Hendrik Antoon, 1853, 1928, ndl. Physiker; stellte 1895 die klass. Elektronentheorie auf, entdeckte die nach ihm benannte L.-Transformation; Nobelpr. 1902.
(1853-1928) Dutch physicist, winner (with his pupil Pieter Zeeman) of a Nobel Prize in 1902 for his work on the Zeeman effect, in which a magnetic field splits spectral lines.
Lorentz spent most of his career trying to develop and improve Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory. He also attempted to account for the anomalies of the Michelson–Morley experiment by proposing (independently of Irish physicist George Fitzgerald) that moving bodies contracted in their direction of motion. He took the matter further with his method of transforming space and time coordinates, later known as Lorentz transformations, which prepared the way for Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Lorentz was born in Arnhem and studied at Leiden, where he became professor of theoretical physics at the age of 24. In 1912 he became director of the Teyler Institute in Haarlem.