Vries, Gustav de

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Vries, Gustav de Gender: M
born on 22 January 1866 at 14:30 (= 2:30 PM )
Place Amsterdam, Netherlands, 52n22, 4e54
Timezone LMT m4e54 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Astrodienst
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 02°24' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 15°42 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 11°31'

Portrait of Gustav de Vries 
(click to view image source)
Gustav de Vries
(to view image author and license, click here)


Dutch mathematician and physicist

He was the son of Rubertus Jan de Vries (26 August 1821, Amsterdam - 21 September 1909, Groningen) and Henriette Auguste Frantzen (10 May 1826, Kirschseiffen - 14 February 1886, Kampen), who married 15 May 1857 in Kirschseiffen, Germany.

De Vries is best known for Korteweg-De Vries equation, describing the erratic behaviour of long waves in undeep water. This equation became the source of important breakthroughs in mechanics and nonlinear analysis and of many developments in algebra, geometry and physics.

In 1907, the mathematics teacher published a Concise textbook on arithmetic and algebra. In early 1908 de Vries submitted a manuscript to Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde and, in April of that year, the editor of the journal, Jan Cornelis Kluyver (1860-1932), who replied to Korteweg: "I have perused the strange piece by Mister De Vries. It gives me the impression that the author has accidentally noticed a quite natural and unexceptional phenomenon, of whose true nature he makes no correct representation, and now more or less raises the status of what actually amounts to a commonplace thing to a miracle. ..."

Gustav de Vries studied in Amsterdam under Van der Waals, Julius, Pesch and Korteweg. The latter also became his thesis advisor. He worked on his thesis while being employed as a teacher at the KMA (Royal Military Academy) in Breda (1892-1893) and at the "cadettenschool" te Alkmaar, (1893-1894).

He served as a high school teacher at the HBS en Handelsschool of Haarlem from 1894 to 1931.


On 9 April 1896 he married Johanna Henriëtta Jacoba Boelen (27 Juni 1867, Monnickendam - 5 January 1923, Den Haag), a teacher of French language and literature. They had five children.

On 13 December 1934 he attended a séance in Haarlem-Noord. On his way home he was hit by a car. He was taken to hospital, where he died three days later.

Link to Wikipedia


  • (has as) teacher relationship with Korteweg, Diederik (born 31 March 1848). Notes: See sources


  • Death of Significant person 14 June 1871 in Amsterdam (Grandmother Atje Trijntje Petronella Meyjes, born 10 dec 1797, Amsterdam)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mother 14 February 1886 in Kampen (Henriette Auguste Frantzen, born 10 May 1826, Kirschseiffen, Ger)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Lose social status October 1893 in Amsterdam (Korteweg rejected his thesis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 1 December 1894 in Amsterdam (oral examination on his thesis "Bijdrage tot de kennis der lange golven" which contained the famous Korteweg-de Vries equation.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 4 September 1904 in Haarlem (Gustave Adolf Emile de Vries 1904-1993)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 21 September 1909 in Groningen (Rubertus Jan de Vries, born 26 August 1821, Amsterdam)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 13 December 1934 in Haarlem (not yet fatal)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Accident 16 December 1934 in Haarlem (after three days)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Svi retrieved BC from Amsterdam municipal archive.

De Vries biography by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

Bastiaan Willink, Geschiedenis: De samenwerking tussen Korteweg en de Vries — Een speurtocht naar persoonlijkheden, pp. 179-185 (Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde 6/7 nr. 1 March 2007)


  • Personal : Death : Accidental
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Mathematics)
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (mathematics of nonlinear systems: a nonlinear system is a system in which the change of the output is not proportional to the change of the input.)