Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Hendrik Antoon Lorentz
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1902
Born: 18 July 1853, Arnhem, the Netherlands
Died: 4 February 1928, the Netherlands
Affiliation at the time of the award: Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands
Prize motivation: "in recognition of the extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomena."
Prize share: 1/2
During the 19th century important connections between electricity, magnetism and light were clarified by Hendrik Lorentz. In 1892 he presented his electron theory, which posited that in matter there are charged particles, electrons, that conduct electric current and whose oscillations give rise to light. Hendrik Lorentz's electron theory could explain Pieter Zeeman's discovery in 1896 that the spectral lines corresponding to different wavelengths split up into several lines under the influence of a magnetic field.