Prof.dr. Nick van Eijndhoven
PhD University of Amsterdam (UvA), 1987.
Senior Scientist (Astroparticle Physics)
Senior University Teacher (Modern Physics)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Email : nickve.nl at gmail.com
Astroparticle Physics revolves around phenomena that involve
(astro)physics under the most extreme conditions.
Black holes with masses a billion times greater than the mass
of the Sun, accelerate particles to velocities close to the speed of light
and display a variety of relativistic effects.
The produced high-energy particles may be detected on Earth
and as such can provide us insight in the physical processes underlying
these cataclysmic events.
This is just one example of this new exciting field of research, which
combines the insights of Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Cosmology.
As the leader of a group of scientists I am involved in a world wide effort
to search for high-energy neutrinos originating from cosmic phenomena.
For this we use the IceCube neutrino observatory, being the world's
largest neutrino telescope at the South Pole.
Having no electrical charge and interacting only weakly with matter,
neutrinos are special astronomical messengers. Only they can carry
information from violent cosmological events at the edge of the universe
directly towards the Earth.
The advent of large scale Neutrino Observatories marks the birth of
This field of research opens a completely new window on the Universe
and as such is poised to yield new discoveries, in a similar manner as with
the introduction of Radio Astronomy.
The focus of my research is on transient phenomena, i.e. Gamma Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and flares of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), which are believed to be
the most violent cosmic explosions, involving black holes and neutron stars,
and the sources of the most energetic Cosmic Rays.