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Physics: looking further

Physics and Astronomy

The VU Amsterdam Department of Physics and Astronomy thrives with an ambitious community of 25 research staff members, 4 (fte) teaching staff members, 6 technicians (exclusive the mechanical and electronic workshops), 75 postdocs and PhD students, and 350 students that follow bachelor and master degrees in Physics, Medical Natural Sciences and Science, Business and Innovation.

The world is facing major challenges. Physicist play an important part in finding solutions to these issues. Resources are running thin, while the demand for oil expands. New energy sources and energy carriers must be discovered. People grow older and the world population is expanding rapidly. By unraveling the physics of cells and organisms, new medial techniques can be developed. That's why physicists at VU University focus on Life and Energy. 

The different educational programmes from the department apply the same focus. The fundamental knowledge that students acquire during their studies, will make it possible for the next generation to contribute to science and society, now and in the future. Alumni of the VU work as researchers at universities and research centers and at companies, such as Phillips, Oce, ASML, Shell and Accenture. 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (i) high-energy and gravitational physics, (ii) quantum metrology and laser applications, (iii) physics of life and health, and (iv) physics of photosynthesis and energy. 

The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (together with University of Twente). 

Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (on campus) and location AMC), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), and a thriving startup scene.

About the Physics and Astronomy Department

Education programmes

Bachelor programmes 

The department of Physics and Astronomy offers three bachelor programs:

Master programmes 

The department of Physics and Astronomy offers three master programs:

Research domains

Physics of Life
Biophotonics & Medical Imaging
Physics of Living Systems

Physics of Energy
Biophysics of Photosynthesis / Physics of Energy
Photo Conversion Materials

Fundamental Physics
Quantum Metrology and Laser Applications
(Astro-) Particle Physics

The first theme is in line with the strategic initiative of VU University on “Human Health and Life Science (H2LS), the second connects to the VU-initiative “Science for Sustainability” (S4S).

All our physics research activities take place in Research Institutes.

The in-house activities (at VU-Campus) are part of Amsterdam Institute for Lasers, Life and Biophotonics, or LaserLaB.

The (Astro-) Particle physics activities, focusing on LHCb and gravitational waves (VIRGO), are integrated in the national institute NIKHEF.

The Quantum Metrology and Laser Applications group participates in Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL).

Moreover the Physics Department is one of the partners participating in the Amsterdam Neuroscience.

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Feel free to contact us

Call: +31 (0)20 87892 / +31 (0)20 89031

The Department is situated in the WN Building and part of the VU Campus with its main entrance and reception desk at # 1085.

Directions VU Campus and VU Parking

Office of the Department Secretariat: WN-T.06
De Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam