Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.
From proposing the wave theory of light to discovering the actual shape of the rings of Saturn and inventing the pendulum clock, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens had contributed a lot to science. Born to a diplomat, Huygens had the privilege of an elite education but remain sickly throughout his life.
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.
Gerard Kuiper was blessed with an unusually sharp eyesight and could see stars clearly with the naked eye. The Dutch-born scientist later moved to the U.S., where he established the University of Arizona’s LPL. He also initiated research on the belt of comets surrounding the Sun, known as the Kuiper belt.
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.
Nikolaas Tinbergen was a Dutch ornithologist and biologist. Counted among the founders of modern ethology, Tinbergen shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973 with Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch for their discoveries concerning the social behavior patterns in animals. He is also credited with authoring an influential book on animal behavior titled The Study of Instinct.
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.
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.
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Nobel Prize-winning Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen had initially been a civil engineer and a computer programmer. He is remembered for his contribution to research on the ozone layer. In 2000, he used the term Anthropocene to describe the current era where human action has been changing the planet.
Willebrord Snell was a Dutch mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with rediscovering the law of refraction, which is named Snell's law in his honor. A much-revered mathematician in the Netherlands, Willebrord Snell was honored by the Royal Netherlands Navy by naming three of its survey ships after him. Snellius, a lunar crater, is also named in his honor.
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.
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25 Joep Lange
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.
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Dutch-American astronomer, teacher, and lecturer Bartholomeus Jan "Bart" Bok is best remembered for working on the structure and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, and for discovering the isolated and relatively small dark nebulae called Bok globules. Bok and his astronomer wife Priscilla Fairfield collaborated closely on their astronomical work and co-authored the widely acclaimed book The Milky Way.