Pieter Zeeman

About Pieter Zeeman

Who is it?: Discovered the 'Zeeman Effect'
Birth Day: May 25, 1865
Birth Place: Zonnemaire, Netherlands, Dutch
Alma mater: University of Leiden
Known for: Zeeman effect
Spouse(s): Johanna Elisabeth Lebret (m. 1895–1943)
Awards: Nobel Prize for Physics (1902) Matteucci Medal (1912) Henry Draper Medal (1921) ForMemRS (1921) Rumford Medal (1922) Franklin Medal (1925)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: University of Amsterdam
Doctoral advisor: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes

Pieter Zeeman

Pieter Zeeman was born on May 25, 1865 in Zonnemaire, Netherlands, Dutch, is Discovered the 'Zeeman Effect'. Pieter Zeeman was a Dutch physicist who won Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the Zeeman Effect. He is one of the most well-known physicists who successfully conducted research on spectral lines that led to the discovery of what is known as Zeeman Effect. Zeeman grew up in a small village in an island in the Netherlands but that did not hinder his interest in the sciences from an early age and in fact he had submitted a scientific illustration for the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis to a magazine when he was still in school. Zeeman studied and taught at the University of Leiden and later on he went on to become a professor at the University of Amsterdam. He collaborated with another famous scientist of the time in Hendrik Lorentz right from the time he was a doctoral student and later on when he became a leading physicist. Zeeman’s success with the Zeeman Effect made him one of the biggest scientists in Europe and indeed the world in the late 19th and early 20th century but the true enormity of his findings have been understood many years after his death as his research formed the basis of a number of future research in the field.
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Does Pieter Zeeman Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Pieter Zeeman has been died on 9 October 1943(1943-10-09) (aged 78)\nAmsterdam, Netherlands.

🎂 Pieter Zeeman - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Pieter Zeeman die, Pieter Zeeman was 78 years old.

Popular As Pieter Zeeman
Occupation Scientists
Age 78 years old
Zodiac Sign Gemini
Born May 25, 1865 (Zonnemaire, Netherlands, Dutch)
Birthday May 25
Town/City Zonnemaire, Netherlands, Dutch
Nationality Dutch

🌙 Zodiac

Pieter Zeeman’s zodiac sign is Gemini. According to astrologers, Gemini is expressive and quick-witted, it represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face. They are sociable, communicative and ready for fun, with a tendency to suddenly get serious, thoughtful and restless. They are fascinated with the world itself, extremely curious, with a constant feeling that there is not enough time to experience everything they want to see.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Pieter Zeeman was born in the Year of the Ox. Another of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and strong companion. Compatible with Snake or Rooster.

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Awards and nominations:

Zeeman received the following awards for his contributions.

The crater Zeeman on the Moon is named in his honour.



After finishing high school in 1883, Zeeman went to Delft for supplementary education in classical languages, then a requirement for admission to University. He stayed at the home of Dr J.W. Lely, co-principal of the gymnasium and brother of Cornelis Lely, who was responsible for the concept and realization of the Zuiderzee Works. While in Delft, he first met Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who was to become his thesis adviser.


After Zeeman passed the qualification exams in 1885, he studied physics at the University of Leiden under Kamerlingh Onnes and Hendrik Lorentz. In 1890, even before finishing his thesis, he became Lorentz's assistant. This allowed him to participate in a research programme on the Kerr effect. In 1893 he submitted his doctoral thesis on the Kerr effect, the reflection of polarized light on a magnetized surface. After obtaining his doctorate he went for half a year to Friedrich Kohlrausch's institute in Strasbourg. In 1895, after returning from Strasbourg, Zeeman became Privatdozent in mathematics and physics in Leiden. The same year he married Johanna Elisabeth Lebret (1873–1962); they had three daughters and one son.


In 1896, three years after submitting his thesis on the Kerr effect, he disobeyed the direct orders of his supervisor and used laboratory equipment to measure the splitting of spectral lines by a strong magnetic field. He was fired for his efforts, but he was later vindicated: he won the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of what has now become known as the Zeeman effect. As an extension of his thesis research, he began investigating the effect of magnetic fields on a light source. He discovered that a spectral line is split into several components in the presence of a magnetic field. Lorentz first heard about Zeeman's observations on Saturday 31 October 1896 at the meeting of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam, where these results were communicated by Kamerlingh Onnes. The next Monday, Lorentz called Zeeman into his office and presented him with an explanation of his observations, based on Lorentz's theory of electromagnetic radiation.


Because of his discovery, Zeeman was offered a position as lecturer in Amsterdam in 1897. In 1900 this was followed by his promotion to professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1902, together with his former mentor Lorentz, he received the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of the Zeeman effect. Five years later, in 1908, he succeeded Van der Waals as full professor and Director of the Physics Institute in Amsterdam.


In 1898 Zeeman was elected to membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam, and he served as its secretary from 1912 to 1920. He won the Henry Draper Medal in 1921, and several other awards and Honorary degrees. Zeeman was elected a Foreign member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1921. He retired as a professor in 1935.


In 1918 he published "Some experiments on gravitation: The ratio of mass to weight for crystals and radioactive substances" in the Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, experimentally confirming the equivalence principle with regard to gravitational and inertial mass.


A new laboratory built in Amsterdam in 1923 was renamed the Zeeman Laboratory in 1940. This new facility allowed Zeeman to pursue refined investigation of the Zeeman effect. For the remainder of his career he remained interested in research in Magneto-Optics. He also investigated the propagation of light in moving media. This subject became the focus of a renewed interest because of special relativity, and enjoyed keen interest from Lorentz and Einstein. Later in his career he became interested in mass spectrometry.


Zeeman died on 9 October 1943 in Amsterdam, and was buried in Haarlem.

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