Léon Van Hove

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


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, where he spent three decades.[4] LEP was proposed during Van Hove's tenure as Director General.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Léon Van Hove 1924-1990". CERN Courier 30 (7): 7. September 1990. 
  2. ^ Martin, André; Levaux, Paul; Gabathuler, E.; Woltjer, L.; Hugenholtz, N.M. (March 1991). "Léon Van Hove 1924-1990". CERN Courier 31 (2): 20–27. 
  3. ^ Jacob, Maurice (May 1991). "Obituary: Léon Van Hove". Physics Today 44 (5): 78. Bibcode:1991PhT....44e..78J. doi:10.1063/1.2810123. 
  4. ^ "Who's who in Cern: Léon van Hove: Director, Theoretical Studies division". CERN Courier 1 (13-14): 2. August 1960. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Willibald Jentschke and John Adams
CERN Director General
1976 – 1980 with John Adams
Succeeded by
Herwig Schopper