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Famous Physicists from the Netherlands

Updated October 13, 2018 4.9k views71 items

List of notable or famous physicists from the Netherlands, with bios and photos, including the top physicists born in the Netherlands and even some popular physicists who immigrated to the Netherlands. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Dutch physicists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These physicists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known physicist from the Netherlands is included when available.

People include everything from Wubbo Ockels to Andre Geim.

This historic physicists from the Netherlands list can help answer the questions "Who are some Dutch physicists of note?" and "Who are the most famous physicists from the Netherlands?" These prominent physicists of the Netherlands may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Dutch physicists.

Use this list of renowned Dutch physicists to discover some new physicists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • 1

    Aaldert Wapstra

    Dec. at 83 (1923-2006)

    BirthplaceNetherlands

    BirthplaceNetherlands

    Aaldert Hendrik Wapstra (24 April 1922, Utrecht – 2 December 2006, Naarden) was a Dutch physicist. Wapstra studied physics at Utrecht University and obtained his PhD with the dissertation Decay...  more
  • 2

    Abraham Pais

    Dec. at 82 (1918-2000)

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    Abraham Pais (; May 19, 1918 – July 28, 2000) was a Dutch-American physicist and science historian. Pais earned his Ph.D. from University of Utrecht just prior to a Nazi ban on Jewish participation...  more
  • 3

    Adriaan Fokker

    Dec. at 85 (1887-1972)

    BirthplaceDutch East Indies

    BirthplaceDutch East Indies

    Adriaan Daniël Fokker (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːdriaːn ˈdaːniɛl ˈfɔkər]; 17 August 1887 – 24 September 1972) was a Dutch physicist and musician. He was the inventor of the Fokker organ, a 31-tone...  more
  • 4

    Aldert Van der Ziel

    Dec. at 81 (1910-1991)
    Prof. Dr. Aldert van der Ziel, was a Dutch physicist who studied electronic noise processes in materials such as semiconductors and metals....  more
  • 5

    Andre Geim

    Age: 61

    BirthplaceSochi, Krasnodar, Russia

    BirthplaceSochi, Krasnodar, Russia

    Sir Andre Konstantin Geim, FRS, HonFRSC, HonFInstP (born 21 October 1958) is a Dutch-British physicist working in England in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.Geim...  more
  • 6

    Antonius van den Broek

    Dec. at 56 (1870-1926)
    Antonius Johannes van den Broek (4 May 1870, Zoetermeer – 25 October 1926, Bilthoven) was a Dutch amateur physicist notable for being the first who realized that the number of an element in the...  more
  • 7

    Arend Joan Rutgers

    Dec. at 95 (1903-1998)
    Arend Joan Rutgers (October 20, 1903 in Almelo, Netherlands – September 2, 1998 in Almen) was a Dutch/Belgian physical chemist. Arend Joan Rutgers went to high school in Almelo, after which he...  more
  • 8

    Balthasar van der Pol

    Dec. at 70 (1889-1959)

    BirthplaceUtrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceUtrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Balthasar van der Pol (27 January 1889 – 6 October 1959) was a Dutch physicist. Van der Pol began his studies of physics in Utrecht in 1911. J. A. Fleming offered van der Pol the use of the Pender...  more
  • 9

    BirthplaceLeiden, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceLeiden, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Carlo Willem Joannes Beenakker (born June 9, 1960) is a professor at Leiden University and leader of the university's mesoscopic physics group, established in 1992. ...  more
  • 10

    Carolyne M. Van Vliet

    Age: 91

    BirthplaceDordrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceDordrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Carolyne Marina Van Vliet (1929 – 2016) was a Dutch-American physicist notable for the theory of generation-recombination noise and for the theory of quantum transport in nonequilibrium statistical...  more
  • 11

    BirthplaceHaren, Groningen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceHaren, Groningen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Cornelis "Cees" Dekker (born April 7, 1959 in Haren, Groningen) is a Dutch physicist, and Distinguished University Professor at the Technical University of Delft. He is known for his research on...  more
  • 12

    Christiaan Huygens

    Dec. at 66 (1629-1695)

