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Online Database: Leiden Physics Phd Theses 1597–1975

Since Leiden University was founded in 1575, more than 1,800 professors have worked here. Tonight is the festive launch in the Academy building of a brand new website where you can easily find each of their online profiles.

In the meantime, LION’s Prof. Carlo Beenakker has worked hard on building a digital database of all theses until 1975 that were successfully written in Leiden to obtain a PhD in Physics. This contains a rich collection of dissertations in beautiful old fonts, theses in Latin, works in nostalgic old Dutch and masterpieces of famous physicists. Hugo de Groot wrote the first physics thesis in 1597, titled ‘De infinito, loco, et vacuo’. Cor Gorter obtained his PhD in 1932 with research on ‘Paramagnetische Eigenschaften von Salzen’. We also find Jan Beenakker —Carlo Beenakker’s father—back in the list. In 1954, he wrote his thesis on ‘De invloed van het heliumisotoop met massa 3 op de eigenschappen van vloeibaar helium II’ (The Influence of the Helium Isotope with Mass 3 on the Properties of Liquid Helium II). Son Carlo obtained his PhD in Leiden as well, but after 1975 so you won’t find it in the database yet. And how about this dissertation for historical heritage: Hendrik Lorentz’s thesis titled ‘Over de theorie der terugkaatsing en breking van het licht’ (On the Theory of Reflection and Refraction of Light). Lorentz later went on to win the Physics Nobel Prize in 1902.

Go on a treasure hunt and take a look around yourself !

Publ. 27-10-2015 15:08
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