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About us Faculty of Science and Engineering Meet the Faculty 70th anniversary of Frits Zernike’s Nobel Prize

70th anniversary of Frits Zernike’s Nobel Prize

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On 4 November 1953, Professor Frits Zernike was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Now, 70 years later, the Faculty of Science and Engineering is organizing a symposium to remember Frits Zernike, together with a public microscopy day to celebrate his Nobel Prize for the phase-contrast microscope.



On Friday 3 November 2023, a symposium will be held at the Zernike Campus in Groningen. There will be various speakers, including the youngest Nobel Prize winner in Groningen: Ben Feringa. In the evening, Zernike’s grandson will be present, and he’ll share stories about his namesake and grandfather Frits. The evening programme will take place in the city centre of Groningen.

Due to great interest in the symposium, all spots are taken. Registration is therefore unfortunately no longer possible.

Programme of the symposium


Location: BERNOULLIBORG, Nijenborgh 9, Groningen
Chair Prof. Jeff Th. M. de Hosson

  • 09.30 Registration and coffee

  • 11.00 Remarks, Theo Jurriens

  • 11.05 Opening address, Prof. Joost Frenken, Dean Faculty Science and Engineering, Groningen University

  • 11.10 The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials: an overview, Prof. Moniek Tromp

  • 11.30 My Nobel story, Prof. Ben Feringa (online)

  • 12.00 Recollection of Zernike phase-contrast methodology, Prof. Bernhard Hoenders and Dr. Hein Leertouwer

  • 12.30 LUNCH

Location: BERNOULLIBORG, Nijenborgh 9, Groningen

  • 13.30 1953-2023 Nobel-prize winning breakthroughs in microscopy, Dr. Ben Giepmans

  • 14.00 Bleeker optical industry, Dr. Gijs van Ginkel

  • 14.30 BREAK

  • 15.30 Academia in the fifties, Prof. Klaas van Berkel

  • 16.00 A Nobel prize born in Groningen, Dr. Erik Ducker

  • 16.30 The Henk Brinkman tapes: deepest secrets about Frits, Dr. Annelies Noordhof-Hoorn

  • 17.00 Drinks

  • 17.45 Hotchpotch Buffet

  • 18.30 Transfer to the Academy Building, Broerstraat


Location: Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

  • 19.30 Opening, Rector Magnificus University of Groningen

  • 19.45 Opa Frits, Frits Zernike junior^2

  • 20.15 De schoonheid van microscopie, Wim van Egmond

  • 21.30 Sluiting

Public microscopy day

On 4 November 2023, microscopes will be set up in 70 different places throughout the province of Groningen: at museums, libraries, mills and other surprising places. Visitors can get to know the beauty of microscopy, and they can see and discover beautiful things for themselves. Everyone is welcome, participation is free of charge.

For further information, please contact Theo Jurriens t.a.jurriens

Frits Zernike receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics
Frits Zernike receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics
Last modified:30 October 2023 2.44 p.m.
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