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Delta ITP Faculty

With the appointment of new (tenure-track) faculty, the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics emphasizes its future commitment to the consortium beyond the ten-year duration of the NWO Gravitation program.

To systematically stimulate the collaboration between the three theoretical physics institutes, all new faculty members are required to spend one day per week at one of the other two institutes, with the formal appointment at the main university. The expertise of these positions is tuned such as to both strengthen the three institutes in a few specific areas, and to connect the various research (sub)themes. The new Delta ITP faculty should act as bridges, both between themes and between institutes.

As of Fall 2019 the status of Delta faculty is as follows:

Elisa Chisari

Utrecht University, previously at Princeton University, and Oxford Universiy.

"I study the nature of dark energy from observational measurements of the shapes of galaxies. A phenomenon known as gravitational lensing distorts galaxy shapes and allows us, through its measurement, to study the composition and evolution of the Universe.

Gravitational tides can also leave a mark on galaxy shapes, and I have been studying them from multiple perspectives: analytical, numerical and observational to figure out why, how and which galaxies align across the structure of the Universe and how this interplays with the lensing effect.

I am involved in several major astronomical surveys, such as the ongoing Kilo-Degree Survey, the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and Euclid."

Elisa Chisari's webpages at Utrecht University.

Vladimir Gritsev

Vladimir Gritsev (Amsterdam, previously at Harvard University and University of Fribourg) brings a thorough background in string theory and gravity into the field of condensed matter physics.

His research interests vary on a broad spectrum and include quantum optics, cold atoms and strongly correlated quantum systems. His main interest nowadays lies in various aspects of quantum non-equilibrium systems. He works on two joint Delta research projects. In Spring 2015, Vladimir lectured the module Low-D spin systems as part of the Delta ITP Advanced Topics course.

A list of publications can be found on Vladimirs webpage, University of Amsterdam.

Contact information: v.gritsev [at]

Lars Fritz

Lars Fritz (Utrecht, previously at Harvard University and University of Cologne) works in condensed matter theory. He focuses on quantum impurity problems, transport properties of quantum critical systems, (frustrated) spin systems, ultra-cold atomic systems and systems with topological order.

The joint Delta research project ‘Impurities in Dirac and Weyl semimetals’ is one of his current projects. Lars has been teaching the module Models for Topological Insulators at the Delta ITP Advanced Topics course (Spring 2014). In 2016, Lars Frits was awarded a FOM Projectruimte grant for his researc proposal 'Splitting and tipping the electron'.

A list of publications can be found on Lars's UU-website.

Contact information: l.fritz [at]

Alessandra Silvestri

Alessandra Silvestri (Leiden, previously at SISSA and MIT) is a theoretical cosmologist, involved in both theoretical and observational aspects of understanding the fundamental physics of the universe.

She focusses in particular on the dynamics of the late-time universe and tests of gravity on cosmological scales, as in the joint Delta research project ‘Testing generalised theories of gravity with galaxy bias and non-linear structure formation'. 

In May 2019 Alessandra Silvestri was awarded a NWO Vidi grant for her research on the the expanding universe. Newsrelease:

Contact information: silvestri [at]

Website: Late Universe Lab, Leiden University

Wouter Waalewijn

Wouter Waalewijn (Amsterdam, previously MIT and UC San Diego) is a particle physicist working on QCD and LHC physics. Much of his work has focused on jets, which are spays of collimated hadrons that are copiously produced at the LHC.

He also works on precision QCD calculations that help reduce the uncertainty on signal and background predictions for LHC, which is for example important in extracting the Higgs couplings from measurements.

In 2014 he received a grant from the MISTI Global Seed Fund for his collaboration with prof. Iain Stewart (MIT) and dr Frank Tackmann (DESY) on precision jet physics for Higgs boson production. In 2015, he was awarded an ERC starting grant. in 2018 Wouter Waalewijn was awarded with a NWO Projectruimte Grant for his research proposal 'New methods for precise predictions at the Large Hadron Collider'.

A list of research publications can be found on Wouters UvA website.

Contact information: W.J.Waalewijn [at]

Vadim Cheianov

Vadim Cheianov (Leiden, previously at Lancaster University and Nordita Institute, Copenhagen) focusses on the cooperative behaviour of quantum many-body systems in relation to new solid state materials and ultra cold atomic systems.

Together with Lars Fritz and Vladimir Gritsev, he initiated the new Delta triangle meetings on Quantum and Topological Matter, which started in 2015. Vadim works on three joint Delta research projects. In Spring 2015, Vadim lectured the module Quantum Impurity Problems as part of the Delta ITP Advanced Topics course.

Website: Cheianov Group (Quantum Many Body Physics in Condensed Matter and Ultracold Atomic Systems), Leiden University

Contact information: cheianov [at]

Former Delta Faculty

Enrico Pajer

Enrico Pajer (previously at Princeton University and Cornell University) worked as a Delta Faculty member in Utrecht until the end of 2018. In his research he focusses on using cosmological observations to learn about fundamental physics.

He has worked on the physics of the primordial universe, including models of inflation in field theory and string theory, and is an expert in the physics of the cosmic microwave background. With the observations of the large-scale structure of the universe he tries to understand dark matter, dark energy and primordial perturbations. He is involved in three joint Delta research projects. In 2015, Enrico received a Vidi grant.

In 2018 Enrico moved to Cambridge to become University Lecturer at DAMTP.

Postdocs and PhD students during his time as Delta staff member:

Roberto Gobbetti, Delta Postdoc (2014-16)

Cora Uhlemann, Delta Postdoc (2015-17) 

John Stout, Postdoc (2017- cont 19) 

Garrett Goon, Postdoc (2017- cont 19) 

Luca Santoni, Postdoc (2016-18)

PhD students 

Bernardo Finelli de Moraes, PhD student (2016- cont 2020) 

Georgos Papadomanolakis, Delta Phd student (2015-19, shared with Leiden U.) 

Drian van der Woude, PhD student (2014-18) 

Yvette Welling, PhD student (2014-18, affiliated with Leiden U.)

Enrico Pajers website