Universe Physics: theory and instrumentation

The interplay of the major physical forces gravitation, electromagnetism and the nuclear forces manifest themselves dominantly in the evolution of the universe. The Casimir theme “Universe Physics” involves advanced detectors aimed at signals from the universe surrounding us and theoretical work to describe this universe - in a strong collaboration between astronomers, astrophysicists and instrument-developers.

Astronomy and astroparticle physics: Delft researchers are developing nanoscale solid-state electronic devices for the detection of faint submillimeter signals revealing the evolution of the earliest galaxies. The state-of-art detectors developed in Delft are currently being used in the James Clerk Maxwell telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, in the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile (near completion) and in the Herschel Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009. Through a collaboration with the FOM-institute Nikhef in Amsterdam Leiden researchers are involved in the development of the KM3NET cosmic neutrino detector and the in the search of high-energy cosmic neutrino sources.

Supergravity and cosmology: Astronomical observations also pose us immense theoretical challenges, for example with respect to the concepts of dark matter and dark energy. Researchers in Leiden focus on the theory of inflation in order to embed it in the microscopic theories of supergravity and string theory. Candidate particles for the explanation of dark matter have been identified, and recently a trace signal was discovered by Boyarsky’s group in cosmic X-ray sources. Confirmation must come from further observations.

Take a look at our positions:
Positions PhD
Positions Postdocs:

Researchers in the field of Universe physics: theory and instrumentation

  • Ana Achucarro, Leiden
  • Jochem Baselmans, Delft
  • Marco Beijersbergen, Leiden
  • Alex Boyarsky, Leiden
  • Bernard Brandl, Leiden
  • Akira Endo, Delft
  • Jian-Rong Gao, Delft
  • Jan-Willem van Holten, Leiden
  • Maarten de Jong, Leiden
  • Dorothea Samtleben, Leiden
  • Koenraad Schalm, Leiden
  • Alessandra Silvestri, Leiden
  • Subodh Patil, Leiden
  • Matthieu Schaller, Leiden