Physics and Astronomy in Progress

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Displaying theses 1-10 of 990 total
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E. Malami
Master programme: Physics - Particle and Astroparticle Physics November 30th, 2017
Institute: NIKHEF Research group: Theoretical Physics at NIKHEF Graduation thesis Supervisor: Robert Fleischer
CP Violation in B0d → π0KS. Are there any Hints of New Physics?
We study Charge Conjugation and Parity (CP) Violation in B0→π0KS decay and we search for hints of New Physics. We perform a state-of-the-art analysis of the Standard Model picture with predictions, which will be very valuable for B-meson experiments. The B0d→π0KS decay is dominated by QCD loop diagrams (penguins) but electroweak penguins, where New Physics may enter, also have a significant impact on the decay amplitude. Our aim is to propose a new strategy for the optimal determination of the parameters which describe electroweak penguin effects, and apply it to the current data, utilising both neutral and charged B→πK decays. This new method can be fully exploited at the future Belle II experiment, which will hopefully answer the question: Do these decays imply New physics?
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L.J.T. Verhoeven
Master programme: Physics - Theoretical Physics October 9th, 2017
Institute: NIKHEF Research group: Theoretical Physics at NIKHEF Graduation thesis Supervisor: Prof. dr. Robert Fleischer
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Lepton Flavor Violating Higgs
In the Standard Model, the flavor of charged leptons is almost completely conserved. In most beyond the Standard Model theories, however, lepton flavor changing interactions come forward naturally. This makes lepton flavor violation a very promising probe for new physics. So far, no signal of lepton flavor violation has been seen, but measurements on lepton flavor violating tauons give only weak bounds. This makes it interesting to look at many different interactions that involve tauons that change flavor and find out if we can detect a non-zero signal. Many models predict that Higgs interactions can change lepton flavor, so decays in which Higgs bosons play a role are a prime candidate for study. Of these, the Z -> tau mu gamma decay is experimentally very interesting, as it has the potential to be measured very accurately. We discuss whether this decay can be useful to find lepton flavor violation.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 140K)   Full text (pdf 1372K)

A.K. Frick
Master programme: Science for Energy and Sustainability - Physics / Chemistry October 6th, 2017
Institute: VU / Physics & Astr. Research group: Physics of Energy Graduation thesis Supervisor: Elizabeth von Hauff
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Elimination of Strong Background auto-fluorescence on Raman Spectroscopy in mouse brains tissue with low voltage inputs
Near-Infrared (NIR) Raman spectroscopy is a technique that has re-emerged as a potential tool for imaging and analysing biological materials due to new advancements in the field. One of the main areas that has received renewed attention is the reduction of auto-fluorescence, which has been one of the most troublesome issues within the community. In my Thesis I describe a new, minimally invasive technique for significantly reducing the Raman spectroscopy background fluorescence in mouse brains by electrically contacting them during the measurement. This finding opens up the possibility for a plethora of further investigations on the inner workings of living tissue when connected to a circuit and to what extent this quenching effect can be utilised in practice. The outlook for this new technology is that after some further development of this technique’s extensiveness, with regards to applicable materials and Raman excitation wavelength, biological tissue will be able to be measured with a reduced fluorescence, thus increasing the readability of all hard-to-read data.
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J.C. Veenstra
Master programme: Physics - Theoretical Physics September 30th, 2017
Institute: ITFA Research group: Condensed Matter Theory Graduation thesis Supervisor: J. van Wezel
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Spontaneous Unitarity Breaking in Macroscopic Quantum Systems
A system's Hilbert space grows exponentially with the number of particles it contains due to the linearity of quantum mechanics. Classical state space, however, only scales linearly with system size. Naively, this would lead one to conclude that classical states become increasingly rare in the thermodynamic limit. Evidently, the opposite is true and it would seem that a symmetry of the macroscopic Hilbert space is implicitly broken. The macro-objectification problem, as this mismatch between theory and reality is known, has been the subject of debate for over a century. In this thesis we review some existing solutions and develop a dynamical description in terms of spontaneous symmetry breaking.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 2K)   Full text (pdf 2910K)

J.A. Wildeboer
Master programme: Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics Amsterdam (GRAPPA), track offered by both Physics / Astronomy September 30th, 2017
Institute: NIKHEF Research group: Dark Matter Graduation thesis Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Patrick Decowski
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Threshold optimization and Bayesian inference on the XENON1T experiment
Dark matter is one of the basic constituents of the Universe, five times more abundant than ordinary matter. Several astronomical measurements have corroborated the existence of dark matter, leading to a worldwide effort to observe directly dark matter particle interactions with ordinary matter in extremely sensitive detectors, which would confirm its existence. The XENON Collaboration now operates the XENON1T experiment. The result from a first science run shows that this detector has a new record low radioactivity level. With a total mass of about 3200kg, XENON1T is at the same time the largest detector of this type ever built. This thesis reports on the optimization of the thresholds inside XENON1T's data processor and examines Bayesian inference as an alternative statistical method to set upper limits on the WIMP-nucleon cross section.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 1K)   Full text (pdf 7155K)

