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Lorentz Medal awarded in Leiden in presence of Minister Dijkgraaf

Within the scope of Leiden European City of Science, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) presented the quadrennial Lorentz Medal to Daan Frenkel in the Academy Building yesterday. The ceremony was in collaboration with the Lorentz Center and was attended by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Minister of Education, Culture and Science.

The KNAW awards the Lorentz Medal once every four years to a researcher who has made a significant contribution to theoretical physics. Daan Frenkel, emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge, received the medal this year for his groundbreaking research into computer simulations. He pioneered the use of computer simulations to mimic chemical and physical processes. Frenkel’s research underpins a large number of theoretical and experimental studies on the behaviour of suspensions: liquids containing insoluble spherical, rod and plate-shaped particles. Over half of the Lorentz Medal winners have later received a Nobel Prize.

The presentation of the medal was followed by a discussion between Minister Dijkgraaf, Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl and laureate Daan Frenkel. Leiden professor by special appointment and physicist Ivo van Vulpen led the discussion, exploring several themes. For instance, interdisciplinary research in the Dutch academic landscape, diversity and the role of freedom at university. The speakers also addressed concerns about the lack of technicians, both academically and practically trained.

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