By Dirk van Delft
In 1908, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853–1926) liquefied helium for the 1st time, in brief rendering his Dutch laboratory “the coldest position on earth.” Freezing Physics is the 1st publication to inform the tale of Leiden University’s famed cryogenics laboratory and the fellow in the back of it, whose medical accomplishments earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics.This interesting portrayal of Kamerlingh Onnes strains his storied profession from his first experiments with helium to his later paintings that spread out unexplored territories of utmost chilly, magnetism, and thermodynamics—and lead the way for the eventual discovery of superconductivity in 1911. Dirk van Delft the following illuminates the medical acuity, managerial expertise, and visionary personality that built Kamerlingh Onnes to nearly single-handedly switch the process the historical past of physics.
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Extra info for Freezing Physics: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and the Quest for Cold
Even the second division of the elite gymnasium did not fulﬁl this need, and schools providing a more elementary kind of education were wholly inadequate in this respect. Thorbecke took the German Realschule as his inspiration for the new type of school he wanted to create – one that would provide a general education attuned to the immediate needs of modern society, with plenty of emphasis on English, French, German and the sciences. This would tap into talents that had thus far remained unexploited.
The live-in maidservant, on the other hand, had to make do with a tiny little attic space. K. Onnes & Co, were wedged in between a saltworks and a house of correction (spinning house) that was expanded into a prison. When this building was demolished in 1876, Harm and eleven of his neighbours petitioned the city council to change the name of the street ‘Spinhuisstraat’, which ‘derived from an institution that no longer existed, the memory of which is not so pleasant that it would be wrong to consign it to oblivion’, to ‘Zoutstraat’ (Salt Street).
He jumped to his feet, dug his nails into the wall as if planning to walk up it, and oh! ’22 Van Bemmelen may have abhorred ‘pedantry’ and sought to foster a freeand-easy atmosphere at his school, but he was nonetheless a great believer in military drills. On the Pelsterstraat premises, the pupils marched from one classroom to the next between lessons, under the command of their teacher. ‘This was always executed with pleasure and a certain sprightliness’, wrote Van Bemmelen, adding that order was of the essence in this military approach.