ERC Advanced Grant to Grigori Volovik


Volovik’s research focuses on the structure of relativistic quantum vacuum in the universe.


Professor emeritus Grigory Volovik from the Department of Applied Physics has received an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.1 million euro for his research From Topological Matter to Relativistic Quantum Vacuum. In his research Volovik studies both theoretical and experimental efforts in the investigation of connections between the topological quantum matter and RQV. The research’s aim is to enhance understanding of topological condensed-matter systems especially in the ultra-low-temperature regime, and to apply this experience to solution of problems in SM & cosmology.

- We plan to advance our understanding of the vacuum structure and on this basis treat the most important unsolved problems in physics, such as the cosmological constant problem (why the measured vacuum energy is 120 orders of magnitude smaller than estimates from the zero point motion) and the hierarchy problem (why the masses of the known particles in the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics are much smaller than the Planck energy), Volovik says.

Volovik defended his PhD in 1973 at Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Moscow. He has worked at the Low Temperature Laboratory (LTL) at Aalto University and became a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 2001.

The European Research Council (ERC) provides funding for top researchers and their research groups for ground breaking research. The funding is directed at researchers at different stages in their careers with no restrictions for age or nationality.

ERC Advanced Grants are designed to allow outstanding research leaders of any nationality and any age to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe. The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders.