‘My wife didn’t even answer the phone’

Fourteen talented scientists at the University of Groningen and the UMCG have each received a VENI grant of up to 250.000 euro’s from scientific research backer NWO. Astronomer Vibor Jelić (32) is going to look 13.2 billion years back in time.

What was the first thing you did when you were awarded the grant?

‘I called my wife, but she did not answer the phone. I tried a few more times and then decided to share the news with my friends. Finally, she called me back after half an hour.’

veni 9 vibor

What is your research about?

‘My research is about complicated radio emission from our own Galaxy, which obscures the first stars in the Universe. I will study this Galactic ‘fog’ by using the world-leading radio telescope LOFAR and computer simulations. The novel capabilities of the LOFAR will allow me to map Galactic emission with exquisite resolution and sensitivity. This will then lead to the first detail study of Galactic emission below 250MHz. Computer simulations, on the other hand, will help me to constrain and understand the physical processes and parameters of this observed emission.’

Why is it so interesting?

‘It will allow us to clear the view towards the early childhood of the Universe and see 13.2 billion years back in time. This important period in the history of the Universe is called the Epoch of Reionization. It holds the key to structure formation and evolution of the Universe we know today, but at the same time represents a missing piece of the puzzle in our current knowledge of the Universe. We still do not know: What did the first stars in the Universe look like? How strong was their radiation? And how did their radiation destroy matter in their surroundings, mostly neutral hydrogen atoms?’

In about three years I will have discovered…

‘We will have a better understanding of the peculiar radio emission of our Galaxy and have a clear picture of how fast moving electrons interact with magnetic fields and plasma in our Galaxy. This knowledge will then help the LOFAR radio telescope to be the first in probing the Epoch of Reionization. Science and serendipity go hand to hand, so don’t be surprised if some other interesting discoveries happen. ’

Why are you a scientist and not, for example, an entrepeneur?

‘To join captain Picard on a mission to explore space, time and beyond.’

 

 

RUG Veni’s

En Eva Heinen was onvindbaar…

Planoloog Eva Heinen kreeg een VENI-subsidie voor onderzoek naar duurzaam transport. Jammer dat Cambridge haar heeft weggekaapt.

‘It was the perfect time to get such good news’

Alex Pigot is thrilled by the biodiversity in Madagascar. He wants to know: why on earth are there so many species?

‘Ik werd ongeduldig, duurde me te lang’

Waarom werken Seychellenzangers samen bij het opvoeden van hun kinderen? Eh? Sjouke Anne Kingma heeft het natuurlijk over vogels.

‘All my colleagues gathered together’

Bioinformatician Yang Li is working on sytems genetics of metabolic flow rate. What a joy! ‘Every day I learn new things.’

‘Ik heb heel hard ‘yes’ geroepen’

Martin de Borst riep heel hard ‘yes’ . Hij kreeg geld voor zijn doel om nierpatienten langer zonder dialyse te laten leven.

‘My wife didn’t even answer the phone’

Astronomer Vibor Jelic is going back 13,2 billion years back in time. He joins captain Picard to Galaxy. Lucky guy!

‘Ik kreeg tranen in mijn ogen’

Suzan Folkerts graaft zich in in bijbels. De canon van Nederland, die zegt dat Luther als eerste de bijbel vertaalde, klopt niet, weet ze nu.

‘The least I owe them is a big party’

Manuel Nuno Melo examines how different drugs interact with cell membranes. And he owes his family a big party.

‘Ik kon het niet geloven, mijn zus moest ’t checken’

Roemeense en Britste televisiemakers werkten samen tijdens de Koude Oorlog, ontdekte televisiehistoricus Dana Mustata.

‘I was welcomed with roses and a meal’

Alicia Lammerts van Bueren examines bacteria in our intestine and received a VENI grant. A proud husband gave her roses.

‘Ik geloofde het eerst niet’

Hoe kan het dat wij al weten wat er gezegd wordt, voordat het gezegd wordt? Jakub Dotlacil onderzoekt hoe taal werkt.

‘Ik zat daar gelukzalig te zijn’

Marketingdeskundige Marijke Leliveld onderzoekt Pampers. Het bedrijf doneert aan Unicef. Maar geeft de consument dan zelf nog?

‘Ik heb heel even gehuild’

Viroloog Izabela Rodenhuis-Zybert gaat tijgermuggen onderzoeken met haar Veni. Tenminste, de infecties die ze veroorzaken.

‘Ik heb meteen een sollicitatie afgezegd’

Martijn Wieling kreeg een Veni-subsidie. Hij gaat sensoren op de tong zetten van Nederlanders die Engels praten. Wat gaat er mis?

23-09-2013