Pieter Hendrik van Cittert (Gouda30 may 1889 – Utrecht8 October 1959) was a Dutch physicist and science historian. He stated, inter alia, the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek's microscopes, proved By Cittert – Zernike theorem about the coherence of radiation and founded the University museum in Utrecht on.


[hide]*1 career


By Cittert was the son of Benjamin Pieter van Cittert (1850-1925) and Antonia Petronella Huber (1867-1952). In 1912 he joined the Physical Laboratory of the University of Utrecht. In 1918 he found on there in the attic a thousand historical physical instruments, submitted by the eighteenth-century physics Company in Utrecht. This collection was the starting point for the University museum, which he founded in 1928 . In 1919he received his PhD in Utrecht at the Professor William Julius on spectroscopy of the Sun. In 1921 Cittert's was one of the founders of the Dutch physical society (NNV). With Leonard Ornstein he blew new life into the physical Company in 1928. From 1916 to 1950 he was part-time teacher physics at the HBS De Munnik in Utrecht. The curator was Physically Cittert's Laboratory in Utrecht (1922-1950) and Director of the University museum Utrecht (1951-1955).

Van Cittert-Zernike theorem[Edit]Edit

In the optics and radio astronomy is Cittert's best known for his theorem on the coherence of incoherent radiation from a distant source, found by him in 1934 . [1Because Frits Zernike in 1938 with a simpler derivation came, it is now known as the Of Cittert – Zernike theorem. [2By Cittert is also noted for his spectraalapparaat in optical textbooks with two Monochromators. [3[4]. He also suggested a method for theCittertdeconvolutie's , to make images sharper.

History Of Science[Edit]Edit

Published many works on the operation of Cittert and history of the [5] astrolabia,microscopethermometershygrometersair pumps, steam fountains, pyrometers and other instruments. He analyzed the different type of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek 's microscope and declared the construction.

Personal life[Edit]Edit

In 1938 he married the physicist Johanna Geertruida Edmond. With her he published about science historical topics. They followed him in 1955 as Director of the University museum.


There are 125 Cittert's known publications, including

  • Spectraalverschijnselen, caused by irregular light refraction and their significance for the physics of the Sun1919 Dissertation , Utrecht
  • with w. h. JuliusThe General theory of relativity and the solar spectrum, report. Akad. Amsterdam, 1920, 29, 106, also English-language edition
  • with H.C. CitizenEinfluss der Temperatur auf Stellung und Intensität der Stufengitterlinien, Physik. Zs. 21. 16, 1920
  • History of the collection of ancient instruments of the physics laboratory of the University of Utrecht and of the physical Company, year Old Utrechtbooklet, 1929
  • The "Van Leeuwenhoek microscope" in possession of the University of Utrecht I, proc. ACAD. Amsterdam 35, 1062, 1935
  • In einer Schwingungsverteilung von einer wahrscheinliche Lichtquelle Which direkt oder mittels einer Ebene Mahmud beleuchteten, Physica 1, 201, 1934.
    • Reprint in Mandel, L & Wolf, e. (eds): Selected papers on coherence and fluctuations of light I 1850-1960, New Yok, Dover, 1970.
  • Descriptive catalogue of the collection of microscopes in charge of the Utrecht University Museum with an introductory historical survey of the resolving power of the microscope, Groningen, Noordhoff, 1934, 110 p
  • with L.S. OrnsteinZur Rayleighstrahlung der Feinstruktur der Creighton I, Physica 2, 221, 1935
  • On the propagation of light in inhomogenous media, Physica 6, 840, 1939
  • Kohaerenzprobleme, Physica 6, 1129, 1939
    • Reprint in Mandel, L & Wolf, e. (eds): Selected papers on coherence and fluctuations of light I 1850-1960, New Yok, Dover, 1970.
  • The microscope, Noorduijn, London 1944 (book)
  • with H.C. citizen: viscosity of blood during coagulation, Ned. T. v. medicine 33, 760, 1944
  • with r. Kronig (Danny) and others: textbook of physics. I introduction, mechanics, vibrations and waves, electriciteitsleer and physical optics phaenomenologische. 1946 , Amsterdam
  • with J.G. Cittert-Edmond'sThe Amici microscopes about 1850 in possession of the University of Utrecht, proc. ACAD. Amsterdam, 50, 1947
  • Astrolabes, a critical description of the astrolabes, quadrants, and noctilabes in the care of the Utrecht University Museum., Leiden, E.J. Brill1954 (book).


  • Brunner, Esger: legacy of a married coupleDutch magazine for physics, January 2012, 26-27
  • Muller, J.M. (ed.): bibliography of Dr. P.H. Cittert's and Dr. J.G. Cittert-Edmond's, University museum, Utrecht University 1985