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Cornelius Jan Bakker

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Professor Cornelius Jan Bakker (1904-1960) of CERN


1960 Obituary [1]

PROFESSOR CORNELIS JAN BAKKER, who died in a flying accident near New York on April 23, had been Director-General of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (C.E.R.N.) since 1955.

Born in 1904, he studied physics under Zeeman in Amsterdam, and took his doctorate for research on the Zeeman effect in the spectra of inert gases. His spectroscopica1 work brought him for a time to the Imperial College, London, and on his return to the Netherlands he joined the research staff of Philips at Eindhoven.

In nuclear physics, which at that time began to attract his interest, he collaborated with Professor Heyn on the design of a cyclotron for the Institute of Nuclear Physics, of which he became the director in 1946. In the same year also took place his appointment as professor of physics and director of the Zeeman Laboratory at Amsterdam. His service on several national and international committees and organisations included membership of the joint Dutch-Norwegian Committee which is responsible for the research reactor at Kjeller in Norway.

In 1951, he was one of eight experts who drew up plans for the future European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and the following year was appointed director of the group responsible for the 600 MeV synchro-cyclotron. This machine, and the 25 Ge V proton-synchrotron, which came into operation last year, constitute major milestones in the history of the C.E.R.N. organisation.


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