Electrifying new wing at Teylers Museum opens doors next week

Einstein and Lorentz in Leiden in 1921. Photo: Museum Boerhaave, Leiden

The Teylers Museum in Haarlem has restored the laboratory of Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, one of the Netherlands most renowned physicists and Nobel prize laureates. The new permanent wing will be open to the public from May 18.

‘Hurray, after years of research, renovation and extensive building work, His Majesty the King will open the Lorentz Lab on May 17’,  a jubilant Teylers announced on its website.

Lorentz (1853 – 1928) headed his lab at the Teyler Institute from 1912 to 1928.  Some years previously, in 1902, he had won the Nobel prize with fellow physicist Pieter Zeeman for his theory of electromagnetic radiation but that is not his only claim to fame. He also laid the groundworks for Einstein’s theory of relativity and worked for eight years on a plan for the Afsluitdijk, the dike that connects the provinces of Noord Holland and Friesland.

Lorentz died a year before construction began. The Lorentz locks were named in his honour.

‘By reviving the lab we are also bringing back Lorentz’s history,’ museum spokesperson Willemijn van Drunen told public broadcaster NOS. ‘Instead of having his instruments simply on show we can now demonstrate how they were used for experimenting in the original laboratory setting.