Nobel Prize Recipient in Physics. Johannes Diderik van der Waals, as a Dutch scientist, received world-wide notoriety after being awarded the 1910 Nobel Prize in Physics. According to the Nobel Prize committee, he received this coveted award "for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids." He received nine nominations for the Nobel Prize in nine years. After finishing local schools, he became a school teacher as he could not attend college as he was lacking credits in classic languages. From 1862 to 1865 he attended Leyden University in his spare time, obtaining teaching certificates in mathematics and physics. After teaching for years, in 1873, he obtained a doctorate for his thesis entitled "Over de Continuïteit van den Gas - en Vloeistoftoestand" and in 1876 became First Professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam. Van der Waals was the first to realize the need to take into consideration the volume of the molecules and the intermolecular forces, generally called "Forces of Van der Waals", to establish the relationship between pressure, volume and temperature of gases and liquids. Bearing his name are related scientific concepts such as "Radius of Van der Waals", ray of an imaginary sphere that can be used as a model of the atom, and "Surface of Van der Waals", the surface obtained by the superposition of the atoms that constitute a molecule. He married but became a widower soon after three daughters and one son were born. His son, Johannes Diderik Jr., succeeded him as the chairman of the Physics Department of the University of Amsterdam.
Bio by: Lucy & Chris
Johannes Diderik van der Waals