Korteweg, Diederik

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Korteweg, Diederik Gender: M
Diederik Johannes Korteweg
born on 31 March 1848 at 14:00 (= 2:00 PM )
Place Den Bosch, Netherlands, 51n42, 5e19
Timezone LMT m5e19 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Gauquelin
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 10°58' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 24°22 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 24°20'

Diederik Korteweg ((by Jan Veth))


Dutch mathematician.

He was the son of the jurist Adrianus Johannis Korteweg (1820-1888) and Cornelia Margaretha Holster (1823-1910).

He first studied at the military academy in Breda, later switched to engineering at the Polytechnic School in Delft. But as he was more theoretically, than pragmatic-technically inclined, he did not become an engineer after four years, but instead obtained MO degree to become a civil high school (HBS) mathematics teacher in Tilburg and Breda. Meanwhile, he prepared for an admission to the Dutch Universities. He wrote his major thesis "Over Voortplantings-Snelheid van Golven in elastische Buizen" (On the propagation of waves in elastic tubes) under J.D. van der Waals. On 12 July 1878 he became the first doctor of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), that existed before only as an Atheneum Illustre (since 1632).

On July 25 1878 he married Wibbina Maria barones d' Aulnis de Bourouill at Arnhem. He worked as high school teacher in mathematics at that time.

In 1881 Korteweg was appointed at the UvA as professor of mathematics, mechanics and astronomy. In his inaugural address he stressed the importance of mathematical applications in the sciences. Together with his PhD student Gustav de Vries became famous with the theory of long stationary waves and the famous Korteweg-de Vries equation. Korteweg and A.I.Moens (15 Nov 1846 – 24 June 1891) independently derived the Moens–Korteweg equation, describing the wave speed in an elastic tube like the arterial wall.

He was editor of "Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde" from 1897 till his death in 1941. Between 1911 and 1927 Korteweg edited the 'Oeuvres Complètes' of the mathematical physicist Christiaan Huygens under the auspices of the Dutch Academy of science, of which he was a member for 60 years.

He died on 10 May 1941 at age 93 in Amsterdam.

The asteroïde 9685 Korteweg and the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics were named after him.

Link to Wikipedia


  • (has as) teacher relationship with Waals, Johannes van der (born 23 November 1837). Notes: His promotor in 1878 (The 1st UvA Ph Doctorate)
  • (has as) student relationship with Brouwer, Luitzen (born 27 February 1881). Notes: promotor of `On the foundations of Mathematics'
  • (has as) student relationship with Vries, Gustav de (born 22 January 1866). Notes: See sources
  • role played of/by Huygens, Christiaan (born 14 April 1629 (greg.)). Notes: Editor of 'Oeuvres Complètes' of Christiaan Huygens


  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 12 July 1878 in Amsterdam (Dissertation: Over Voortplantings-Snelheid van Golven in elastische Buizen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 10 October 1881 in Amsterdam (Inaugural speech: De wiskunde and hulpwetenschap.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Career 15 June 1891 in Amsterdam (Professor of mathematics and physics)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job January 1894 in Amsterdam (Rector of the UvA)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 8 January 1894 in Amsterdam (Het bloeitijdperk der wiskundige wetenschappen in Nederland)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Gauquelin A Vol 2 3603 gave 31 May 1848, but the BC states 31 March 1848 14h00.

The Mathematics Genealogy Project - Diederik Korteweg

Knaw biography


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (studied life-long)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (mathematics)
  • Vocation : Science : Mathematics/ Statistics (Professor of mathematics and physics.)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor ('Oeuvres Complètes' of Christiaan Huygens, editor of mathematical magazines.)