Prof. dr. Ralph Wijers, astronomer of the Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek' of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), has received an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC is an institute that finances groundbraking research within the European Union. Wijers, also a member of the Science Advisory Committee of ASTRON, receives 3.5 million Euro, of which 1 million is intended for equipment.
Ralph Wijers is researching radio explosions in the Universe, using the new telescope of ASTRON: LOFAR. These explosions are often a signal of so-called black holes and other extreme objects. He examines what kind of objects show these energetic explosions and how they work. For his research he is extending the LOFAR telescope with a 24/7 all-sky monitor in cooperation with ASTRON to find these rare explosions and figure out how they work. In this way, Wijers seeks answers to some big, fundamental questions of physics: how does a black hole originate? How strong can a magnetic field be? Where does cosmic radiation come from?
Published by the editorial team, 4 January 2010
The ERC Advanced Grant is a prestigious European research grant for individual researchers. The grant is part of the European Seventh Frame Programme (FP7), a funding programme for 2007-2013. The ERC Advanced Grant is awarded to excellent individual researchers for groundbraking research. Besides research ideas, the track record of the researchers and the research settings are also evaluated.