The Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) is the Physics department of Leiden University, The Netherlands. It is comprised of 40 research groups divided over three research sections: Biological and Soft Matter Physics, Quantum Matter and Optics, and Theoretical Physics. Two physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics whilst working at LION. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1913) researched material behaviour at ultra-low temperatures and discovered liquid helium, and Hendrik Lorentz (1902) played a major role in the development of Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity. The most prestigious Dutch science award, the NWO Spinozapremie, has been awarded three times to a professor at LION. Carlo Beenakker (1999), Jan Zaanen (2006) and Dirk Bouwmeester (2014) received the highest honour in Dutch science.

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Topological quantities flow

Topology is an emerging field within many scientific disciplines, even leading to a Nobel Physics Prize in 2016. Leiden physicist Marcello Caio and his colleagues have now discovered the existence of topological currents ...

Bending DNA costs less energy than assumed

The way DNA folds largely determines which genes are read out. John van Noort and his group have quantified how easily rolled-up DNA parts stack. This costs less energy than previously assumed. Publication in Biophysical ...

Determining the shape of cells

Cells are constantly performing small tasks such as repairing wounds. They exert force by changing shape. But how do cells translate their shape into exerting a force in a specific direction? Experimental and theoretical ...

A mysterious insulating phenomenon in a superconductor

Leiden physicist Milan Allan and his group have discovered an apparent paradox within a material that has zero electrical resistance. They report trapped charges, although charges should, in theory, keep flowing in the absence ...

Self-folding metamaterial

The more complex the object, the harder it is to fold up. Space satellites often need many small motors to fold up an instrument, and people have difficulty simply folding up a roadmap. Physicists from Leiden and Amsterdam ...

Insulator becomes conductor at the push of a button

Ionic liquids are important in scientific research because they can apply a lot of charge over a surface. Physicists from Leiden University have now found that the charging process of ionic liquids depends purely on opposite ...

Cosmologists propose new way to form primordial black holes

What is dark matter? How do supermassive black holes form? Primordial black holes might hold the answer to this longstanding question. Leiden and Chinese cosmologists have identified a new way in which these hypothetical ...

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