Steven Hoekstra


I am an experimental physicist specialised in the development and application of precision measurement techniques to explore the limits of particle physics. In my group we perform experiments with small quantum systems (atoms, ions, molecules) and nanoparticles. The main tools we use to study these particles are lasers, and external electric and magnetic fields. The experiments we do are typically in a very well controlled environment, shielded from all unwanted background. By doing this, the subtle effects of quantum physics become visible, and we can use these atoms, ions, molecules and nanoparticles for a range of exciting experiments. 
There are currently various possibilities for master research projects in my group. Also, there are a number of openings for PhD positions, and postdocs in this academic year.  Contact me if you are interest to talk about possibilities!



Our research program to measure the electron's electric dipole moment using a cold, slow and intense beam of BaF molecules

Levitated nanospheres

We optically levitate and cool nanospheres, to explore their use as sensitive sensors.


Mass and Shape Determination of Optically Levitated Nanoparticles

Bart Schellenberg, Mina Morshed Behbahani, Nithesh Balasubramanian, Ties H. Fikkers, Steven Hoekstra

Applied Physics Letters, vol. 123(11), 2023

Novel spin-precession method for sensitive EDM searches

A. Boeschoten, V. R. Marshall, T. B. Meijknecht, A. Touwen, H. L. Bethlem, A. Borschevsky, S. Hoekstra, J. W. F. van Hofslot, K. Jungmann, M. C. Mooij, R. G. E. Timmermans, W. Ubachs, L. Willmann

arXiv:2303.06402, 2023

Opportunities for Fundamental Physics Research with Radioactive Molecules

Gordon Arrowsmith-Kron, Michail Athanasakis-Kaklamanakis, Mia Au, Jochen Ballof, Robert Berger, Anastasia Borschevsky, Alexander A. Breier, Fritz Buchinger, Dmitry Budker, Luke Caldwell, Christopher Charles, Nike Dattani, Ruben P. de Groote, David DeMille, Timo Dickel, Jacek Dobaczewski, Christoph E. Düllmann, Ephraim Eliav, Jon Engel, Mingyu Fan, Victor Flambaum, Kieran T. Flanagan, Alyssa Gaiser, Ronald Garcia Ruiz, Konstantin Gaul, Thomas F. Giesen, Jacinda Ginges, Alexander Gottberg, Gerald Gwinner, Reinhard Heinke, Steven Hoekstra, Jason D. Holt, Nicholas R. Hutzler, Andrew Jayich, Jonas Karthein, Kyle G. Leach, Kirk Madison, Stephan Malbrunot-Ettenauer, Takayuki Miyagi, Iain D. Moore, Scott Moroch, Petr Navrátil, Witold Nazarewicz, Gerda Neyens, Eric Norrgard, Nicholas Nusgart, Lukáš F. Pašteka, Alexander N. Petrov, Wolfgang Plass, Roy A. Ready, Moritz Pascal Reiter, Mikael Reponen, Sebastian Rothe, Marianna Safronova, Christoph Scheidenberger, Andrea Shindler, Jaideep T. Singh, Leonid V. Skripnikov, Anatoly V. Titov, Silviu-Marian Udrescu, Shane G. Wilkins, Xiaofei Yang

ArXiv, 2023, pp. arXiv:2302.02165

Impacts of Problem-Based Instruction on Students’ Beliefs about Physics and Learning Physics

May Lee, Cormac Larkin, Steven Hoekstra

Education Sciences, vol. 13, 2023, p. 321

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Electricity and Magnetism

1st year physics, applied physics and astronomy

I have taught this course from 2017-2023. The number of students has grown gradually, to about 340 students in 2022-2023.

Waves and Optics

2nd year physics, applied physics and astronomy

I have started teaching this course in 2019, and I have transformed it from traditional teaching to problem-based learning. Typically about 190 students take this course.

From small to large to life

For honours college students of FSE.

I have given this course in 2019-2021. for about 25 students, twice a year.

The Quantum World

3rd year broadening minor - university wide.

This is a course on quantum physics for non-physics students, part of the broadening minor 'Einstein's Physics: Space-time and Parallel Worlds'. About ~ 150 students take this course.


Educational philosphy statement

For the Senior teaching qualification program in which I was enrolled in 2022-2023, I have developed an educational philosophy statement, which you can find through the link below.

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Our work in the media

Our work in the media


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