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Posted: Jan 14, 2014
FOM awards grant for fundamental research on black holes
(Nanowerk News) Physicists at Radboud University Nijmegen receive 400.000 euros from FOM, the Dutch foundation for fundamental research on matter, to address fundamental questions about black holes. Dr. Frank Saueressig will lead the programme ‘Black hole dynamics in asymptotically safe quantum gravity’, which is embedded in the Quantum Gravity group of Radboud University.
‘In science we always try to be predictive’, explains Saueressig. ‘Black holes are an exception to the predictivity we pursue. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, an object thrown in a black hole it will be gone forever. But it is likely that this idea of a black hole is incomplete. In this project we want to study the decay of black holes within a particular proposal for a fundamental theory of gravity, Weinberg's asymptotic safety scenario.’
A bridge between theory and experiment
Saueressig continues: ‘Research on quantum gravity is very theoretical and most of the time it is hard to make predictions that can be verified experimentally. One goal of this project is to find fingerprints of the microscopic structure of spacetime in the radiation emitted by the black holes. This is particularly exciting in view of the future observations planned by the astrophysicists working on the BlackHoleCam-project.’
Saueressig and his colleagues at the department of Theoretical Physics also received FOM-funding in November 2013, for their research programme ‘Quantum gravity and the search for quantum spacetime’.
‘Black hole dynamics in asymptotically safe quantum gravity’ is one of the five proposals that were rewarded in the FOM-Projectruimte. All together, the five proposals received 1.9 million euros. FOM Projectruimte funds the realisation of physics research and makes it possible to carry out small-scale fundamental research projects in physics with an innovative character and a demonstrable scientific, industrial or societal urgency.