V.R. Stalman
Master programme: Physics - Theoretical Physics September 27th, 2017
Institute: ITFA Research group: String theory Graduation thesis Supervisor: Dr. Diego Hofman
Non-Relativistic String Theory in Newton-Cartan & Carroll Spacetimes
In this work we evaluate the properties of world sheet theories in spacetimes that have non-relativistic global symmetries supplemented by an infinite dimensional extension of the worldsheet symmetry algebra to possibly find an alternative holography.
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D. Mulder
Master programme: Physics - Theoretical Physics August 31st, 2017
Institute: ITFA Research group: MathematicalPhysics Graduation thesis Supervisor: Bernard Nienhuis
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Percolation and the Ising model in the hyperbolic plane
Percolation on the Euclidean plane has a single critical point p_c. At the critical point, the mean cluster size scales with the system size N as a N^43/48. Other quantities have similar scaling behaviour, with different critical exponents. These exponents are related through scaling laws. In the hyperbolic plane, there are two dual critical points, p_c and p_u. In between, the exponent of the mean cluster size continuously varies from 0 to 1. We have tried to find other quantities that scale as a power of N, to establish scaling relations in the hyperbolic plane. The results are not as simile to Euclidean case as expected. Since percolation is the limit case of a class of models called Potts models, we extended our scope to Potts models in general. We have studied the Ising model (which is the 2-state Potts model) by using the CTMRG-algorithm for hyperbolic lattices, as presented by Nishino et al. Using a framework given by Nogawa and Hasegawa for percolation, we were able to determine, for the first time, a second critical temperature T_u for the Ising model on hyperbolic lattices.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 3K)   Full text (pdf 3505K)

S.A.M. Lourens
Bachelor programme: Natuur- en Sterrenkunde August 29th, 2017
Institute: AMC Research group: Biomedical Engineering and Physics Graduation thesis Supervisor: M.C.G. Aalders
Fingerprint Detection with Optical Coherence Tomography
Damaged or altered fingerprints can not be traced back with conventional fingerprint detection technique, which can be a problem in especially the forensic field. A solution to this problem may be provided by Optical Coherence Tomography, which enables detecting the fingerprint from not only the surface layer, but also the dermis layer of the skin, which is not vulnerable to spoofing and superficial damage to the skin. This research focused on optimizing the process of obtaining these OCT fingerprints step by step.
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T. Kaandorp
Bachelor programme: Natuur- en Sterrenkunde August 28th, 2017
Institute: AMC Research group: Department of Radiology Graduation thesis Supervisor: A. J. Nederveen
Accelerated 4D flow MRI, Comparing SENSE, k-t PCA and Compressed Sensing
To increase patient comfort, it is possible to accelerate a 4d flow mri using techniques such as SENSE, k-t PCA or Comrpessed Sensing(CS). The acceleration is based on collecting less data points. However by doing so the image quality decreases. One can therefore wonder what happens with the amplitude of the flow curves created by 4D flow MRI. It turns out that for accelerated SENSE and k-t PCA the amplitude of the flow curves decreases by respectfully 33 and 20 percent. The amplitude of the flow curves created with CS reconstruction only decrease with 7.5 percent. Thus making CS a more reliable acceleration method.
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Scientific abstract (pdf 1K)   Full text (pdf 2467K)

K. Gourdji
Master programme: Astronomy and Astrophysics August 28th, 2017
Institute: API Research group: Radio Pulsars Graduation thesis Supervisor: Dr. Jason Hessels
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Repeating Fast Radio Bursts
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are bright, millisecond-long radio pulses of extragalactic origin. Since their discovery 10 years ago, the search for FRBs and what creates them has garnered much interest within the astronomical community and the general public. The discovery of repeat bursts from FRB 121102, the only source known to repeat, raises the possibility that all or some FRBs repeat. Furthermore, it has bolstered the search for viable emission models, as they can no longer be cataclysmic in nature, at least for this source. Studying the pulse morphology and source activity can help with this endeavour. We have observed FRB 121102 using the Arecibo telescope with unprecedented time and frequency resolution. We present a pipeline developed to find repeat FRBs, which has increased the sample of bursts from FRB 121102 from ~30 to 134 and counting. We present our findings from this sample. we address the dearth of observed repeating FRBs and test the hypothesis that the less-sensitive Parkes telescope, which has discovered the majority of the FRB population, has only been detecting the strongest bursts. We present Arecibo observations of Parkes FRB 130628, which do not reveal repeat bursts, though we continue to process observations of this sky position.
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