Chairman of the day

Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom

Hanneke Gelderblom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her research focusses interfacial flows and the interaction between such flows and soft (biological) matter. She studies different types of liquids, ranging from water to liquid metals to biofluids such as bacteria suspensions. In her work, Hanneke likes to combine theory with experiments and numerics, and fundamental fluid dynamics with applications in industry, biology and health.

Prof. dr. Klaus Kroy

Topic: Dynamics of sand dunes

Klaus Kroy leads a soft-matter theory group at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Leipzig University, Germany. Much of his work is concerned with the coarse graining of soft mesoscopic many-body dynamics. Recent emphasis is mostly on motile active matter, non-equilibrium Brownian motion, and aeolian sand transport.

The spontaneous formation and migration of sand waves is a spectacular natural phenomenon, emerging from nothing but wind and sand. How exactly does it come about? And why with such a multitude of waveforms and wavelengths in deserts, on sandy beaches, riverbeds, and extraterrestrial bodies?

Roel Arts MSc (Thales)

Topic: Cryocoolers for spaceborne infrared sensors

Roel Arts achieved his MSc in Applied Physics at the University of Twente in 2008, after which he joined Thales. Within Thales, Roel has filled a multitude of roles, and he is currently responsible for the Cryogenic cooler product portfolio.

In this presentation, the principles behind and use of cryogenic coolers for infrared sensors in space instruments will be presented. A number of examples will be elaborated upon, all involving products built at Thales Cryogenics in Eindhoven.

Dr. Julia Krug

Topic: Using MRI scanners for the study of aquatic plants and algae

Dr. Julia Krug conducts research into MRI scanners with ultra-high magnetic fields and spectroscopy. However, she does not limit herself to researching the technologies themselves, but also applies them to aquatic plants and algae. This way we can learn more about the influence of these plants on the ecosystem they live in. Dr. Krug is Assistant Professor at the Laboratory of BioNanoTechnology at Wageningen University.

Prof. dr. Stan Bentvelsen

Topic: The Higgs Particle and Beyond

Prof. dr. Stan Bentvelsen is a professor of Collider physics at the LHC at the University of Amsterdam and director of Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics. Together with Frank Linde (his predecessor at Nikhef), he received the Physica-prize for his contribution to the discovery of the Higgs particle with the ATLAS experiment of CERN. He is currently in the lead of the Einstein telescope project; a future mile-long underground observatory to detect gravitational waves (ripples in space-time caused by the acceleration of heavy astronomical objects). The South of Limburg in The Netherlands could be a promising location for this prestigious project.

In 2012, the Higgs particle was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. In one sense, this marked the completion of the Standard Model of particle physics. But at the same time, the discovery raised new and fascinating fundamental questions about the building blocks of our universe.

Is the particle found really the Higgs that was expected? And how do dark matter and gravitational waves fit into the picture? In this talk, Stan Bentvelsen (director of Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics) will review the state of particle physics, the Higgs model, and its actual discovery at CERN. He will also discuss Nikhef's strategy to find new ways beyond our current knowledge of particle physics.

Prof. dr. Nick van Eijndhoven

Topic: IceCube : A new View on the Universe

Astroparticle Physics revolves around phenomena that involve (astro)physics under the most extreme conditions. Cosmic explosions, involving black holes with masses a billion times greater than the mass of the Sun, accelerate particles to velocities close to the speed of light and display a variety of relativistic effects. The produced high-energy particles may be detected on Earth and as such can provide us insight in the physical processes underlying these cataclysmic events.

Having no electrical charge and interacting only weakly with matter, neutrinos are special astronomical messengers. Only they can carry information from violent cosmological events at the edge of the observable universe directly towards the Earth.

At the Inter-university Institute for High Energies (IIHE) in Brussels we are involved in a world wide effort to search for high-energy neutrinos originating from cosmic phenomena. For this we use the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole, the world's largest neutrino telescope which was completed in 2010 and has been taking data ever since.

In this talk I will present the underlying ideas of high-energy neutrino production in explosive cosmic phenomena and the IceCube detection principles. It will be shown how the combination of IceCube data with satellite observations opened up the possibility of identifying high-energy neutrinos originating from a transient cosmic event for the first time in history. Also some very recent IceCube observations will be presented.

Prof. dr. Erik van Sebille

Topic: Tackling the plastic soup: How physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists can support a clean and sustainable ocean

Erik van Sebille studied physics at Utrecht University from 1999 to 2005, specialising in climate physics. In 2009, he obtained a PhD in physical oceanography, also at Utrecht University. He then worked in Miami as a postdoc, in Sydney as a Fellow and at Imperial College London as a Lecturer, before returning to Utrecht in 2017. He is now a full professor of oceanography and public engagement, spending 80% of his time at the department of physics to simulate how ocean currents move stuff around, and the other 20% at the Freudenthal Institute to work on science communication.

Large amounts of plastic waste float in the ocean. That plastic harms marine life. But where does that plastic come from? What happens to the plastic when it's in the ocean? And can we clean it up? By modelling the ocean circulation and how it transports plastic, we try to answer these questions. We use techniques from mathematics, computer science and information science to better understand the physics of ocean currents. And with that understanding, we can make the world a little more sustainable.