Chairman of the day

Prof. dr. Bert Koopmans

Bert Koopmans obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen. After a period as postdoc at the Radboud University Nijmegen, he spent three years as a Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Physics in Stuttgart. In 1997 he joined the Department of Applied Physics at TU/e, where he became a Full Professor and leader of the group Physics of Nanostructures (FNA). Since 2014, Bert has been on the management team of the Research Centre for Integrated NanoPhotonics. In 2004 Bert was awarded an NWO Vici grant. He has been coordinator of the center for NanoMaterials (cNM) and program director of the Program on Advanced NanoElectronic Devices within NanoNextNL, a Dutch national consortium for nanotechnology research. At present, he is a member of the board of NanoLabNL, a Dutch national facility providing an open-access infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology, as well as the advisory board of NanoLab@TU/e.

Bert Koopmans is a Full Professor and Group leader of the group Physics of Nanostructures (FNA) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His areas of expertise include nanotechnology, nano-electronics and spintronics. Koopmans' earlier work has been in (non-linear) optics of fullerenes and semiconductor quantum structures. His present research activities are in spintronics, nanomagnetism and ultrafast spin- & magnetization-dynamics. Key research achievements have been made in femtosecond magnetization processes, controlling domain wall motion in nanodevices and organic spintronics in many cases combining advanced nanoscale experiments with the development of novel theoretical frameworks. Within IPI, Bert has initiated research on integrated magneto-photonics. Among other applications such as optical isolators and reconfigurable photonics, he envisions spintronic-photonic memories where data is transferred between a photonic waveguide and a magnetic 'racetrack' without intermediate electronic steps. These approaches are considered to contribute to future energy-efficient and versatile information technology.

Arno Wielders MSc.

Topic: Future of Space Travel

Arno Wielders studied Physics at the VU in Amsterdam, where he graduated in 1997. After his graduation he worked for the Leiden Observatory on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer Delay Line project. Later he worked as research scientist at TNO TPD. He was involved in several NASA/ESA projects, such as the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), part of a satellite launched by NASA in 2004. End 2004 he was hired as a contractor at ESA where he also worked as instrument scientist on BepiColombo, a mission to Mercury, and was involved in JUICE, a mission to Jupiter. He is co-founder of the Mars Society Nederland, an organisation that focusses on a human settlement on Mars in the future. In the same area, Arno Wielders co-founded Mars One 2011 with the goal of settling humans on Mars before 2033.

This year 50 years ago, mankind set foot on the moon for the first time. Since then, developments in spacecraft have been going faster and faster. Satellites orbiting the earth take care of our communication, navigation, weather measurements and espionage. We have visited the other planets in our solar system. The Voyagers have even passed the borders of our solar system, now flying in interstellar space. The plans for humans on Mars grow more and more solid. Companies are starting to think of mining rare materials on asteroids, and the first tickets fore space tourism have been sold. Many of those developments were difficult to foresee when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. So what developments will occur in the next twenty years and beyond? What physical borders will we meet, and how can we overcome these? Arno Wielders will enlighten us on this topic.

Dr. Caroline Katsman

Topic: Effect of Ocean on Climate

Caroline Katsman is an Associate Professor in Physical Oceanography at the Technical University of Delft, with large-scale ocean circulation and its role for climate as fields of expertise. After graduating Cum Laude in 1996, she received her doctorate in 2001 at Utrecht University on a study on the wind-driven ocean circulation in collaboration with KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute). After her postdoc at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA), she returned to KNMI in 2003. Here, she started focusing on the role of the ocean in the current and future climate, specifically the ocean warming and future sea level change. She advised the Dutch government on coastal defense policy strategies regarding the sea level change. In 2008, she published extreme high-end scenarios for local sea level rise at the request of the Nieuwe Delta Commissie (a state committee installed by the Dutch government to assess the country's flood defense strategies in light of future climate change). In 2014, she received a personal midcareer grant (NWOVIDI grant) to study how ocean eddies govern the response of the ocean circulation to high-latitude climate change.

