Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner.

Early life

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was born on September 21, 1853, Groningen, Netherlands. His father was a brickwork owner by the name of Harm Kamerlingh Onnes while his mother was Anna Gerdina Coers of Arnhem.


In 1870, Kamerlingh Onnes attended the University of Groningen, from 1871 to 1873 he attended the University of Heidelberg. Onnes obtained his masters degree at Groningen in 1878 and a doctorate in 1879.


Onnes measured the electrical conductivity of pure metals, Kamerlingh Onnes found that at 4.2 K the resistance in a solid mercury wire immersed in liquid helium suddenly vanished. He was momentarily aware of the significance of his discovery. He named this phenomenon “superconductivity”. Soon enou