Prof. P.J. Groot (Paul)
Professor - Astrophysics
Prof. Paul Groot studies compact binary stars and gravitational wave sources. Compact binaries consist of at least one stellar remnant (a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole), together with either an ordinary star or another stellar remnant. These compact binaries are important for understanding physical phenomena occurring under the influence of extreme gravity, temperatures, pressures and densities. They are also the source population for bursts of gravitational waves, detected with the Advanced Virgo and LIGO detectors on the ground and the future LISA satellite in space.
Paul Groot is co-founder and former head of the Department of Astrophysics at Radboud and former chair of the board of NOVA, the Dutch top research school in astronomy. He is one of the initiators of the European Galactic Plane Surveys project, which is charting the Plane of the Milky Way. He was Project Scientist on the X-Shooter spectrograph, for ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT).
He is PI on the BlackGEM array of telescope in Chile for the detection of optical counterparts for gravitational wave sources, and the MeerLICHT telescope in South Africa for the simultaneous detection of radio-optical transients in combination with the MeerKAT radio telescope.
Since 2018 Paul Groot divides his time between Radboud University and the University of Cape Town and the South African Astronomical Observatory, where he has an appointment as SARChI Chair in Fast Transients and Gravitational Wave Astronomy.
H index: 67
Research grants and prizes
- BlackGEM Array // BlackGEM is an array of, initially, 3, ultimately 15, identical wide-field telescopes. BlackGEM will be installed at the La Silla Observatory of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scientific goal of BlackGEM is the detection and characterisation of optical signals from gravitational wave sources. BlackGEM is a collaboration between Radboud University, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and the KU Leuven. BlackGEM will become operational in 2018 More information
- The MeerLICHT Telescope // MeerLICHT is an optical wide-field telescope that will become operational at the Sutherland Observatory in South Africa as of Spring 2017. MeerLICHT is the prototype of the BlackGEM array. The scientific goal of MeerLICHT is to work in tandem with the MeerKAT radio array, and to monitor the optical-radio sky for transient phenomena: explosions and outbursts. MeerLICHT is a collaboration between Radboud University, the University of Cape Town, Oxford University, the University of Manchester, the University of Amsterdam and supported by NWO and NRF/SAAO. More information