Research Priority Area at the University of Amsterdam
Astroparticle physics is a rapidly growing field of research at the
intersection of astrophysics, theoretical physics, particle or high-energy
physics, and cosmology.
Progress in these disciplines has, in the past decade, highlighted some
profound questions that lie at their interfaces. These questions have, in
different ways, become central to their research programmes.
It is precisely such questions that astroparticle physics addresses, for
What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy?
How can the forces of Nature be unified?
Does this union leave measurable signatures in the present Universe?
What do black holes and neutron stars teach us about the fundamental laws of
In what ways are high-energy neutrinos, cosmic rays, gamma rays and gravity
waves produced and how do these new messengers enhance our knowledge of the
extremes of the Universe?
These questions are profound, challenging and appealing, and answering them
will require advanced and innovative methods from the various disciplines.
The importance of these questions, as well as the prospects of obtaining
breakthrough results in the near future, have been widely recognized at the
local, national and international level.
With Nikhef-FOM complementing the various institutes of the Faculty of
Science, the Amsterdam Science Park already harbours excellent and broad
expertise in astroparticle physics and gravitation, and has the unique potential
to assume a leading role in the field.
With GRAPPA the Faculty of Science intends to:
create a new research group consisting of affiliate members of the
institutes plus several to be hired faculty members working on the interfaces of
the research at the various institutes and divisions;
set up a joint and coherent research programme that will bring significant
focus to and synergy between the existing research programmes, and;
firmly establish Science Park as one of the leading gravity and
astroparticle physics centres in the world.
Researchers of the Institute of Physics (IoP) and the Astronomical Institute
“Anton Pannekoek” (API) join forces under the umbrella of the GRAPPA theme.
The research priority is acknowledged by the Faculty of Science and the Board
of the university and received additional funding from the Board in 2010.