Hans Kramers in c. 1928
|Born||Hendrik Anthony Kramers
2 February 1894
|Died||24 April 1952
|Alma mater||Leiden University|
|Doctoral advisor||Niels Bohr
|Doctoral students||Henri Brinkman
Dirk ter Haar
Nico van Kampen
Luitzen Johannes Oosterhoff
|Known for||Kramers–Heisenberg formula
Kramers model for polymer chains
Kramers' degeneracy theorem
Kramers' opacity law
|Notable awards||Lorentz Medal (1947)
Hughes Medal (1951)
Background and education
In 1912 Hans finished secondary education (HBS) in Rotterdam, and studied mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden, where he obtained a master's degree in 1916. Kramers wanted to obtain foreign experience during his doctoral research, but his first choice of supervisor, Max Born in Göttingen, was not reachable because of the first world war. Because Denmark was neutral in this war, as was the Netherlands, he travelled (by ship, overland was impossible) to Copenhagen, where he visited unannounced the then still relatively unknown Niels Bohr. Bohr took him on as a Ph.D. candidate and Kramers prepared his dissertation under Bohr's direction. Although Kramers did most of his doctoral research (on intensities of atomic transitions) in Copenhagen, he obtained his formal Ph.D. under Ehrenfest in Leiden, on 8 May 1919.
Kramers greatly enjoyed music and could play the cello and the piano.
After working for almost ten years in Bohr's group and becoming an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, Kramers left Denmark in 1926 and returned to the Netherlands. He became a full professor in theoretical physics at Utrecht University, where he supervised Tjalling Koopmans. In 1934 he left Utrecht and succeeded Paul Ehrenfest in Leiden. From 1931 until his death he held also a cross appointment at Delft University of Technology.
Kramers was one of the founders of the Mathematisch Centrum in Amsterdam.
In 1925, with Werner Heisenberg he developed the Kramers–Heisenberg dispersion formula. He is also credited with introducing in 1948 the concept of renormalization into quantum field theory, although his approach was nonrelativistic.
On 25 October 1920 he was married to Anna Petersen. They had three daughters and one son.
Kramers became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1929, he was forced to resign in 1942. He joined the Academy again in 1945. Kramers won the Lorentz Medal in 1947 and Hughes Medal in 1951.
- BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
- Jagdish Mehra, Helmut Rechenberg, The Conceptual Completion and Extensions of Quantum Mechanics 1932-1941. Epilogue: Aspects of the Further Development of Quantum Theory 1942-1999: Volumes 6, Part 2, Springer, 2001, p. 1050.
- Kramers presented his work at the Shelter Island Conference, repeated in 1948 at the Solvay Conference. The latter did not appear in print until the Proceedings of the Solvay Conference, published in 1950 (see Laurie M. Brown (ed.), Renormalization: From Lorentz to Landau (and Beyond), Springer, 2012, p. 53).
- "Hans A. Kramers (1894 - 1952)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Dresden, Max (1987). H.A. Kramers – Between Tradition and Revolution. Springer. ISBN 0-387-96282-4.
- Belinfante, F. J.; ter Haar, D. (1952). "Hendrik Anthony Kramers: 1894–1952". Science. 116 (3021): 555–556. Bibcode:1952Sci...116..555B. doi:10.1126/science.116.3021.555.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hendrik Anthony Kramers.|
- H.B.G. Casimir, Kramers, Hendrik Anthony (1894–1952), in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland. (in Dutch)
- J.M. Romein, Hendrik Anthony Kramers, in: Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde te Leiden, 1951–1953, pp. 83–91. (in Dutch)
- Ph.D. candidates of H.A. Kramers: 1929-1952
- Publications of H.A. Kramers