Program manager: Prof.dr. Kjeld Eikema
The research activities carried out in the program "Physics of Light and Matter" concentrate on performing ultra-precision experiments, which includes the development of advanced lasers sources (such as frequency comb lasers, ultra-stable lasers, extreme ultraviolet lasers and TeraWatt short pulse lasers) and spectroscopic methods to cool, manipulate and trap atoms, molecules and ions. The exciting possibilities due to advanced lasers and methods to control matter are explored in two major themes. One is "Fundamental physics at the atomic scale", which includes searching for a possible variation of fundamental constants, testing quantum-electrodynamic theory in atoms and small molecules, and studying matter at ultra-low temperatures. The other theme is "Applied Laser Spectroscopies" which ranges from spectroscopy of astrophysically relevant gas-phase species, sensitive detection of molecules in liquids and mono-layer surfaces, light scattering studies, development of miniature lasers for length measurement, to imaging with ultrafast X-rays a at sub-cellular level.