Leiden Institute of Physics The Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) incorporates the Kamerlingh Onnes and Huygens Laboratories for experimental physics and the Institute Lorentz for theoretical physics. Together the different branches provide an academic environment with a focus on fundamental questions, but with an open eye to benefits for society. Physics research in Leiden builds on a rich tradition going back to Christiaan Huygens, Hendrik Lorentz and Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. Today, LION continues to operate at the forefront of physics research in areas such as condensed matter physics, bio-molecular physics, quantum optics and theoretical physics. LION participates in the Casimir Research School and the Dutch Research School of Theoretical Physics.
The institute strives to maintain a close interaction between
theory and experiments. The research groups in the sub-disci-
The mission of the Institute Lorentz for theoretical physics is to
plines closely work together, and also cooperation with other
promote insight into and appreciation for the wonder that the
institutes within the faculty of science is actively promoted.
same physical laws and mathematical concepts apply to the whole
LION maintains a balance between fundamental research and
of nature, from the largest to the smallest energy and length
practically orientated research, based upon the conviction that
scales. To realize this objective, unity in diversity is achieved by
true innovation arises from asking questions that have not been
bringing theory from many branches of physics together under
phrased before. LION brings together top-talent in e.g. cosmology
on one end of the spectrum, and instrumentation physics on the other. LION is proud to have strong support workshops for Fine
Atomic and Molecular Conductors
Mechanics and Electronics, where the development of advanced
This group works in the field of nanophysics and concentrates
instrumentation is seen as vital for maintaining cutting-edge
on the electronic transport properties of atomic-sized conduc-
research work in experimental physics.
tors. These can include single-atom contacts, chains of individual atoms or single molecules, and networks of molecular junctions.
Graduate School of Science
Graduate School of Science P.O. Box 9502 2300 RA Leiden www.science.leidenuniv.nl/graduateschool Leiden Institute of Physics Hugyens Niels Bohrweg 2 2333 CA Leiden www.physics.leidenuniv.nl
Magnetic and Superconducting Materials
Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
Studying the superconducting and magnetic properties of
The focus of this group is on quantum entanglement in various
materials in thin film form is the main focus of this group, with
systems that by themselves already have intriguing classical opti-
emphasis on the interplay between superconductivity and ferro-
cal properties, see the illustration. The research is fundamental
magnetism and on effects of correlated electrons, such as colossal
in nature and theory plays an important role, but the emphasis is
magnetoresistance in magnetic oxides.
The ‘coldest place on earth’, as Leiden was referred to
Here the structure and dynamic behaviour of surfaces and
Here the physics of life processes is investigated, down to the
in 1908 when the legendary Kamerlingh Onnes liquefied
interfaces is investigated. The group uses home-built special
cellular and molecular level. Specific topics are research on
Helium-4, will become even colder if quantum physicist
purpose ‘scanning probe’ microscopes for the investigation of
fluorescence-based biosensors, photosynthesis, organization of
Dirk Bouwmeester has his way. He is celebrated and
the formation of structures at surfaces, e.g. under conditions of
the cell membrane in relation to cell signalling and the organiza-
lauded for his challenging experiments, including on
deposition of atomic layers, for the study of gas-surface interac-
tion and reorganization processes of chromatin in cell nuclei.
quantum teleportation. Bouwmeester wants to demonstrate quantum behaviour in macroscopic objects.
tions (catalysis), friction (tribology) and the structure-function
Molecular Nano-Optics and Spins
This behaviour has so far only been demonstrated in
The research theme of this group is the resonant interaction of
individual atoms or molecules or clouds of such atoms
Granular and Disordered Media
photons and condensed matter. The experimental approach is
or molecules. He uses a minuscule mirror linked to
Investigating slow flow and jamming of granulates, foams and
based on single-molecule optics and multi-frequency electron
an equally minuscule leaf spring. Quantum behaviour
macro emulsions is the main aim of this group. The focus is on
can only be studied at extremely low temperatures.
relation in nanobiology.
the interplay between mesoscopic organization and macroscopic
Bouwmeester devised a method of cooling the mirror to
flow features and combines video imaging with rheological
a temperature of 0.133 Kelvin (-273 degrees Celsius),
by making use of the power that light can emit if it is reflected on an object. In combination with more conventional cooling methods he hopes to reach a temperature of one-millionth Kelvin. He is expecting to enter the regime for which Professor Roger Penrose has recently predicted that standard quantum mechan-
Graduate School of Science
ics descriptions will start to fail.