Leiden University
Communications from the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory

These are the first 40 Communications from the Laboratory of Physics at the University of Leiden, directed by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. The articles cover the founding years 1885-1898 of what would later be called the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory. Among the highlights are the reports of his colleague Johannes Kuenen on the discovery of retrograde condensation, an effect that was implicit in the theoretical work of Van der Waals but still came as a surprise. Then there are the first articles of Pieter Zeeman, who would go on to win, with Hendrik Lorentz, the 1902 Nobel prize for the effect that would bear his name. The brief reports of the experiments are followed by a commentary on the priority of his observations (Communication Nr. 36).

A curiosity is the optical effect in the eye reported by Zeeman in Communication Nr. 5. Has this effect received further attention?

These 40 early Communications were published privately by Kamerlingh Onnes, for distribution among international colleagues. (Read the announcement in Nature.) They are online here, with thanks to Peter Kes. The later ones, from June 1898 onward, were included in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and are online there.

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Communications Nr. 1-12 (1885-1894).

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Complete volume (16 MB)

Communications Nr. 13-24 (1894-1896).

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Complete volume (26 MB)

Communications Nr. 25-36 (1896-1897).

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Complete volume (22 MB)

Communications Nr. 37-40 (1897-1898).

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Complete volume (8 MB)