7 September 2017

Father of NMR- and laserspectroscopy

UU alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Nico Bloembergen passed away

Nicolaas Bloembergen
Nicolaas Bloembergen

On Tuesday, 5 September, UU alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Nicolaas (‘Nico’) Bloembergen passed away at the age of 97. Bloembergen studied Physics at Utrecht University from 1938 to 1943, earning his degree just before the university was closed during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

After the war, he went to Harvard University in the United States, where he became a pioneer in the field of NMR spectroscopy, one of the innovations that led to the MRI scanner. His later research focused on non-linear optics, the foundation for laser spectroscopy. In 1981, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work. In recognition of the crucial role he played in NMR research, the building housing Utrecht’s NMR group was named after him in 2001.