Hendrik Casimir

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Hendrik Casimir
Hendrik Casimir (1958).jpg
Hendrik "Henk" Brugt Gerhard Casimir (1909-2000)
Born(1909-07-15)July 15, 1909
DiedMay 4, 2000(2000-05-04) (aged 90)
Alma mater University of Leiden
Known for Casimir effect
Casimir invariant
Casimir pressure
Casimir element
Awards Wilhelm Exner Medal (1982) [1]
Matteucci Medal (1985)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Leiden
Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium
Doctoral advisor Paul Ehrenfest
Notable students Carolyne M. Van Vliet

Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir ForMemRS [2] (July 15, 1909 May 4, 2000) was a Dutch physicist best known for his research on the two-fluid model of superconductors (together with C. J. Gorter [3] ) in 1934 and the Casimir effect (together with D. Polder) in 1948.

Royal Society English learned society for science

The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.



He studied theoretical physics at the University of Leiden [4] under Paul Ehrenfest, where he received his Ph.D. in 1931. [5] His Ph.D. thesis dealt with the quantum mechanics of a rigid spinning body and the group theory of the rotations of molecules. [6] During that time he also spent some time in Copenhagen with Niels Bohr. After receiving his Ph.D. he worked as an assistant to Wolfgang Pauli at ETH Zurich. In 1938, he became a physics professor at Leiden University. At that time, he was actively studying both heat conduction and electrical conduction, and contributed to the attainment of millikelvin temperatures.

Paul Ehrenfest Dutch physicist

Paul Ehrenfest was an Austrian and Dutch theoretical physicist, who made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics, including the theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem.

Niels Bohr Danish physicist

Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scientific research.

Wolfgang Pauli Austrian physicist, Nobel prize winner

Wolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian-born Swiss and American theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after having been nominated by Albert Einstein, Pauli received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle". The discovery involved spin theory, which is the basis of a theory of the structure of matter.

In 1942, during World War II, Casimir moved to the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (Philips Physics Laboratory, NatLab) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. [7] He remained an active scientist and in 1945 wrote a well-known paper on Lars Onsager's principle of microscopic reversibility. He became a co-director of Philips NatLab in 1946 and a member of the board of directors of the company in 1956. [8] He retired from Philips in 1972. [9]

The Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium or NatLab was the Dutch section of the Philips research department, which did research for the product divisions of that company. Originally located in the Strijp district of Eindhoven, the facility moved to Waalre in the early 1960s. A 1972 municipal rezoning brought the facility back into Eindhoven, which was followed some years later by Eindhoven renaming the street the facility is on into the Prof. Holstlaan, after the first director.

Eindhoven City and municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Eindhoven is the fifth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country. It had a population of 229,126 in 2018, making it the largest city in the province of North Brabant, although 's-Hertogenbosch is its capital. Eindhoven was originally located at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender.

Lars Onsager physical chemist

Lars Onsager was a Norwegian-born American physical chemist and theoretical physicist. He held the Gibbs Professorship of Theoretical Chemistry at Yale University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1968.

Although he spent much of his professional life in industry, Hendrik Casimir was one of the great Dutch theoretical physicists. Casimir made many contributions to science during his years in research from 1931 to 1950. These contributions include: pure mathematics, Lie groups (1931); hyperfine structure, calculation of nuclear quadrupole moments, (1935); low temperature physics, magnetism, thermodynamics of superconductors, paramagnetic relaxation (1935 - 1942); applications of Onsager's theory of irreversible phenomena (1942 - 1950). He helped found the European Physical Society and became its president from 1972 till 1975. In 1979 he was one of the key speakers at CERN's 25th anniversary celebrations. In 1946 he became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. [10]

Lie group Group that is also a differentiable manifold with group operations that are smooth

In mathematics, a Lie group is a group that is also a differentiable manifold, with the property that the group operations are smooth. Lie groups are named after Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie, who laid the foundations of the theory of continuous transformation groups.

Hyperfine structure small shifts and splittings in the energy levels of atoms, molecules and ions

In atomic physics, hyperfine structure refers to small shifts and splittings in the energy levels of atoms, molecules, and ions, due to interaction between the state of the nucleus and the state of the electron clouds.

The European Physical Society (EPS) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote physics and physicists in Europe through methods such as physics outreach. Formally established in 1968, its membership includes the national physical societies of 42 countries, and some 3200 individual members. The Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, the world's largest organization of physicists, is a major member.

While at Philips NatLab, in 1948 Casimir, collaborating with Dirk Polder, predicted the quantum mechanical attraction between conducting plates now known as the Casimir effect, which has important consequences in Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), among others.

Dirk Polder Dutch physicist

Dirk Polder was a Dutch physicist who, together with Hendrik Casimir, first predicted the existence of what today is known as the Casimir-Polder force, sometimes also referred to as the Casimir effect or Casimir force. He also worked on the similar topic of radiative heat transfer at nanoscale.

Quantum mechanics branch of physics dealing with phenomena at scales of the order of the Planck constant

Quantum mechanics, including quantum field theory, is a fundamental theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles.

Casimir effect physical forces arising from a quantized field; force resulting from the quantification of a field

In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect and the Casimir–Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. They are named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir who predicted them in 1948.

He was awarded six honorary doctor degrees by universities outside the Netherlands. He received numerous awards and prizes, among them the illustrious IRI Medal from the Industrial Research Institute in 1976. He was a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering.

IRI Medal

The IRI Medal, established by the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) in 1946, recognizes and honors leaders of technology for their outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation which contribute broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society. One side of the medal depicts a scientist peering into a microscope as a symbol of the never-ending quest for innovation; a pegasus running in the background as a symbol of imagination; and clouds issuing from a retort revealing the practical results of humanity's ability to harness natural forces to meet its needs. The reverse side of the medal is an adaptation of the official seal of the Institute. This award is traditionally presented each spring at the IRI Annual Meeting alongside the IRI Achievement Award.

The Industrial Research Institute, Inc. (IRI) is a nonprofit association based in Arlington, Virginia. The stated mission of IRI, which was founded by the National Research Council in 1938, is “to enhance the effectiveness of technological innovation by networking the world's best practitioners and thought leaders to seek, share, learn, and create”. IRI is a nonpartisan, membership-based organization that brings leaders of R&D together to discover and share best practices in the management of technological innovation.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an American nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The National Academy of Engineering is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council.


Notes and references

  1. Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.
  2. Hargreaves, C. M. (2004). "Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir Knight of the Order of the Nederlandse Leeuw Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau. 15 July 1909 - 4 May 2000: Elected F.R.S. 1970". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 50: 39. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0004.
  3. R. de Bruyn Ouboter, C.J. Gorter's Life & Science, University of Leiden, Instituut-Lorentz for Theoretical Physics (LeidenPhysics).
  4. H. B. G. Casimir, Het toeval van de werkelijkheid: Een halve eeuw natuurkunde (Meulenhof, Amsterdam, 1983), pp. 34, 37, 74. ISBN   90-290-9709-4.
  5. loc. cit., pp. 80, 152, 374.
  6. Hendrik Casimir (1931). "Rotation of a rigid body in quantum mechanics" (PDF).
  7. loc. cit., pp. 238, 276.
  8. loc. cit., p. 279.
  9. Schuurmans, Martin (September 2000). "Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir". Physics Today. 53 (9): 80. Bibcode:2000PhT....53i..80S. doi:10.1063/1.1325245. Archived from the original ( Scholar search ) on 2013-10-11.
  10. "Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir (1909 - 2000)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 26 July 2015.

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