Johannes van der Waals Biography
Birthday: November 23, 1837 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Leiden, Netherlands
Johannes Diderik van der Waals was a Dutch scientist and theoretical physicist who went on to reshape the ideas of thermodynamics during the late 19th century through his diligent research at the Municipal University of Amsterdam. One of the most fascinating aspects of Van der Waals’ life is that he never received formal education and hence he wasn’t able to go to university. He was a self taught student of science and got into doctoral research later on in life through a government scheme. He worked at the Municipal University of Amsterdam throughout his life and came up with some of the most important theories in modern physics that are pursued in schools and universities to this day. His most celebrated work is related to a universal gas law that finally led to the Van der Waals equation and it was also the finding for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Although the ‘Van der Waals equation’ is perhaps the most recognisable work in his career as a theoretical physicist, it must be remembered that he also published plenty of other papers in his academic career many of which were equally well received.