Lorentz: the Grand Old Man of Physics

Albert Einstein with Hendrik Antoon Lorentz in Leiden in 1921
Albert Einstein with Hendrik Antoon Lorentz in Leiden in 1921

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853-1928) was the second Dutchman to win a Nobel Prize, his award was in theoretical physics. Albert Einstein worshipped him as a father figure and he was well respected by Dutch leaders. They asked him to chair the commission on the closure of the IJsselmeer with dikes and locks, to prevent regular flood disasters. He also played a major role as a networker in international science.
After World War One, he tried to bring scientists from the allied countries to the table with the German scientists, which is not to say he agreed with the role the Germans had played in the war. His efforts led to nothing.

Produced and presented by Liesbeth de Bakker

Euroquest 13 March 2000, prod Sept 6, 1999