Online Database: Leiden Physics PhD Theses 1597–1975


Since Leiden University was founded in 1575, more than 1,800 professors have worked here. On 27 October 2015 was the festive launch of a brand new website where you can easily find each of their online profiles. One of the main contributors is Leiden PI Carlo Beenakker, who has worked hard on building a digital database of all theses until 1975 that were written in Leiden to successfully obtain a PhD in Physics.

The database contains a rich collection of dissertations in beautiful old fonts, theses in Latin, and masterpieces of famous physicists. Hugo de Groot wrote the first physics thesis in 1597, titled ‘De infinito, loco, et vacuo’.

You can also find the thesis of Jan Beenakker, Carlo’s father. In 1954, he defended his thesis on 'The Influence of the Helium Isotope with Mass 3 on the Properties of Liquid Helium II.' Or browse through the work of Hendrik Lorentz 'On the Theory of Reflection and Refraction of Light.' Lorentz received the Physics Nobel Prize in 1902.Proefschrift natuurkunde