Cor Gorter was my senior by two years and had a decisive influence on some of my work. I regard him as the most outstanding Dutch experimental physicist of his generation. His death occurred while I was writing this part of my book, but his scientific activity had come to an end several years before, due to the progressive loss of memory caused by Alzheimer's disease. There is a gross contrast between the tragedy of his final years and the image of the lively, brilliant, and energetic man that was such a well-known figure in the international world of physics.
In the thirties we did some work together on superconductivity. After Meissner and Ochsenfeld's discovery of the expulsion of the magnetic field from a superconductor, we formulated the thermodynamics of superconductivity, and somewhat later we showed that many of the properties of superconductors could be interpreted in terms of a simple two-fluid model. In both cases the initiative came from Gorter, who also applied the two-fluid idea to liquid helium II.
Gorter was an outstanding physicist. I have also known him as a good friend. Ambitious, certainly, but also cordial and trustworthy and endowed with a disarming sense of humor. He was a worthy successor to a great tradition that began with Kamerlingh Onnes and that had been continued by Keesom and De Haas.
Haphazard Reality (Harper & Row, New York, 1983). De Nederlandse versie "Het toeval van de werkelijkheid" is hier te lezen.