Willem Hendrik Keesom

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Willem Keesom
Willem Keesom in 1926
Born21 June 1876 (1876-06-21)
Died24 March 1956 (1956-03-25) (aged 79)
Known forhelium
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJohannes Diderik van der Waals

Willem Hendrik Keesom (/ˈksm/[1][2]) (21 June 1876, Texel – 24 March 1956, Leiden) was a Dutch physicist who, in 1926, invented a method to freeze liquid helium. He also developed the first mathematical description of dipole–dipole interactions in 1921. Thus, dipole–dipole interactions are also known as Keesom interactions. He was previously a student of Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who had discovered superconductivity (a feat for which Kamerlingh Onnes received the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physics).

He also discovered the lambda-point transition specific-heat maximum between Helium-I and Helium-2 in 1930 (Basic Superfluids p25/Tony Guenault).

In 1924 he became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3] In 1966, the minor planet 9686 Keesom was named after him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Willem Hendrik Keesom pronunciation
  2. ^ Voiceless E
  3. ^ "Willem Hendrik Keesom (1876 - 1956)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2015.

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