Nico van Kampen
|Nicolaas 'Nico' Godfried van Kampen|
June 22, 1921|
|Died||October 6, 2013
|Alma mater||Leiden University|
|Doctoral advisor||Hendrik Anthony Kramers|
|Known for||Statistical physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, System size expansion|
Van Kampen was born in Leiden, and was a nephew of Frits Zernike. He studied physics at Leiden University, where in 1952 under the direction of Hendrik Anthony Kramers he earned his PhD with thesis Contributions to the quantum theory of light scattering. He showed in his thesis how to deal with singularities in quantum mechanical scattering processes, which was an important step in the development of renormalization, according to Kramers. Van Kampen made fundamental contributions to non-equilibrium processes (in particular on the master equation) and in many-body theory (especially in plasma physics). His work on non-equilibrium processes began in 1953 in the research group of Sybren Ruurds de Groot (the successor to Kramers) in Leiden. In 1955 Van Kampen joined the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University, where he later became full professor and professor emeritus after his retirement.
His monograph Stochastic processes in physics and chemistry (1981) is considered a classic. In his 2002 book Waanwetenschap (Science), Van Kampen condemned what he saw as pseudoscience, even within the scientific community; the book met with a mixed reaction — five scientists, including Vincent Icke, Floris Takens and Dennis Dieks, wrote a commentary on his book.
Nico van Kampen was an uncle of the Dutch theoretical physicist and Nobel prize winner Gerard 't Hooft, and he encouraged 't Hooft to study physics in Utrecht. Van Kampen was a member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. He died, aged 92, in Nieuwegein.
- N. G. van Kampen: Views of a physicist. Selected papers of N. G. van Kampen, World Scientific 2000 (ed. Paul H. E. Meijer)
- N. G. van Kampen: Stochastic processes in physics and chemistry, North Holland 1981, 3rd edn., 2007, ISBN 0-444-89349-0
- N. G. van Kampen, B. U. Felderhof: Theoretical methods in plasma physics, North Holland 1967, ISBN 0720401208
- N. G. van Kampen: Entropie (in German), Plus Lucis, 1997
- "Emeritus-hoogleraar Nico van Kampen overleden – BINNENLAND – PAROOL". Parool.nl. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Laudatio uitgesproken door H.A. Kramers op 16 januari 1952, bij de promotie van Nicolaas Godfried van Kampen.
- Rosalio F. Rodriguez, Nicholas G. van Kampen: brief biography, in: Alfredo Macías et al. (eds.), Developments in Mathematical and Experimental Physics: Cosmology and gravitation, Springer, 2002, p. 295 e.v.
- Alberto Giovannini, The legacy of Léon Van Hove, World Scientific, 2000, p. 489.
- Waanwetenschap als achterhoedegevecht, in Dutch from Delta (universiteitsblad), 29 January 2004.
- 't Hooft, G. (1999). "Gerardus 't Hooft – Autobiography". Nobel web. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- ter Haar, Dirk (Jan 2001). "Nico van Kampen: charlatans beware! (review of "Views of a physicist")" (PDF). Physics World: p. 46.