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[Mix] Hendrik de Waard (1922-2008)

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  • From: Nagy Denes Lajos <nagy AT>
  • To: MIX <mix AT>
  • Subject: [Mix] Hendrik de Waard (1922-2008)
  • Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 15:13:47 +0200 (CEST)
  • List-archive: <>
  • List-id: Discussion journal of the Mossbauer Community <>

In Memoriam Hendrik de Waard

It is with deepest sadness that the International Board on the Applications of the Mössbauer Effect (IBAME) announces the passing of its Honorary Member

Professor Hendrik de Waard

University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

who died in Groningen on 11 August 2008.

Hendrik de Waard was born in Groningen on 20 April 1922. With an interruption of two years during World War II, he studied at the University of Groningen from 1940 to 1949 majoring in Physics and Mathematics. Except for short intermezzos in Stockholm/Uppsala (1954-1955), Urbana (1962-1963), Murray Hill (1972-1973) and San Luis Obispo (several times), he never left his home town and his Alma Mater.

His thesis work was devoted to nuclear spectroscopy on the radioactive isotopes 181Hf and 193Os, which led to a doctorate in 1954. During his stay in Sweden, Hendrik became involved in investigating strongly deformed nuclei, and he was the first who demonstrated the existence of strong deformations in Lu isotopes, a phenomenon contradicting to the shell model.

He returned to the University of Groningen in 1955 where he became a Full Professor in Experimental Physics in 1958.

During his visiting professorship in Urbana in 1962-63, Hendrik engaged himself with Mössbauer effect. He was the initiator of Mössbauer experiments on several non-conventional isotopes including 129I, 129Xe, 83Kr and 67Zn. Since then, he has spent 40 years of his professional life focusing his attention on the Mössbauer effect.

In 1965, he started studying hyperfine interactions on radioactive nuclei that were introduced in solids by ion implantation, a program, which became his opus magnum. This lead to the discovery of impurity clusters containing two foreign elements in a metallic host ("molecules in metals") widely investigated later by Mössbauer spectroscopy and perturbed angular correlation. These studies turned out later to be decisive both for emission and for in-beam Mössbauer spectroscopy.

Hendrik officially retired in 1986 but, following his own words ("I'm retired but I won't quit!") he remained very active was even jumping into new fields for almost another two decades. During the late eighties, he became involved in studying magnetotactic bacteria and, in the late nineties, he was decisive part of a project on studying relaxation phenomena using nuclear resonant scattering of synchrotron radiation.

Hendrik de Waard, together with the late B.I. Deutch from the University of Aarhus was the founder of "Hyperfine Interactions" and remained one of the co-editors of the journal until his 80th birthday when he insisted that his name be finally removed from the journal cover.

Professor Hendrik de Waard has received numerous honours and recognitions, including Award of Membership into the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science, Fellowship to the American Physical Society, Steinmetz Medal of The Netherlands Society of "Volksuniversiteiten", and Honorary Membership to the European Physical Society.

The Mössbauer Community shall miss his personality, his original thoughts and the special flavour that he gave to conferences, which he attended. Our thoughts are with his wife Paula and with his family.

D.L. Nagy
Chair, IBAME

  • [Mix] Hendrik de Waard (1922-2008), Nagy Denes Lajos, 08/17/2008

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