From Particles to Galaxies
Tuesday 15th May 2018
Doors Open 19:30 | Event 20:30 - 23:00
Café Checkpoint Charlie
Nassaukade 48, 1052 CM Amsterdam


An evening where 6 scientists will talk about the smallest and the largest things in our universe and everything in between


We will hear about the discovery of the Higgs Boson - or "god particle”. Explore matter that isn’t solid, liquid, or gas but unite particles and galaxies. Discover how quantum will revolutionise our computers. Look at planets outside our solar system and whether there is life out there. Hear about the existence of black holes hidden in our midst. And look at gravitational waves that surf spacetime at the speed of light.

Discovery of the Higgs Boson

The observation of the Higgs boson supplies new insights that go beyond all discoveries in particle physics over the past 30 years. More than 3,000 scientists are trying to find answers to questions about new particles resulting from high energy collisions (including the Higgs boson ) and dark matter, with the assistance of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva. One of the experiments taking place at the LHC is called ATLAS. This research is organised through Nikhef in the Netherlands, and Bentvelsen is the programme leader of ATLAS.

Stan Bentsvelden

Professor in Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica (FNWI)

Universiteit van Amsterdam | Nikhef

Other matter thats not gas, liquid, or solid

Wat hebben zwarte gaten en supergeleiders met elkaar te maken? Helemaal niets! Toch? Of misschien wel? Er is een nieuw idee op de markt en het is bizar: Einstein’s algemene relativiteits theorie kan misschien een van de meest bizarre quantum fenomenen beschrijven en hoe dat in elkaar zit hoor je vanavond.

The emergence of ordered states in interacting electron systems through symmetry breaking phase transitions are a corner stone of contemporary condensed matter physics. The recent discovery of symmetry protected topological states of matter has uncovered a completely new paradigm to realise ordered states of matter.

My research focusses on the interface between these two fundamental principles where new functional materials for future technological advances are waiting to be discovered.


Erik van Heumen

Assistant professor at the Institute of Physics

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Black holes in our midst

Black holes are the heaviest objects in the universe: not even light can escape from them. The absence of light makes detecting black holes very hard - unfortunately, as there are several theoretical mysteries about them that we would like to solve. In particular, black holes are a perfect "laboratory" for studying gravity and quantum mechanics, two phenomena that physicists find very hard to combine. I will explain what mysteries this combination leads to, and how string theory, a model for the elementary building blocks of the universe, attempts to solve these mysteries using black hole physics as a guideline.

Marcel Vonk

Assistant Professor in Mathematical Physics

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Cryptography in the age of quantum computers

Quantum computers will likely change the world quite a bit, once we will have succeeded in building one. In addition to new opportunities for, e.g. drug development, they will pose new threats to the encryption we use on the internet every day. In this short talk I will give you a glimpse into the world of quantum secure cryptography. 

Christian Majenz

Postdoc at Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Exoplanets and binary stars

Thirty years ago, the only planets that we knew are the planets orbiting around the Sun.
Today, already more than three thousand exoplanets have been detected around stars other than the Sun — and this number will continue to increase. It is now clear that most stars have planets! However, most of these planetary systems have a very different architecture than our Solar System. I will talk about my research on how planets form, how this is linked to the question whether they have water or not, how astronomers are searching for extraterrestrial life, and what all of this has to with… beer!

Djoeke Schoonenberg

PhD student at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Neurotrino detection

The detection of high energy cosmic neutrinos will greatly advance our knowledge of high energy astrophysics as well as fundamental particle physics. Neutrinos carry information on the physics of the most energetic objects in the Universe, such as Gamma Ray Bursts and Active Galactic Nuclei, which are thought to accelerate particles up to energies far beyond the reach of man-made accelerators. Moreover, cosmic neutrinos may provide information on the particle nature for the mysterious dark matter. 

Aart Heijboer

Researcher at Nikhef

Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics

Interacting binary stars

The evolution of the Universe is shaped by the light emitted by stars. Massive stars provide the most energetic light, end their lives in supernova explosions and leave highly magnetic neutron stars or enigmatic black holes. Massive stars orbit companion stars so close that exchange of material is inevitable. It completely changes the star, allowing highly energetic light to emerge into intergalactic space. 
Let's take a journey through cosmic time, following the eventful lives of massive double stars, which in rare cases eventually merge and create ripples in spacetime - gravitational waves.

Ylva Gotberg

PhD Student at Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Universiteit van Amsterdam

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