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Simon van der Meer
Simon van der Meer (left) and wife are received by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in 1985
|Born||24 November 1925
|Died||4 March 2011 (aged 85)
|Alma mater||Delft University of Technology|
|Known for||Stochastic cooling|
|Awards||Nobel prize in Physics|
Simon van der Meer (24 November 1925 – 4 March 2011) was a Dutch particle accelerator physicist. He won the Nobel prize in physics. Another physicist, Carlo Rubbia, also won this prize. He won the prize because of his work for the CERN project. This led to the discovery of W and Z particles, which are the two most important things in matter.
Simon van der Meer was one of four children. He was raised in The Hague, Netherlands. His father was a school teacher, and his mother came from a family of teachers. He went to school at the city's gymnasium. He graduated in 1943 when the German army had control of the Netherlands. In 1945, van der Meer went to the Delft University of Technology. He earned an engineer's degree there in 1952. He joined CERN in 1956, and he stayed there until he retired in 1990.
In 1966, when van der Meer was skiing with his friends in the Swiss mountains, he met Catharina M. Koopman, who became his wife. They had two children – Esther (born 1968) and Mathijs (born 1970).
After getting his engineer's degree in 1952, Simon van der Meer worked for the Philips Research Laboratory in Eindhoven. When he was there, he was mainly working on high-voltage equipment and electronics for electron microscopes. In 1956, he moved to CERN, which was new at the time. When he first started at CERN, his work was mainly on technical design, and power supplies. While he was working at CERN, he invented the idea of stochastic cooling, which led to the discovery of W and Z bosons. In 1984, van der Meer and Carlo Rubbia won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work with the project.
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