About the Leiden Institute of Physics

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The Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) is one of the oldest physics institutes in the Netherlands. Scientists like Hendrik Lorentz and Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes obtained their breakthrough results when working in Leiden. Over the decades, many eminent scientists have been and are associated to LION as staff members, alumni and guests. Continuing their tradition, we perform physics research and provide physics education on the highest level.


Research at the Leiden Institute of Physics covers a broad spectrum of subjects, ranging from cosmology to the mechanics of DNA, from the physics of jamming in granular materials to quantum nano-science, from protein folding to superlubricity. All topics are covered by joined efforts in theory and experiment. Further, the development of novel world-class instrumentation is signature for LION’s experimental research effort. 


Our research is largely fundamental and curiosity-driven. Typically we ask for the “how” and “why” of things around us. Our orientation towards fundamental questions and open scientific atmosphere provides a solid basis from which new ideas emerge which leads to applications, innovations, and value for society.


 Experimental physics research covers two domains: Biological and Soft Matter, and Quantum Matter and Optics. Theoretical Physics, united within the Instituut-Lorentz, covers research in branches of physics as diverse as condensed matter, biophysics, string theory, and cosmology. It is our aim to have parallel theoretical and experimental activities in those research areas that we cover.


 More information about specific research topics can be found at the pages of the Principal Investigators of the three domains.