Public Release: 

A glimpse into the life of a physicist

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Over 30 physicists from different countries are keeping a weblog for a year. Three Dutch physicists, Alex, Maaike and Frank from the NWO institute NIKHEF, are among those taking part. You can follow their experiences at On the site there is a biography and the latest events are illustrated with photos and videos.

What kind of a man was Albert Einstein? What did he do on a typical day? What did he like to do at the weekend? This year marks the centenary of Einstein's greatest discovery, the theory of relativity. Although his discoveries are world famous, we know little about the life of Albert Einstein in 1905.

Nowadays young scientists throughout the world are carrying out research into fundamental physics and working on the big discoveries for the future. This year, the World Year of Physics, more than 30 physicists are keeping a weblog in their own language, about what they experience at work and in their private lives. Their diaries are illustrated with photos and video clips. The website will be updated daily throughout the year.

Alex Koutsman, a physics undergraduate at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, is one of the Dutch physicists keeping a 'quantum diary'. He hopes to graduate this year and to start a Ph.D. at NIKHEF (the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics). Yet before he starts his Ph.D., he wants to tour Asia and Australia with his band 'Vitamin X'.

Maaike Limper, who has just started her Ph.D., is also keeping a weblog. She is working on the largest instrument ever built. Located in Geneva, this will measure collisions between elementary particles. She shares a house with an Italian and Frenchwoman, both physicists, and is a real Dungeons and Dragons fanatic.

The third Dutch participant is Frank Linde. He assumed his present position as director of NIKHEF on 1 December 2004. He comes to work each morning on his inline skates and has big plans for the institute. Yet for the time being, he is still finding his feet in his new job.


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