On 1 September, Chris Van Den Broeck will start as Professor of Gravitational Waves Physics at the Department of Physics. Van Den Broeck is a leading international researcher in the field of gravitational waves, and has previously worked as deputy programme leader for Gravitational Waves at Nikhef and professor by special appointment at the University of Groningen. His research will contribute to the Utrecht focus area Complex Systems.
Gravitational waves research presents a particularly difficult experimental and theoretical challenge, which may lead to new theories about gravity and black holes. The field gained momentum when the LIGO/Virgo team first detected gravitational waves in 2015. Chris Van Den Broeck is part of this team, sharing both the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the Gruber Cosmology Prize in 2016.
Van Den Broeck is also co-initiator of the Einstein Telescope, a proposal for a new observatory that is expected to detect hundreds of thousands of gravitational waves per year. At this moment, the Netherlands and Sardinia are proposed as possible locations for this facility.
Chris Van Den Broeck
Chris Van Den Broeck studied physics at the University of Leuven and obtained his PhD in theoretical physics at Pennsylvania State University in 2005. Subsequently, he worked as a researcher at Cardiff University, and since 2009 at research institute Nikhef in Amsterdam. Since 2017, he has been a professor at the University of Groningen. He was awarded an NWO Vici grant in 2018.