Last year the symposium was a great success. Over a thousand visitors came to Utrecht for the lectures of Gerard ‘t Hooft, Immanuel Bloch and Stephen Hawking.

Professor Gerard ‘t Hooft

Gerard ‘t Hooft has studied physics at the University of Utrecht. Although he originally followed in the footsteps of his uncle, he later turned to Martinus Veltman as his adviser for both his mast thesis and PhD research. In 1999 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martinus Veltman “for elucidating the quantum structure of electro-weak interactions in physics”.

The Higgs particle, and its role in the subnuclear world

A great tour de force was needed for elementary particle physicists to identify the Higgs particle, a new type of particle that was predicted by theoreticians. It is sometimes said that the Higgs paricle generates the mass of the other particles, and so we would not understand the sub nuclear world without it. What does this really mean, and what does the Higgs particle have to do with the spin of the other sub nuclear particles?

Professor Immanuel Bloch

Immanuel Bloch studied physics at the University of Bonn. His PhD and a major part of his academic career then took place ate the University of Munich. He currently has a position as a director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and is one of the leading experimental physicist in the area of ultra cold quantum gasses.

Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter at the Single Atom Level

More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined the visionary concept of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex physics calculations. Today, his dream has become a reality in laboratories around the world. “In my talk I will focus on the remarkable opportunities offered by ultra cold quantum gasses trapped in optical lattices to address fundamental physics questions ranging from condensed matter physics over statistical physics to high energy physics with table-top experiment.”

Professor Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking began his study of physics at the University of Oxford, although most of his academic career later took place at the University of Cambridge. He has made many contributions in the field of theoretical physics, specifically cosmology, as well as writing many books for a more popular audience. He is currently Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University.

The universe as a hologram