School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

The Faster Universe


Paul Groot


Radboud University, the Netherlands

Time & Place

Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:00:00 NZDT in Room 701, Level 7

All are welcome


Technological advancements make it possible to study variable and transient phenomena in the Universe at time scales of hours to minutes. This allows the study of gravitational wave counterparts but also tidal disruptions of stars by black holes, fast radio bursts and magnetic flares on stars, impacting our understanding of habitability of exoplanets. I'll give an overview if current development and results and our systematic approaches to find new phenomena. 


All Welcome


Paul Groot is Professor of Astronomy at Radboud University, located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 1999 at the University of Amsterdam, among others on the first detection of optical afterglows from gamma-ray bursts. After a stay at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as a CfA fellow he returned to the Netherlands in 2002 to co-found the Department of Astrophysics at Radboud University. He served as chair of the Department from 2006 – 2016 and as chair of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) from 2012 – 2016.

In this role he played a very active role in setting the research and instrumentation strategy for Dutch astronomy. His research is focused on compact binary systems, transients in the Universe and gravitational wave astrophysics. He has a keen interest in astronomical instrumentation, among others as Project Scientist on the VLT X-Shooter spectrograph and Principal Investigator on both the MeerLICHT telescope and the BlackGEM array.

He is a member of the Virgo Collaboration for the detection of gravitational wave signals. He is the co-recipient of the 2002 EU Descartes Prize, the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the 2016 Gruber Prize in Cosmology.