ERC Consolidator grant for Ewold Verhagen

Published on January 31, 2023
Category Photonic Forces
Ewold Verhagen in the Photonic Forces lab

AMOLF group leader Ewold Verhagen (Photonic Forces group) received an ERC Consolidator grant from the European Research Council (ERC). He has been granted 2.7 million euros to carry out his research plans. In addition to being an AMOLF group leader, Verhagen is part-time professor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

The ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or program. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

Verhagen’s project is entitled Challenging the limits of mechanical quantum metrology. It deals with extremely precise measurements of the vibrations of very small strings. Interestingly, quantum mechanics sets a limit to the resolution of displacement measurements. This is related to the fact that it is impossible to observe a system without disturbing it. The project aims to turn this disturbance into an advantage: by performing strong measurements with lasers, the mere act of observing the strings could control their quantum vibrations. Moreover, Verhagen and his team will investigate smart ways to couple multiple strings together to improve measurement performance. This opens up new possibilities in storing, converting and processing optical quantum information with the help of mechanical resonators. Finally, it allows new ways to study quantum phenomena in macroscopic objects, and probe the boundary between the counterintuitive realm of quantum physics and the classical world we are more familiar with.

Read more about ERC Consolidator Grants