Famous Dutch Physicists

Physicists are involved with the physical aspects of the world. They study matter and related concepts and conduct research to know more about the physical phenomenon or natural science. Mostly, physicists deal with the general functioning and behaviour of the universe. Every country today has its own rich resource of physicists who through their research and experimentation have discovered various aspects of the physical world. Gravitational force, nuclear interactions, electromagnetism were unknown phenomena that were eventually perceived, explored and presented to the world by physicists. Physicists have conquered the various branches of physics, right from classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, theory of relativity and electromagnetism. Just like every other country in the world, Netherlands too has its own share of famous physicists who have greatly contributed to the better understanding of the subject. Right from Abraham Pais to Andre Geim, Pieter Zeeman to Frits Zernike, Paul Ehrenfest to Christian Hugyens, Dutch physicists have discovered and invented revolutionary concepts of the physical world. Browse through this section to know more about famous Dutch physicists.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Johannes Diederik van der Waals

Johannes Diederik van der Waals
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 23, 1837
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
Died: March 8, 1923

 2 Hendrik Lorentz

Hendrik Lorentz
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 18, 1853
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arnhem
Died: February 4, 1928

Nobel Prize-winning Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz, a major figure of the Second Dutch Golden Age, is remembered for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, along with his former student Pieter Zeeman, who shared the Nobel with Lorentz. His research on electromagnetic radiation prepared ground for Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

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 3 Jan Ingenhousz

Jan Ingenhousz
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Famous As: Botanist, Physician, Physicist
Birthdate: December 8, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Breda
Died: September 7, 1799

 4 Gerard ’t Hooft

Gerard ’t Hooft
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Den Helder, Netherlands

Gerard ’t Hooft is a Dutch theoretical physicist whose work focuses on black holes, gauge theory, quantum gravity, and quantum mechanics. In 1999, he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics with Martinus J. G. Veltman. Over the years, Gerard ’t Hooft has also received other prestigious awards, such as the Wolf Prize, Lorentz Medal, Spinoza Prize, and Franklin Medal.

 5 Johannes van der Waals

Johannes Diderik van der Waals
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Famous As: Theoretical Physicist
Birthdate: November 23, 1837
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
Died: March 8, 1923
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals, born to a carpenter, was largely self-taught in his early days. His pathbreaking research on the gaseous and liquid states of matter influenced later studies on molecular dynamics. He was the man behind the van der Waals equation.

 6 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 21, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: February 21, 1926

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes is best remembered for his discovery of superconductivity and his research on low-temperature physics, which eventually led to the liquefaction of helium. He is also said to have coined the term enthalpy. The Kamerlingh Onnes Award, named after him, honors achievements in low-temperature science.

 7 Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes

Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes
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Birthdate: September 21, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: February 21, 1926
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 8 Pieter Zeeman

Pieter Zeeman
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Famous As: Discovered the 'Zeeman Effect'
Birthdate: May 25, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Zonnemaire, Netherlands
Died: October 9, 1943

Pieter Zeeman was a Dutch physicist whose discovery of the Zeeman effect earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1902, which he shared with Hendrik Lorentz. Over the course of his career, Zeeman received several other awards, such as the Matteucci Medal in 1912, Henry Draper Medal in 1921, Rumford Medal in 1922, and Franklin Medal in 1925.

 9 Martinus J. G. Veltman

Martinus J. G. Veltman
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Famous As: Theoretical Physicist
Birthdate: June 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waalwijk, Netherlands

Martinus J. G. Veltman was a Dutch theoretical physicist whose work on particle theory alongside Gerardus 't Hooft earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in physics in 1999, which he shared with the latter. Veltman also wrote a book titled Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics, which was published in 2003. The Asteroid 9492 Veltman is named after him.

 10 Frits Zernike

Fritz Zernike
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 10, 1966

Nobel Prize-winning Dutch physicist Frits Zernike is remembered for his pathbreaking invention of the phase-contrast microscope, which did away with the need to stain cells and thus killing cells to study them. The Rumford Medal-winning scientist, born to math teacher parents, was inspired by his father’s love for physics.

 11 Wubbo Ockels

Wubbo Ockels
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 28, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Almelo, Netherlands
Died: May 18, 2014

 12 Samuel Abraham Goudsmit

Samuel Abraham Goudsmit
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: December 4, 1978

 13 Willem de Sitter

Willem de Sitter
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sneek, Netherlands
Died: November 20, 1934

 14 George Uhlenbeck

George Uhlenbeck
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Famous As: Theoretical Physicist
Birthdate: December 6, 1900
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Batavia, Dutch East Indies
Died: October 31, 1988

 15 Simon van der Meer

Simon van der Meer
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 24, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: The Hague
Died: March 4, 2011

 16 Pieter van Musschenbroek

Pieter van Musschenbroek
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 14, 1692
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leiden, Netherlands
Died: September 19, 1761

 17 Hendrik Anthony Kramers

Hendrik Anthony Kramers
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 2, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: April 24, 1952

 18 Willem Hendrik Keesom

Willem Hendrik Keesom
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: June 21, 1876
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Texel, Netherlands
Died: March 24, 1956