Michel Janssen


Physics and Astronomy

130-27 John T. Tate Hall

+1 612 624 5880




History of modern physics

I am a historian of science working on the history of modern physics. I studied at the University of Amsterdam (BA/BS, Philosophy/Physics, 1982/1983; MS, Physics, 1988) and at the University of Pittsburgh (PhD, History and Philosophy of Science, 1995). I have been at the University of Minnesota since 2000. Besides the occasional freshman or honors seminar, I have been teaching two staple courses, Hsci 1815/3815, an introductory survey of modern science that meets two Liberal Education requirements (Historical Perspectives and Global Perspectives), and Hsci/Phys 4121W, a writing-intensive class on the history of 20th-century physics. 

Selected Publications

Michel Janssen and Sergio Pernice, “Sleeping Beauty on Monty Hall.” Philosophies 5 (2020): 15.

Michel Janssen, “How did Lorentz find his theorem of corresponding states?” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, forthcoming.

Michel Janssen, “The Drag coefficient from Fresnel to Laue.” Pp. 47–60 in: Ad Maas and Henriëtte Schatz, Eds., Physics as a Calling. Science for Society. Studies in Honour of A. J. Kox. Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2013.

Michel Janssen and Anne J. Kox, “Lorentz als wegbereider voor de speciale relativiteitstheorie.” Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Natuurkunde 77 (2011): 344–347.