Simon van der Meer

Simon van der Meer (* November 24, 1925 in The Hague, † March 4, 2011 in Geneva) was a Dutch physicist.


Van der Meer and Carlo Rubbia received the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their decisive contributions to the large project, which the discovery of the field particles W and Z, mediators of weak interactions, has led ". Van der Meer contribution it was, with priority to devise and implement the stochastic cooling.

He studied from 1945 Technical Physics at the Technical University of Delft, where he received his diploma in 1952. After that he worked until 1956 in the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven ( mainly electron ) and moved still in the start-up phase to CERN, where he was employed until his retirement in 1990.

In the 1960s he was involved in neutrino experiments, where he implemented an own invention to increase the flow rate, and from 1965 on the second CERN experiment to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon under Francis Farley ( Francis James McDonald Farley ), where he others developed the storage ring. He says that he learned in the latter experiment not only a lot about accelerator physics, but also about " mindset and lifestyle " of the experimental high-energy physicist. After that, he was responsible to the mid -1970s mainly for the power of the magnets at the ISR ( Intersecting Storage Ring) and the SPS synchrotron. In 1968, he also developed the first theoretical ideas to stochastic cooling while working on the ISR, which was further developed by others and used in 1974 in the first experiments at the ISR. Important was the stochastic cooling when Carlo Rubbia and others proposed the use of the PLC as a proton - antiproton collider. The preliminary experiments were successful and van der Meer was with R. Billinge project manager responsible for the accelerator construction.

Simon van der Meer is next to Ernest Orlando Lawrence currently the only Nobel Prize winner for physics of particle accelerators.

Van der Meer received 1982 Duddell Medal of the Institute of Physics and honorary degrees from the universities of Geneva and Amsterdam. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.

He was married in 1966 and had two children.