While we tend to associate climate change mostly with changes in the atmosphere, the ocean actually plays an important role in the climate system and changes therein induced by natural or anthropogenic causes. During her lecture, Caroline Katsman will elaborate on the possible consequences of the ocean on the climate system.

The North Atlantic Ocean is a key region for Earth's climate. Along its margins (in the Labrador Sea, Irminger Sea, and Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian Seas), salty surface waters are cooled by the atmosphere, mix vertically with waters below, sink, and return southward at depth. This three-dimensional ocean circulation, quantified by means of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), transports vast amounts of heat northward and regulates the climate of Western Europe. Climate models project a significant decline of the AMOC by the year 2100, with a regional sea level rise of several tens of centimeters along the Dutch coast as one of the many consequences.

Caroline Katsman investigates the processes that control where these cold and salty North Atlantic waters sink, the magnitude of the downward mass transport, and the sensitivity of these processes to changes in environmental conditions. The results highlight the crucial role of small-scale eddies for the chain of events. This raises the questions about the validity of projections of future AMOC changes, as the current generation of climate models does not have sufficient resolution to resolve small-scale eddies.

Prof. dr. Erik Verlinde

Topic: Grand Unifying Theory

Erik Verlinde was born in 1962 in Woudenberg. His interest in physics started at an early age by reading physics magazines and discussing the content with his twin brother Herman Verlinde. Erik Verlinde studied theoretical physics in Utrecht, where he was introduced to professors as Gerard 't Hoofd. During his PHD, he studied the string theorem and field theorem supervised by Bernard de Wit. During his investigation he introduced two new physical terms in his articles which were later named after him: the Verlinde-algebra and the formula of Verlinde. Furthermore, he formulated the mathematical equations together with his brother, Robbert Dijkgraaf and Edward Witten known as the Witten-Dijkgraaf-Verlinde-Verlindeequations.

After finishing his PHD, Verlinde moved to Princeton where he did research at the Institute for Advanced Study in a theoretical research group of CERN in Genève. He travelled up and down between Princeton and Utrecht. He mainly focused on the entropy of black holes and new theories to explain gravity. In November 2016, the paper 'Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe' was published in which Verlindes new theorem about gravity as entropic force was elaborated. At this time, he worked as researcher and teacher at the University of Amsterdam (UVA).

Erik Verlinde has won a lot prices in his career so far. The most prestigious one was the 'Spinozapremie' in 2011, which is the highest award for science in the Netherlands awarded annually by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).

In his lecture Erik Verlinde will give us an insight in the world of the current theoretical research in physics. We all have heard of the big physical historical breakthroughs, but what are the most educated professors working on nowadays? On which current developments do we need to keep an eye on and what will be their influence on the future of physics? We are looking forward to a theoretical lecture in which the audience is challenged to think about Our lack of actual knowledge of the universe around us.

Peter Joosten MSc.

Topic: Impact of Biohacking

Peter Joosten is a biohacker and DIY-futurist. He investigates the impact of biohacking, human enhancement and transhumanism in his keynotes, articles and Youtube channel. He is a TEDx speaker and consultant at various companies and institutions. He gave talks at events like Biohacker Summit Stockholm (Sweden), University College London (United Kingdom), Darefest Antwerpen (Belgium) and KPN Telecom (the Netherlands).

He is the curator of the platform Superhuman Talks where he writes and interviews experts about the coming era of upgraded humans. He wrote the (Dutch) book 'Biohacking' about human enhancement and its implication on organizations, education and healthcare. He is a guest lecturer at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (master Human Technology Interaction) and the Hogeschool Utrecht (theme: human enhancement). He was member of the 2019 class of the Biohack Academy at De Waag in Amsterdam.

What is the impact of biohacking? What if we can significantly upgrade our physical, cognitive and emotional capabilities? How will human life change in the coming 50 years? In this talk Peter Joosten will discuss the consequences of this Superhuman Era on mankind, society and ethics.