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Curiosity-driven, fundamental research is necessary for innovations that make society economically successful and socially resilient. The ENW XL-grant gives researchers the opportunity and freedom to start, strengthen or expand excellent, challenging and innovative lines of research.

The Dark Side of the Universe 
Principal investigator: Prof. dr. K.H. Kuijken (LEI)
with (a.o.) Elisa Chisari, Utrecht University/Delta ITP 

In 2023 the European Space Agency will launch the Euclid satellite on a six-year mission to map out the evolution of the Universe over the past 8 billion years. This map will contain about 2 billion galaxies. The ‘Dark Universe Science Collaboration’ will analyse these data with tools such as gravitational lensing, statistical models for the clustering of galaxies, and supercomputer simulations incorporating complex feedback processes due to supermassive black holes and star formation, to study how the mysterious components of the Universe – dark matter and dark energy – behave and how they influence the evolution of galaxies and the Universe.

A gas of magnetic waves in atomically thin crystals 
Principal investigator: Dr. T. van der Sar (TUD) 
With a.o Rembert Duine, Utrecht University/Delta ITP

Recently discovered, atomically-thin magnetic crystals are creating world-wide excitement in physics. Their magnetism is well controllable, offering opportunities for realizing information technology on the smallest scale. This project aims at creating, controlling, and detecting a gas-like state of magnetic waves in these materials, and thereby realize the first two-dimensional magnetic-wave transistor.

Looking at the strong nuclear interaction from all angles 
Principal Investigator: Prof. dr. A.L. Watts (UvA/Anton Pannekoek Institute)  
With among others Umut Gursoy and Tanja Hinderer, both Utrecht University/Delta ITP

The strong nuclear force explains how quarks bind together into protons and neutrons, which in turn form atomic nuclei. Though the basic principles are well understood, it is often difficult to perform calculations, especially in situations involving large numbers of quarks, like inside neutron stars. In this project, theoretical and experimental particle physicists, nuclear physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers join forces to look at the consequences of the strong nuclear force from different perspectives – using theoretical models, particle accelerators, gravitational wave detectors, and telescopes – and to understand this interaction over a wide range of temperatures and densities.