Two FOM Projectruimte Grants for Theoretical Physics research projects

18 December 2015

The foundation for fundamental research on matter (FOM) has divided a total of 3.3 million Euro over nine researchers. Amongst them are two Delta ITP researchers: professor Carlo Beenakker (Leiden), who is awarded a budget for his research on single-particle emitters for superconducting nanostructures, and professor Eric Laenen (Amsterdam/Nikhef), for his research on the spin of the top quark.

Carlo Beenakker, Delta ITP/Leiden University 

Single-particle emitters for superconducting nanostructures


Prof. Carlo Beenakker, Delta ITP/Leiden University

"When we speak of the flow of electrical current we know that there are discrete particles, electrons, that actually carry the current. The miniaturization of electronic circuits has reached the point that this granularity starts to play a role and we can envisage an electrical current carried by a single electron. To control this current it would be desirable to have a source that injects one electron at the time, on demand.

The aim of this project is to explore the effect of superconductivity on such an 'electron gun'. One new capability that emerges is the possibility to control the charge of the injected particle. Such a device would be particularly useful in quantum information processing, because it could be used as a source of charge-neutral pairs of entangled particles."

Prof. Eric Laenen (Delta ITP/University of Amsterdam, Nikhef Theory Group) and dr Marcel Vreeswijk (University of Amsterdam, Nikhef ATLAS group) 

Top Spin


Prof. Eric Laenen (left) and dr Marcel Vreeswijk

"In this proposal we stress-test the Standard Model to find new physics, using the spin of the top quark. It combines a very accurate measurement of spin-dependent top quark decay patterns using new LHC run 2 data from the ATLAS detector with state-of-the-art theory predictions including higher order corrections due to quantumchromodynamics, to reliably identify small deviations from the Standard Model. We will use the single-top quark production process, which provides a spin-polarised sample of top quarks. We should also be sensitive to new processes that violate the symmetry between matter and antimatter. The outcome of our test, whatever it will be, should be highly interesting."

About FOM Projectruimte

The Projectruimte is one of the grant instruments that FOM has to fund physics research. The Projectruimte makes it possible to realise small-scale projects of fundamental research with an innovative character and a demonstrable scientific, industrial or societal urgency.

The Executive Board of the FOM Foundation decided to award nine proposals in this round. A total of 3.3 million euros has been awarded to the projects. A press release (in Dutch) can be found on the FOM website


Published by  D-ITP