Heyke Kamerlingh Onnes

Picture of Heyke Kamerlingh Onnes

Date of Birth: 09/21/1853

Age: 72

Place of birth: Groningen

Nationality: Netherlands


After high school K.-O. in 1870 he entered the University of Groningen, where he studied mathematics and physics. The degree of the candidate (approximately equivalent to a bachelor`s degree) he received in 1871. Three K.-O. semester He held at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), where his studies led by chemist Robert Bunsen and physicist Gustav Kirchhoff. In 1873 K.-O. He returned to Groningen. Six years later he brilliantly defended his doctoral thesis, in which he proposed a new proof of the Earth`s rotation.

From 1878 to 1882, K.-O. He lectured at the Polytechnic School (later transformed into the Technical University) Delft. Attention K.-O. attracted by the theory of gases Johannes van der Waals forces, which establishes the relationship between the pressure, temperature and volume. It allowed to take into account differences in the behavior of the real and ideal gases. While Van der Waals taught in Amsterdam, and K - O. entered into correspondence with him about the molecular theory.

In 1882, at the age of twenty-nine years, K.-O. He was appointed professor of experimental physics at Leiden University and became head of the physics laboratory of the university. In his inaugural lecture K.-O. He proclaimed the principle that strictly guided for forty-two years of his stay in the University of Leiden:. "Through measurement to knowledge" According K.-O., physical laboratory must produce quantitative measurements and to put quality experiments; theoretical descriptions should be supported by precise measurements made with astronomical precision.

According to the theory of corresponding states Van der Waals forces, all gases behave the same way if the pressure and temperature units are selected taking into account the weak attractive forces between molecules. K.-O. He believed that the study of the behavior of gases at low temperatures can provide important information to test the theory of corresponding states. To achieve the necessary low-temperature liquefied gases. K.-O. I chose the topic for his laboratory narrow area of ??cryogenics - the study of low-temperature effects. He built a large gas liquefaction plant to produce large quantities of low-temperature liquid - oxygen, nitrogen, and air. These fluids were needed to carry out experiments to study the properties of materials and achieve even lower temperatures. To prepare qualified assistants K.-O. in 1909 he opened a school for mechanics and glassblowers. Soon Leyden school graduates can be found in physics laboratories around the world. Laboratory K.-O. It has become a model for the research institutes of the XX century.

Although the Scottish scientist James Dewar was liquid hydrogen in 1898, only K.-O. It managed to establish production of liquid hydrogen in large quantities. His factory setting produced 4 liters of liquid hydrogen per hour. To create the installation took all the art produced K.-O. technicians: mechanics - to create pumps, blowers - for the manufacture of transparent vessels, through which the wall could observe the behavior of materials at low temperatures.

Two years later K.-O. for the first time managed to obtain liquid helium at a temperature of only 4