    BirthplaceThe Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceThe Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Christiaan Huygens ( HY-gənz, also US: HOY-gənz, Dutch: [ˈkrɪstijaːn ˈɦœyɣə(n)s] (listen); Latin: Hugenius; 14 April 1629 – 8 July 1695), also spelled Huyghens, was a Dutch physicist,...  more

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    #170 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time#391 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 13

    BirthplaceNijmegen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceNijmegen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Clemens C. J. Roothaan (August 29, 1918 – June 17, 2019) was a Dutch physicist and chemist known for his development of the self-consistent field theory of molecular structure. Roothaan was born in...  more
  • 14
    Corneli(u)s Rudolphus Theodorus, Baron Krayenhoff (Nijmegen, 2 June 1758 – Nijmegen, 24 November 1840) was a physicist, artist, general, hydraulic engineer, cartographer and - against his will and...  more
  • 15

    Daniel Bernoulli

    Dec. at 82 (1700-1782)

    BirthplaceGroningen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceGroningen, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Daniel Bernoulli FRS (German pronunciation: [bɛʁˈnʊli]; 29 January 1700 – 17 March 1782) was a Swiss mathematician and physicist and was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli...  more
  • 16

    Dirk Polder

    Dec. at 82 (1919-2001)

    BirthplaceThe Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceThe Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Dirk Polder (August 23, 1919 – March 18, 2001) was a Dutch physicist who, together with Hendrik Casimir, first predicted the existence of what today is known as the Casimir-Polder force, sometimes...  more
  • 17

    Dirk Coster

    Dec. at 61 (1889-1950)

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    Dirk Coster (October 5, 1889 – February 12, 1950), was a Dutch physicist. He was a Professor of Physics and Meteorology at the University of Groningen. Coster was born in Amsterdam. On February 26,...  more
  • 18

    Edsger W. Dijkstra

    Dec. at 72 (1930-2002)

    BirthplaceRotterdam, Netherlands

    BirthplaceRotterdam, Netherlands

    Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (; Dutch: [ˈɛtsxər ˈʋibə ˈdɛikstra] (listen); 11 May 1930 – 6 August 2002) was a Dutch systems scientist, programmer, software engineer, science essayist, and pioneer in...  more
  • 19

    Eric Mazur

    Age: 65

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    Eric Mazur (born November 14, 1954) is a physicist and educator at Harvard University, and an entrepreneur in technology start-ups for the educational and technology markets. Mazur's research is in...  more
  • 20

    Erik Verlinde

    Age: 58

    BirthplaceWoudenberg, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceWoudenberg, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Erik Peter Verlinde (Dutch: [ˈeːrɪk ˈpeːtər vərˈlɪndə]; born 21 January 1962) is a Dutch theoretical physicist and string theorist. He is the identical twin brother of physicist Herman Verlinde. The...  more
  • 21

    Frans Michel Penning

    Dec. at 59 (1894-1953)

    BirthplaceGorinchem, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceGorinchem, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Frans Michel Penning (12 September 1894 – 6 December 1953) was a Dutch experimental physicist. He received his PhD from the University of Leiden in 1923, and studied low pressure gas discharges at...  more
  • 22

    Frits Zernike

    Dec. at 78 (1888-1966)

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    BirthplaceAmsterdam, Netherlands

    Frits Zernike (Dutch pronunciation: [frɪts ˈzɛrnikə]; 16 July 1888 – 10 March 1966) was a Dutch physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize for physics in 1953 for his invention of the phase-contrast...  more
  • 23

    Geertruida de Haas-Lorentz

    Dec. at 88 (1885-1973)
    Geertruida Luberta de Haas-Lorentz (20 November 1885, in Leiden – 1973) was a female Dutch physicist and the first to perform fluctuational analysis of electrons as Brownian particles. Consequently...  more
  • 24

    George Uhlenbeck

    Dec. at 88 (1900-1988)

    BirthplaceJakarta, Indonesia

    BirthplaceJakarta, Indonesia

    George Eugene Uhlenbeck (December 6, 1900 – October 31, 1988) was a Dutch-American theoretical physicist....  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceDen Helder, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    BirthplaceDen Helder, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Gerardus (Gerard) 't Hooft (Dutch: [ˈɣeːrɑrt ət ˈɦoːft]; born July 5, 1946) is a Dutch theoretical physicist and professor at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in...  more