The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has announced the recipients of this year’s Vidi grants. IoP physicists were very successful in their applications: all three grant proposals that were submitted were awarded. Flavia de Almeida Dias, Jorik van de Groep and Jordy de Vries each receive an 800,000 euro grant to initiate their own research groups.
The Vidi grant is aimed at experienced researchers who have succesfully performed research for a number of years since obtaining their PhDs. The grant allows the researchers to deveop their own innovative line of research over a period of five years. This year, NWO received 402 grant applications, of which 78 were awarded.
Flavia de Almeida Dias’ Vidi proposal aims to discover new fundamental particles. We still don’t know everything about the particles and forces that define our universe. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider could provide answers and reveal new physical principles. In De Almeida Dias’ project, the researchers will develop an innovative analysis to investigate if there are yet-undiscovered new particles hidden deep in the data.
Can light fields be manipulated with a single layer of atoms? Optical lenses and filters are heavy, bulky, and have a fixed functionality. By leveraging unique quantum mechanical effects in layered semiconducting materials, Jorik van de Groep and his research team will aim to develop light-weight and atomically-thin optical coatings that can steer light dynamically.
Many questions remain about the matter in our Universe. Scientists do not know what dark matter is, where all the antimatter went, or how neutrinos acquire their masses. In Jordy de Vries’ research project, his research group will determine whether new neutrinos can solve these puzzles and how to reveal their existence experimentally.