Ralph Wijers

Titels Prof. dr.
Initials R.A.M.J.
Main position Hoogleraar UvA, directeur Sterrenkundig instituut 'Anton Pannekoek'
Disciplines Astronomy, astrophysics
Chair Astronomie, in het bijzonder hoge-energieastrofysica
Domain Natural Sciences and Engineering
Membership Member
Since 2019
Member of Heineken Young Scientists Awards Jury
Member of Natural Sciences and Engineering
Employed by Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit NWI
Sterrenkundig instituut 'Anton Pannekoek' 
Postbus 94249
1090 GE Amsterdam
tel.  020 525 7488
Personal website

Ralph Wijers has pioneered theoretical models meant to solve the mystery of gamma-ray bursts, ultra-high-energy explosions that are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. Following the first recorded visible-light afterglow of a gamma-ray burst, he was the lead investigator in research showing that an ultra-high-energy blast-wave model could be used to explain the afterglow. This resolved a long-standing puzzle by confirming that gamma-ray bursts originate far beyond, and not within, the Milky Way. Wijers is also an expert on neutron stars and black holes. He was and is closely involved in the development of the LOFAR telescope. He focuses on innovations in ultra-fast signal processing and radio monitoring that make it possible to study high-energy astronomical phenomena, such as the mysterious fast radio bursts first detected in 2007.