You are here

    • You are here:
    • Home > RN19 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and the Road to Liquid Helium

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

e-mail: dirkvandelft@museumboerhaave.nl

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.