Pieter Gunnink

PhD student and Chairman PhD council
Quantum Matter

I am interested in…

What are you workin on?

I am working in the field of spintronics, which is the study of spins in condensed matter. The ultimate goal of spintronics is to find a way to use spins as information carriers, as opposed to conventional electronics (such as the smartphone in your pocket), where charge is the information carrier. Since transporting spins consumes much less energy, this would lower the overall energy consumption of our computers.
In my daily work I mainly focus on a better theoretical understanding of the ways spins behave in condensed matter systems. This is in part driven by experiment, where there are many exciting developments that allow new structures and applications. Since I am working mainly on theory, I am also free to explore novel ideas that are not directly related to experiments.

What are you looking to get out of the DRSTP?

To me DRSTP is a chance to be part of a community with other theoretical physicists in the Netherlands. As a theorist it can sometimes feel like it is just you sitting alone in an office, so it is nice to be able to connect to other physicists, even if they do not work in the exact same field. As chair of the PhD council it also offers an opportunity to be involved with the day-to-day running of the DRSTP, and to give feedback to further improve the DRSTP.

What interests do you have apart from your research?

I like to run and ride bikes, and especially recording as much data as possible while I do this. Mainly so I can play “experimental” physicist with myself as test subject, but I also just like being outside and enjoying the sunshine. I also like to bake pizzas and read books (sometimes also about pizza).