3 out of 5 NWO Physics ‘Vrije programma’ grants go to TU/e

NWO just officially announced the five programs that were granted in the NWO Physics ‘Vrije programma’ instrument. TU/e participates in three out of five, two of which are in the Quantum Materials and Technology domain.

On 13 December, NWO allocated a total of EUR 10 million to five new Physics Vrije Programma’s. Each of these programs is a collaboration involving multiple research universities and institutions, and each will last longer than five years. A total of 37 new PhD students and postdocs will be hired to carry out the research.

A summary of the programs in the Quantum Materials and Technology domain:

Quantum Acoustics
Main applicant: Dr S. Gröblacher, Delft University of Technology
Collaborating institutions: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology (Professor Andrea Fiore), University of Twente, Leiden University, AMOLF
While quantum mechanics governs the physics of atoms, the macroscopic world is usually described classically. This program will investigate the quantum properties of sound waves in solids, involving billions of atoms and propagating over macroscopic distances. Besides its fundamental character, the research will open up new avenues for quantum information processing.

Atomic Quantum Simulators 2.0:- Taming Long-range Interactions
Main applicant: Prof. F. Schreck (University of Amsterdam)
Collaborating institutions: University of Amsterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology (Associate Professor Servaas Kokkelmans), Radboud University, Utrecht University
Researchers in this program will cool atoms, ions and molecules to a near-zero temperature, where quantum mechanics reigns. Using these particles like LEGO blocks, they will assemble artificial quantum materials in order to induce behaviours that go beyond currently used materials. The knowledge gained will contribute to both chemistry and materials science.

About NWO Physics’ Vrije Programma's  In the Vrije Programma's of NWO Physics, physicists from different Dutch knowledge institutions join forces in specific areas of research in which Dutch physics excels internationally and for which there is a manifest scientific and/or societal interest. The new research programs should provide an essential understanding of recently discovered phenomena and, in some cases, insight into new technologies as well. With its Vrije Programma's funding instrument, NWO Physics has had two objectives: to achieve the highest possible quality in physics research in the Netherlands and to focus on scientific topics by bundling research activities. Read more