Akademiedag Natuurkunde - Podium voor toptalent

Presentaties door vier ERC Starting Grant-winnaars

22 april 2013 van 15:30 tot 17:35 uur
KNAW, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam.
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Maandelijks organiseert de KNAW openbare lezingen ten behoeve van kennisuitwisseling over wetenschappelijk onderzoek. De lezingen worden veelal gehouden door KNAW-leden, maar de Akademie biedt ook een podium voor jonge talentvolle onderzoekers. Vandaag biedt de KNAW een podium aan vier jonge onderzoekers uit verschillende wetenschappelijke disciplines die een ERC Starting Grant ontvingen. Zij zullen een korte presentatie geven over hun onderzoek.


15.30 uur


16.00 uur

Lezing Maria Jesus Santofimia Navarro

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Controlling Non-Equilibrium in Steel

Stronger and more ductile steels are increasingly demanded in important industry sectors such as automotive, gas transport and power generation. Latest investigations at the frontier of modern steel technology show that nanostructured steels formed by non-equilibrium phases fulfill these demands with outstanding performance. However, the adequate formation of these phases requires the application of long thermal treatments and the use of potentially scarce alloying elements. This ERC Starting Grant project addresses a new concept to create novel nanostructured steels in which, for the first time, the microstructure development is controlled by interactions between non-equilibrium phases. This innovative concept avoids the application of long treatments and expensive alloying elements and opens an unprecedented approach for the design of metallic alloys.

16.25 uur

Lezing Christian Keysers

Nederlands Herseninstituut / UMCG

The Empathic Brain

Most of us can effortlessly feel what goes on in other people. When we watch the scene in Dr. No where a tarantula walks on James Bond’s chest, we need no conscious deliberation to understand his intentions to kill the spider or to guess what the tingling of the spider’s legs feel like on his chest. Instead, we seem to empathically feel what he goes through. Our hands start sweating and our heart beats faster – as if we were in his stead. This empathy is key to our ability to cooperate with others, and is thus at the core of human nature. But why are we so empathic? In this talk, I will review research in my lab that shows that our motor system, normally involved in programming our own actions, becomes automatically activated when we see the actions of others. I will show how our somatosensory system, that normally responds when we are touched, becomes activated when we see the skin of other people be touched. Finally, I will show how regions of the brain involved in experiencing emotions such as disgust, pain and pleasure become activated when we see or read about others experience similar emotions. Together, these data show why we do not need our intellect to understand other people. Our brain transforms what others do and feel into our own actions and feelings. We then feel what they feel, and intuitively adapt to their actions and emotions. Biology has equipped us with an empathic brain that endows us with an intuitive understanding of others and an intuitive sense of ethics. In the ERC grant that I recently received, what I propose to do is twofold. First, use EEG to explore how information flows between the brain regions involved in empathy and, second, to use rodents, that show empathy for other rodents, to study the biology of emotional empathy in greater detail.

16.50 uur

Lezing Daniela Wilson

Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

Supramolecular Assembly of Catalytic Nanomotors: Applications and their Manipulation under External Stimuli

Making a nanomotor has been a dream of many researchers in the field of nanotechnology often associated with futuristic visions of building “tiny cars”, “aircrafts” or “submarines” as small as bacteria or “microscopic surgeons” able to reach infected organs and cure diseases. From molecular machines to micron size self-propelling rods chemists used a combination of bottom-up or top-down approaches often involving intricate synthetic routes which took years of hard synthetic work and at the end with limited control over the directionality of the movement and restricted applicability. But why not let the “motor” build itself from its components by using simple building blocks predisposed to self-assemble? Herein we describe the supramolecular assembly of catalytic nanomotor from amphiphilic block-copolymers and catalytic active nanoparticles. The motor is propelled by the fast discharge of jet gases (oxygen) just like a miniature nanorocket. Insight into the mechanism of movement, applications and further manipulation of the nanomotors under external stimuli will be discussed.

17.15 uur

Lezing Jan-Berend Stuut


Transatlantic fluxes of Saharan dust: changing climate through fertilising the ocean?

Massive amounts of dust (~1 Billion Ton) are blown from the Sahara into and over the Atlantic Ocean every year. This dust strongly alters the atmosphere through blocking incoming solar radiation [cooling the atmosphere] and trapping outgoing heat that was reflected at the earth’s surface [warming the atmosphere]. In addition, aerosols carry huge amounts of metals and nutrients that can boost marine life, but also vast amounts of microbes, spores, and pathogens that are harmful for both marine- and terrestrial (including human!) life. The net effect of cooling/warming and ocean fertilisation/poisoning is presently far from understood as it depends on a complex set of parameters related to dust emission, dispersal, and deposition. In the project DUSTTRAFFIC, we aim to quantify the marine-environmental effects of Saharan dust deposition by monitoring it from source to sink. Dust is being collected at its sources on land, from the atmosphere across the Atlantic Ocean, and in the water column along a transect at 12°N, and its effects on the marine environment are studied. This way we aim to answer the question: can we influence climate change with mineral dust?

17.35 uur