Jump to content

Léon Van Hove

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Léon Van Hove
Professor Léon Van Hove, Research Director-General of CERN from 1976 to 1980
Léon Van Hove, Belgian theoretical physicist and Research Director General of CERN from 1976–80, here seen during an interview made at CERN in March 1976
Léon Charles Prudent Van Hove

(1924-02-10)10 February 1924
Died2 September 1990(1990-09-02) (aged 66)
Known forGroenewold–van Hove theorem
Van Hove function
Van Hove singularity
AwardsMax Planck Medal (1974)
Heineman Prize (1962)
Francqui Prize (1958)
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical physics
Doctoral studentsTed Janssen

Léon Charles Prudent Van Hove (10 February 1924 – 2 September 1990)[1] was a Belgian physicist and a Director General of CERN.[2][3] He developed a scientific career spanning mathematics, solid state physics, elementary particle and nuclear physics to cosmology.[4]


Van Hove studied mathematics and physics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). In 1946 he received his PhD in mathematics at the ULB. From 1949 to 1954 he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey by virtue of his meeting with Robert Oppenheimer. Later he worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and was a professor and Director of the Theoretical Physics Institute at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. In the 1950s he laid the theoretical foundations for the analysis of inelastic neutron scattering in terms of the dynamic structure factor. In 1958, he was awarded the Francqui Prize in Exact Sciences. In 1959, he received an invitation to become the head of the Theory Division at CERN in Geneva.[5] In 1975 Prof. Van Hove was appointed CERN Director-General, with John Adams, responsible for the research activities of the Organization.[6] The LEP project was proposed during Van Hove's tenure as Director General.[7]


There is a square, Square Van Hove, named after Van Hove at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Van Hove, Léon Charles Prudent (1924–1990)". Bestor – Belgian Science and Technology Online Resources. KU Leuven. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Léon Van Hove 1924–1990". CERN Courier. 30 (7): 7. September 1990.
  3. ^ Martin, André; Levaux, Paul; Gabathuler, E.; Woltjer, L.; Hugenholtz, N.M. (March 1991). "Léon Van Hove 1924–1990". CERN Courier. 31 (2): 20–27.
  4. ^ Jacob, Maurice (May 1991). "Obituary: Léon Van Hove". Physics Today. 44 (5): 78. Bibcode:1991PhT....44e..78J. doi:10.1063/1.2810123. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Who's who in Cern: Léon van Hove: Director, Theoretical Studies division". CERN Courier. 1 (13–14): 2. August 1960.
  6. ^ "Appointment of the Directors-General of the Organization". CERN. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  7. ^ "The LEP Project, Phase 1 – Proposal of the Directors-General to the CERN Council". CERN. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Leon Charles Prudent Van Hove". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Leon Van Hove". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  10. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 21 June 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by CERN Director General
1976 – 1980 with John Adams (Physicist)
Succeeded by