The Colloquium Ehrenfestii is the physics seminar organised by the Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics. The Colloquium takes place Wednesday evenings starting at 19:30 hours in the main auditorium of the Oort building. Before the Colloquium, there is a common dinner in the canteen located on the ground floor of the Oort building. This dinner starts at 18:00 hours sharp and is free of charge, under the condition that one attends the colloquium and that one has made a reservation before noon on the Tuesday preceding the colloquium.
Paul Ehrenfest was the successor of Lorentz as professor of theoretical physics in Leiden. When Ehrenfest arrived to Leiden in October 1912, he had been struck by the absence of a colloquium. There was no regular meeting that brought together students, professors, and research workers in the university laboratories to hear lectures reporting on new research and, especially, to discuss these reports. Ehrenfest felt this absence keenly. Leiden needed such a physics discussion group, and he immediately set about creating one.
In the twenties Ehrenfest started to ask the most important speakers at the colloquium to put their signature on the wall of the old Kamerlingh Laboratory in the inner city of Leiden. When the department moved to its current location in the late 1990s, the wall was moved along and the tradition continues until today. Have a glance at the wall with signatures of so many notable speakers.
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