08 Oct Exploring the scientists behind the street names in Watergraafsmeer

Map of the WatergraafsmeerMap of the Watergraafsmeer

Are you at the Faculty now? Hop on your bike and follow the Kruislaan to the Watergraafsmeer, where the streets are named after scientists! In this blog: a small quest to get to know the scientists behind the first five street names.

Max Planckstraat

The first street on your right is the Max Planckstraat, named after Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck. Planck was born in the mid nineteenth century in Germany. He was a theoretical physicist, known as the originator of the quantum theory, which concerns physical phenomena at nano scale. The action at this scale is in the order of the Planck constant, named after Max Planck of course.


When cycling through the Max Planckstraat the first street on your left is the Edisonstraat, named after Thomas Alva Edison. Edison was born in the mid nineteenth century in America. In the Netherlands he is generally known for the Edison Award. The Edison Award is an award given to outstanding achievements in the music industry. Thomas Edison was an inventor and businessman who developed the phonograph, later known as the gramophone, the movie camera and the light bulb. Inventions that changed life drastically.


The next street on the left is the Mendelhof, named after Johann Mendel. Mendel was born in the early nineteenth century in the Czech Republic. He was an Augustinian friar and scientist, studying variation in plants. He introduced the terms “recessive and “dominant” describing actions of invisible factors, nowadays known as genes.

Now we arrive at the intersection of Rutherfordstraat and Archimedesplantsoen.


The Archimedesplantsoen is named after Archimedes of Syracuse. Archimedes was born in the early third century BC in Sicily. He was an Ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer, who discovered and invented a vast amount of things. For example, he proved that the area of a circle was pi multiplied by the square of the radius and he was able to estimate the value of pi between approximately 3.1429 and 3.1408.


The Rutherfordstraat is named after Ernest Rutherford. Rutherford was born in the late nineteenth century in New-Zealand. He was nuclear physicist. He became known for discovering the radioactive half-life, proving that radioactivity involved the transmutation of one chemical element to another and differentiating and naming alpha and beta radiation.

Curious for the next somewhat forty street names of the Watergraafsmeer? We will keep you posted!

WTF Emma-S

(Visited 60 time, 1 visit today)


Broadly interested, explorer of the world, the unknown. Medical Physics master student. Intrigued by the city of Amsterdam and all its residents, buildings, streets and parks.
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