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Portrait of Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist

Portrait of Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist

H412/0300

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Hendrik Lorentz. Portrait of the Dutch theoretical physicist Hendrik Anton Lorentz (1853-1928) aged 28. Lorentz graduated from Arnhem and Leyden, Netherlands, and was awarded the Chair of Theoret- ical Physics at Leyden aged just 24. His thesis and early work centred on the concept of the electron, a term he coined in 1899, showing how vibrating electrons give rise to electromagnetic waves. He worked with Zeeman on the splitting of spectral lines with a magnetic field (Zeeman effect), work for which they shared the 1902 Nobel Physics Prize. Lorentz showed that moving objects contract in the direction of motion, which was confirmed by Einstein's special relativity theory.

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