Open main menu

Willem Hendrik Keesom (/ˈksm/[1][2]) (21 June 1876, Texel – 24 March 1956, Leiden) was a Dutch physicist who, in 1926, invented a method to freeze liquid helium. He also developed the first mathematical description of dipole–dipole interactions in 1921. Thus, dipole–dipole interactions are also known as Keesom interactions. He was previously a student of Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who had discovered superconductivity (a feat for which Kamerlingh Onnes received the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physics).

Willem Keesom
Willem Keesom in 1926
Born21 June 1876 (1876-06-21)
Died24 March 1956 (1956-03-25) (aged 79)
Known forhelium
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJohannes Diderik van der Waals

He also discovered the lambda-point transition specific-heat maximum between Helium-I and Helium-2 in 1930 (Basic Superfluids p25/Tony Guenault).

In 1924 he became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3] In 1966, the minor planet 9686 Keesom was named after him.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Willem Hendrik Keesom pronunciation
  2. ^ Voiceless E
  3. ^ "Willem Hendrik Keesom (1876 - 1956)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2015.

External linksEdit