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Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena

Connecting the science of emergence across the Netherlands and beyond
The Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) is an interdisciplinary research centre across fundamental sciences with the purpose of furthering the understanding of emergent phenomena. It aims at understanding how the universe, space, time and the fundamental building blocks of matter emerged from the quantum world and how these building blocks aggregate forming the nano, molecular and polymeric structures that ultimately give rise to the macroscopic world we experience today. Emergent phenomena are extremely common in nature and their manifestation is based on the same underlying principles across sciences. Using analytic, numerical, experimental and philosophical methods available from quantum gravity, mathematics, physics, chemistry and philosophy of science, DIEP takes a transdisciplinary approach in tackling emergent behaviour. Integrated in the National Science Agenda (route 2), DIEP will gather research groups and scientists across the Netherlands and beyond and establish itself as a beacon for a new understanding of nature and emergence.

What is the science of emergence?

The universe is composed of microscopic building blocks and the world we see around us is the result of a combination of millions of billions of billions of those blocks. When we walk through the streets of our cities, we do not see these microscopic elements of the universe but instead cars and buses smoothly driving pass by us. If we would carry our microscopes and particle accelerators with us, we would be able to see some part of that microscopic world but we usually carry nothing more than a pair of Ray-Ban glasses. The world we see with our own eyes is governed by laws that originated from a microscopic world but the laws that govern that microscopic world are completely different. The world we experience is said to have emerged from a world that only microscopes can reach. All the smooth experiences of wind blowing, music, sound or touch are the result of these emergent laws.
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Perspectives and Challenges in High-Order Interactions in Complex Systems

DIEP/IAS Workshop | 6-7 December 2022 | @IAS 


Physics Nobel Prize 2021

an invitation to the work of Hasselmann, Manabe and Parisi 

November 25th 2021 | online


Out-of-equilibrium systems, emergence, life

DIEP and Origins workshop series

June 2021-February 2022 (online and in person)


Information at all length scales

DIEP focus session at Physics@Veldhoven 2021

18th or 20th of January 2021 (online)

DIEP Workshop: Hydrodynamics at all length scales

from high-energy to hard and soft matter

18th - 22nd of November 2019 @ Lorentz Center Snellius | Leiden

Science & Cocktails: archeology with stars 

Amina Helmi

DIEP outreach platform |Monday 28th of September 2020 @ Paradiso (Main Hall)

DIEP focus session at community building day

Integrated in the community building day of Route 2 (see full programme), on May 25th 2018, The Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena, one of the Game Changers in the Route organised a focus session featuring talks by Jácome Armas, Vijay Balasubramanian, Alix McCollam, Frank Redig, Joop Schaye and Daan Frenkel. 
During this exciting session, you had the opportunity to hear about DIEP's structure, opportunities and future plans in a talk by Jácome Armas (UvA) as well as attend representative talks of its focus areas by Vijay Balasubramanian (U. Penn: brains and black holes), Alix McCollam (RU: emergence in condensed matter), Frank Redig (TU Delft: emergent macro-dynamics), Joop Schaye (U. Leiden: simulating the universe) and Daan Frenkel (U. Cambridge: merging and emerging behaviour).

DIEP Visitors Programme: call for applications

DIEP aims at promoting interactions between researchers and scientists whose research focuses on emergent phenomena. For this purpose DIEP awards travel grants to interested groups. In order to apply for funds send an e-mail to with a description of the scientists involved, the research purpose in line with DIEP as well as an estimated cost. In the section on Emergence, you will find the different focus areas that DIEP has preference in supporting.

Emergence at all length scales

Focus session on emergence| 22nd January 2019 | Physics@Veldhoven

Piers Coleman

Jan de Boer

Marjolein Dijkstra

Klaas Landsman

Organizers and chairs: Jay Armas, Peter Bolhuis, Alix McCollam

DIEP Workshops

Gathering scientists and researchers across the Netherlands and beyond is one of the main tasks of DIEP. Since 2018, DIEP organises workshops connecting different aspects of the science of emergence. Here are a few of the workshops organised.

9th - 11th of May 2019 @ Mediamatic | Amsterdam

Emergence: conceptual and philosophical aspects

Topology and broken symmetries: from driven quantum matter to active metamaterials

1st - 3rd of July 2019 @ Utrecht University Library | Booth Hall

Hydrodynamics at all length scales: from high energy to hard and soft matter

18th - 22nd of November 2019 | Lorentz Centre | Leiden

Perspectives and Challenges in High-Order Interactions in Complex Systems

6-7 December 2022 | IAS | Amsterdam

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