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RN19 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and the Road to Liquid Helium
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and the Road to Liquid Helium
Dirk van Delft, Museum Boerhaave – Leiden University
Abstract - I sketch here the scientific biography of Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who in 1908 was the first to liquefy helium and in 1911 discovered superconductivity. A son of a factory owner, he grew familiar with industrial approaches, which he adopted and implemented in his scientific career. This, together with a great talent for physics, solid education in the modern sense (unifying experiment and theory) proved indispensable for his ultimate successes.
Keywords - Heike Kamerligh Onnes, helium, liquefaction, scientific biography
Received April 11, 2011; accepted in final form April 19, 2011. Reference No. RN19, Categories 11, 13.