Physics@Veldhoven Masterclasses

Masterclasses 2019

The masterclasses 2019 will be given by

Please note the masterclasses take place on Monday 21 January 2019, from 19:30 until 22:00 hrs.
These masterclasses offer PhDs and young postdocs a unique opportunity to receive an introduction to several hot topics from top researchers. Just 25 places are available for each masterclass.

You can register for the masterclasses on the meeting registration form (see Registration). Please make sure that the topic of your thesis and your seniority in the PhD programme are filled out. If more PhD students apply than can be accommodated by the masterclass, preference will be given first by topic, then by seniority, then by random selection.

Abstract Julia Greer

Julia R. Greer (California Institute of Technology)

Materials by design: Using architecture and nanomaterial size effects to attain unexplored material property spaces
Engineers have been actively trying to mimic hard biomaterials like mollusk shells and beaks because of their resilience and damage tolerance, which are believed to stem from the hierarchical arrangements within their design. Current technological advances in fabrication methods enable us to create architected structural metamaterials using different materials, whose design and dimensionality are similar to those found in nature, and whose hierarchical ordering ranges from angstroms and nanometers at the level of material microstructure to microns and millimeters at the macroscale architecture. Utilizing architectural features as key elements in defining multi-dimensional material design space promises to enable independent manipulation of the currently coupled physical attributes and to develop materials with unprecedented capabilities. Utilizing architectural features as key elements in defining multi-dimensional material design spaces promises to enable independent manipulation of historically coupled physical attributes and to develop materials with previously unobserved combinations of properties. Feasibility of this “materials by design” approach is gated by our ability to understand and predict mechanical response of these “metamaterials,” i.e. materials whose properties are controlled by engineered structure in addition to atomic composition, where feature size and geometry are critical design parameters.
In this tutorial, we will overview some of the state of the art of structural metamaterials with dimensions that span microns to nanometers: their designs, properties, and fabrication routes, as well as provide physical foundation for deformation mechanisms as a function of material microstructure and size (i.e. size effects).

Abstract Julie Grollier

Julie Grollier (CNRS/Thales)

Neuromorphic Physics
In this master class, I will explain why research in physics and material science is important for the future of neuromorphic computing. I will describe different approaches to this field, inspired from artificial intelligence and neuroscience. I will review recent striking advances in tailoring artificial neurons and synapses by leveraging physical phenomena such as phase changes, spintronics or non-linear optics. I will present the first results of pattern recognition with hardware systems composed of these novel nanodevices. Finally, I will point out directions in which contributions are particularly needed.

Abstract Erik Verlinde

Erik Verlinde

Erik Verlinde (University of Amsterdam)

Quantum black holes, emergent gravity, and the dark universe
Starting with Hawking’s famous discovery of black hole radiation physicists have used black holes as theoretical laboratories to gain new insights in to the quantum nature of gravity and spacetime. 

Combined with important breakthroughs in string theory the study of quantum black holes have led to a powerful theoretical framework, known as “holography”, that allows us to investigate the connection between gravity and quantum mechanics in a precise way.   These theoretical studies indicate that Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the geometry of spacetime itself, should be viewed as being emergent from an underlying microscopic quantum theory that, in a sense, lives on the boundary of spacetime. At present this theoretical approach allows us to study only spacetimes with a negative cosmological constant. This is an unfortunate shortcoming since observation tell us that our universe carries a positive cosmological constant. Overcoming this theoretical obstacle is of utmost importance, since its resolution will shed light not only on the nature of gravity, but also on that of dark energy and dark matter.  

In this masterclass I will give an accessible account of these developments, and explain in lucid fashion the most recent insights in this exciting field of theoretical physics. In particular, I will present my own work on how emergent gravity can explain the observations on dark energy and dark matter.

Abstract Robert J. Goldston

Robert J. Goldston

Robert J. Goldston (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory)

Dousing a 100 M degree flame: physics at the boundary between a fusion plasma and a material surface
We will start by understanding that basic requirements that drive the design of a magnetic fusion power plant. We need a stable, high pressure highly-ionized gas, or plasma, composed of deuterium and tritium to produce plenty of electricity for our plant investment. We also need this plasma to produce much more power than is input to it, or why did we bother? Tremendous progress has been made in understanding how to get to these plasma conditions, and the world community has high confident that ITER will product industrial levels of heat at plasma gain of order 10. We will then focus most of the class on studying the properties of the edge of such a plasma. As it turns out, magnetic fields are so good at confining plasmas that they also narrow the flux of heat from a plasma, creating a circular welding torch of unearthly power density. Now the challenge is to understand the edge of the plasma and ultimately to de-confine that heat, spreading it over a wide enough area that it can be used productively.

Team Veldhoven

Team Veldhoven this year consists of Ammeret Rossouw, Marcel Hoek, Mirjam van Ooijen, Renée Calon, Margit de Kok and Martine van Harderwijk.