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A look back at Frits Zernike's anniversary

06 November 2023

Last Friday, 3 November 2023, the University of Groningen celebrated the Platinum Jubilee ( 70 years ) anniversary of Frits Zernike’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Zernike's invention of the phase-contrast microscope remains of great significance for medicine and biological sciences today because it enabled the study of living cells.

To celebrate Zernike, a successful symposium and public lecture were held. Numerous academic and industry speakers from different scientific fields came to give their support during the Jubilee.

Highlights

A highlight to this day was having Frits - Zernike's grandson - who shared stories about his namesake and grandfather. The speakers accompanied the almost 150 guests in the history and heritage of Frits’ legacy.

Outgoing Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf was also present and gave an impressive speech to commemorate Zernike's invention. You can read it here.

For the first time in a while, the Faculty of Science and Engineering organised again a plenary event that included all alumni of the Faculty. The public of scholars and alumni, had the opportunity to learn more about Zernike and to network.

Prof. Ben Feringa - Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2016 - also appeared online to celebrate the Jubilee.

A highlight to this day was having Frits - Zernike's grandson - who joined and shared stories about his namesake and grandfather. The speakers accompanied the guest in the history and heritage of Frits’ legacy.

Microscopy day

On Saturday 4 November, the public could visit up to 70 different institutions or public buildings throughout the province of Groningen and use a microscope on their own. Museums, libraries, mills and other more were equipped with a microscope for this special occasion to celebrate Zernike's Platinum Jubilee. Visitors could get to know the beauty of microscopy by testing and discovering beautiful things through the lens.


In the press (in Dutch, paywall)

De campus in Groningen is naar hem vernoemd. Maar wie was Frits Zernike eigenlijk? - Dagblad van het Noorden, 5 November

Kleinzoon Frits schenkt microscoop van opa Frits Zernike aan RUG - RTV Noord, 3 November

Last modified:07 November 2023 10.01 a.m.
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