Pieter Zeeman ( 1865 - 1943 )
Pieter Zeeman, a Dutch physicist, was born on May 25, 1865, in Zonnemaire, the Netherlands. His father was a Lutheran minister named Catharinus Farandinus Zeeman and his mothers name was Wilhelmina Worst. It was his mother who attended to his elementary education. He attended secondary school in Zierikzee, a town a few miles from his home. He had a strong desire to attend University, for which he had to study the classical languages. And after a couple of years he finally entered the University of Leyden in 1885, studying under Lorentz. In 1890, he became a lecturer at Leyden and in 1900, was appointed professor at Amsterdam and director of their physical institute. In 1896, while at Leyden, he discovered what is now called the Zeeman Effect, the splitting of spectral lines by a magnetic field. It is by way of the Zeeman Effect that astronomers cam measure the strength of the magnetic field on the surface of the sun, or other stars. Scientists were not able to fully understand the Effect until the development of quantum mechanics in the 1920s. In 1902, Zeeman and Lorentz were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, for their, extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomenon. Pieter Zeeman died on October 9, 1943 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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