Hendrik C. van de Hulst

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Hendrik C. van de Hulst
Hendrik C. van de Hulst 1977.jpg
Hendrik C. van de Hulst in 1977
Born(1918-11-19)19 November 1918
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Died31 July 2000(2000-07-31) (aged 81)
Leiden, the Netherlands
Known for21 cm hyperfine line
AwardsHenry Draper Medal (1955)
Eddington Medal (1955)
Rumford Medal (1964)
Bruce Medal (1978)
Karl Schwarzschild Medal (1995)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Leiden

Hendrik Christoffel "Henk" van de Hulst (19 November 1918 – 31 July 2000) was a Dutch astronomer and mathematician.

In 1944, while a student in Utrecht,[1] he predicted the existence of the 21 cm hyperfine line of neutral interstellar hydrogen. After this line was discovered, he participated, with Jan Oort and C.A. Muller, in the effort to use radio astronomy to map out the neutral hydrogen in our galaxy, which first revealed its spiral structure.

He spent most of his career at the University of Leiden, retiring in 1984. He published widely in astronomy, and dealt with the solar corona, and interstellar clouds. After 1960 he was a leader in international space research projects.[2]

In 1956 he became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3]


Light Scattering by Small Particles, H. C. van de Hulst, New York, Dover Publications, 1981, 470 p., ISBN 0-486-64228-3.



Named after him


  1. ^ Astronomy Tree profile Hendrik Christoffel van de Hulst
  2. ^ "Hulst, Hendrik Christoffel van de." in Encyclopædia Britannica (2010)
  3. ^ "Hendrik Christoffel van de Hulst (1918–2000)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Past Winners of the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal". Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Retrieved 24 February 2011.