Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes ( born September 21, 1853 in Groningen, † February 21, 1926 in Leiden ) was a Dutch physicist and Nobel laureate in physics.


Heike was the son of Harm Kamerlingh Onnes tile manufacturers (* June 24, 1819 in Groningen, † October 5, 1880 in Dunsborg ) and his wife Anna Gerdina Coers ( born July 12, 1829 in Arnhem, † April 10, 1899 in Zoeterwoude ) born. He had completed his education at the upper middle school in Groningen, began in 1870 to study at the University of Groningen and changed for several semesters from 1871 to 1873 at the University of Heidelberg ( in Gustav Robert Kirchhoff and Robert Wilhelm Bunsen ), where he could win a seminar price. On July 12, 1879, he holds a doctorate with the dissertation bewijzen voor de Nieuwe aswenteling the aarde ( New evidence for the rotation of the earth) to the philosophical doctorate in physics. In 1878 he was assistant professor at the Polytechnic School in Delft and in 1882 was appointed professor of experimental physics at the University of Leiden. He took this task on 11 November 1882, the introduction speech Over de beteekenis van het quantitatief onderzoek in de natuurkunde ( "On the importance of quantitative research in physics "). Here he worked closely with the theorist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz. 1903/ 04 he served as rector of the University of Leiden.

Kamerlingh Onnes had on 8 September 1887 in The Hague Maria Adriana Wilhelmina Elisa Bijleveld ( born May 6, 1861 in Brielle, † December 7, 1938 in Leiden ), the daughter of the Hague judge Rudolf Theodoor Bijleveld ( born September 22, 1835 in the Hague, † March 7, 1920 ibid ) and Jacoba Wilhelmina Hartman ( born October 14, 1837 in the Hague, † February 27, 1906 ibid ) married. The marriage produced one knows the Son Albert Harm Kamerlingh Onnes ( born July 5, 1888 in Zoeterwoude; † 25 May 1956 The Hague), married. on February 5, 1920 in The Hague with Janette Casperine Marianne Bijleveld ( born January 5, 1900 in Streatham, † December 13, 1967 in Elspeet ).

The main services: helium liquefaction and discovery of superconductivity

Kamerlingh Onnes ' main area of ​​work was the liquefaction of gases and determination of the associated correction terms of pressure and volume in the van der Waals equation. For this purpose, it required the knowledge of the gases over the widest possible temperature range, particularly in the area of ​​low temperatures. Kamerlingh Onnes Since 1894 had a cold bath of liquid oxygen ( 90.18 K: -182.97 ° C), and since 1906 over liquid nitrogen ( 77.35 K: -195.80 ° C).

He finally put on 10 July 1908 as the first liquid helium (boiling point: 4.22 K: -268.93 ° C ) is prepared by it to 0.95 K ( -272.3 ° C) cooled.

For the van der Waals equation Kamerlingh Onnes proposed a series expansion, which should also be extended to gas mixtures and to mixtures of gases and liquids. This then had to be included as correction terms, the molecular forces of attraction, the capillarity and viscosity. The work program of the Research Group in Leiden prospered accordingly to phenomena such as electrical conductivity at low temperatures and the temperature dependence of the thermal effect.

On April 8, 1911 Kamerlingh Onnes made ​​in experiments with liquid helium the amazing discovery that at a certain temperature ( the transition temperature ) in the mercury resistance for electric current vanishes. This Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity.

In 1911, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes made ​​the further discovery that liquid helium ( 4He -II) moves as a thin film (so-called Rollin film) to vessel walls slowly upward. This phenomenon is referred to as Onnes effect. This Kamerlingh Onnes has recognized an essential feature of superfluidity.

In 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics " for his investigations of the properties of matter at low temperatures which led ," for the production of liquid helium among others.


" Door Meten dead beting " - " Through Measurement to Knowledge ", the motto of his laboratory.


According to Heike Kamerlingh Onnes a lunar crater on the moon back is named.