Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir
Philips Research Laboratories


"For excellence as a leader of industrial research at Royal Philips Electronics and for fundamental contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics and solid state physics."


Hendrik B. G. Casimir was born at the Hague in 1909. He studied physics at Leiden beginning in 1928 and received his Ph.D. at Leiden University in 1931. During that time he also spent some time in Copenhagen with Niels Bohr. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as an assistant to Wolfgang Pauli at Zürich, but returned to Leiden until 1942 when he joined the Research Laboratories of the Philips Company. He became a co-director of these laboratories in 1946 and a member of the board of directors of the company in 1956. He retired from Philips in 1972.

Dr. Casimir made many contributions to science during his years in research from 1931 to 1950. These contributions include: pure mathematics, Lie groups (1931); hyperfine structure, calculation of nuclear quadrupole moments, (1935); low temperature physics, magnetism, thermodynamics of superconductors, paramagnetic relaxation (1935 - 1942); applications of Onsager's theory of irreversible phenomena (1942 - 1950); and long range van der Waals forces, so-called Casimir effect (1946).

In 1966, Dr. Casimir became co-founder and first president of EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association). After his retirement he was president of the EPS (European Physical Society), and also of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science.

Dr. Casimir is a foreign member or associate of several academies including the National Academy of Sciences. He also holds a number of honorary degrees including an honorary Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Selection Committee:

Cherry Ann Murray (Chair), John R. Smith, Don R. Scifres ('97 Recipient), Stephen Laderman (Vice Chair), Mark B. Ketchen