- Category : 1894-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 4
He was the son of Hendrik Kramers, a physician, and Jeanne Susanne Breukelman. He was a talented child, musically and literary gifted as well as having a talent for the exact sciences. The historian Jan Romein and the painter Toon Kelder were early friends.
After finishing secondary education (HBS) in Rotterdam, he studied mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden (sept 1912), where he obtained his master's degree on 7 June 1916. Kramers wanted foreign experience during his doctoral research, but his first choice, Max Born in Göttingen, was not an option because of the first world war. He decided to travel by ship to Copenhagen, to ask Niels Bohr to supervise him. Although Kramers did most of his doctoral research on intensities of atomic transitions in the Institut for teoretisk Fysik of Copenhagen, he obtained his Ph.D. under Paul Ehrenfest in Leiden, on 8 May 1919.
On 25 October 1920 he was married to Anna Petersen (Helsingor - 16 Jan 1955 7 AM, Leiden). They had three daughters and one son.
After working for almost ten years in Bohr's group and becoming an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, Kramers left Denmark in 1926 and returned to the Netherlands. In 1926 he became a full professor in theoretical physics at Utrecht University( where he supervised Tjalling Koopmans and many others. In 1934 he left Utrecht and succeeded Paul Ehrenfest in Leiden (28 September 1934 installed). From 1931 until his death he held also a cross appointment at Delft University of Technology.
Kramers was one of the founders of the Mathematisch Centrum in Amsterdam. In 1925, he and Werner Heisenberg developed the Kramers–Heisenberg dispersion formula. He is also credited with introducing in 1948 the concept of renormalization into quantum field theory. His Hand- und Jahrbuch der chemischen Physik (1938) was a classic on quantum mechanics.
He died 24 April 1952 16:45 in Oegstgeest.