Philips Natuurkundig Laboratory

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The Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (NatLab) is Philips' research laboratory in Eindhoven . The laboratory is only one of Philips' worldwide research laboratories (the research laboratory in Aachen has since been closed). The NatLab was founded in 1914. In 1963 they moved to a new building in Waalre, which is now also incorporated into Eindhoven. For a time (1975) 2000 employees worked there, 600 of them scientists. Over time, however, research was outsourced to Philips worldwide and in 2006 around 600 people were still working there. In the meantime, the High Tech Campus Eindhoven with around 8,000 employees is on the site, where Philips and other laboratories and companies conduct research. It was sold by Philips to a group of investors in 2012.

High Tech Campus 2008

The first director of the NatLab was Gilles Holst . Similar to Bell Labs in the USA, basic research was also carried out there, according to Balthasar van der Pol . His colleague Bernard Tellegen invented the pentode tube for radios there in 1926 . In 1923 Albert Einstein visited the laboratory. Holst's successor in 1946 was a group of three directors: the physicist Hendrik Casimir (until 1972 head of the laboratory), the chemist Evert Verwey and the engineer Herre Rinia . 1958 succeeded in the laboratory, the experimental confirmation of Casimir effect by Marcus Sparnaay . Further highlights were the development of the audio cassette (1963), television recording tubes ( Plumbicon , EF de Haan ), the compact disc (developed by Piet Kramer , at the same time with Sony) in the late 1970s, with the first production at Philips in 1982. In In the 1980s, Philips went into decline, which was also the case for the research department and led to a fundamental reorganization under Kees Bulthuis in the late 1980s with savings and a focus on product innovation. In 2000, the Philips High Tech Campus was built on the NatLab site, which, in addition to around 800 NatLab employees, also provided space for other Philips corporate parts and laboratories. Eventually the name was changed to High Tech Campus Eindhoven, to which other companies should also have access.


  • Marc J. De Vries, F. Kees Boersman: 80 Years of Research at the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (1914-1994): The Role of the Nat.Lab. at Philips. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2005.

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Coordinates: 51 ° 24 ′ 38 "  N , 5 ° 27 ′ 25"  E