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Two Research Themes

For administrative and practical reasons, we divide API in two sections, high-energy astrophysics (HEA) and Origins (ORI). This division does not define independently governed sub-units of API but, for example, HEA researchers mostly align with NOVA network 3, and ORI researchers with NOVA network 2, and so it does have an impact on how our funding streams and external collaborations are organised. Both these branches of API research also have interdisciplinary collaborations, with GRAPPA and the Dutch astroparticle community, and the broader National and Amsterdam Origins of Life initiatives, respectively. These two initiatives were also drivers for, and thus fit very well into, the National Science Agenda through two key ‘routes’:

Route 2 on the Fundamental building blocks of space, time, and matter, and Route 15 on the Origins of life on Earth and in the Universe. These routes are intended to lead to more focus of science into certain broad interdisciplinary areas, and some NWO funding calls are organised around them.

Theme: Origins of Life

Stellar astrophysics has always been a strong focus of our institute. Now it is part of a broader theme: the Origins of Life. This theme includes the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems, as well as the detailed characterization of exoplanets, with emphasis on their atmospheres.

Theme: High-Energy Astrophysics

Over the years, X-ray astronomy has been complemented with other short wavelengths into the broader field of high-energy astrophysics. This field focuses on the study of relativistic compact objects, their energetic phenomena and space-time physics surrounding them.