waalewijn. Gerritsma receives the grant for his research on trapped ions in optical micro-traps; Waalewijn will use the grant to study new methods for precise predictions at the Large Hadron Collider.

The board of NWO’s Domain Science granted funding for a total of eight proposals in the NWO Physics Projectruimte, a granting instrument for small-scale projects that propose innovative fundamental physics research that has a scientific, industrial or social urgency. The eight grants total an amount of 3.5 million euros.

Trapped ions

Rene Gerritsma received his Projectruimte grant for his research of trapped ions in optical micro-traps. Trapped ions rank among the best quantum computers to date, but scaling them up to a large number of quantum bits turns out to be hard. In this project, the researchers will use a new scaling approach by forming two-dimensional ion crystals. Tightly focused lasers will be used to manipulate the sound waves within the ion crystal, allowing the system to be used as a quantum simulator of quantum magnetism.

New methods

Waalewijn's Projectruimte grant was awarded for his research on new methods needed to make precise predictions for the processes observed at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. The Large Hadron Collider is entering an era where precision measurements are the key to possible discoveries. Indications of new physics may lie hidden as faint signals, that will be revealed as experimental uncertainties decrease, making it crucial to have the precise theoretical predictions to compare with. The researchers propose a new method to perform these calculations, that will make them easier and therefore available for more processes.

NWO press release about the grants