Commissioned by the University of Leiden



The Kamerlingh Onnes Building at the Faculty of Law When developing this monument I consciously opted for the form of refrigeration that was invented by Kamerlingh Onnes; this consists of pressurised liquid gas vapours.
The sculpture consists of a circular, stainless steel form that has a diameter of two metres. It contains a smaller tube, which is filled with cold glycol. This ice circle is illuminated by blue LED lighting, which creates a large, round ‘O’ that refers not only to absolute zero but also to Onnes’ name.
A memorial plaque has been placed beneath the circle.

Further information:
The vapour from the air condenses on the refrigerated copper circle and will, depending on the environment’s temperature, increase to a maximum of 0,5 centimetres.
The refrigeration system is designed in such a way that the ice ring will regularly thaw and refreeze. This will rectify any irregularities in the build-up of ice.
This particular site was selected for the artwork because it used to be the location of Kamerlingh Onnes’ laboratory.

Kamerlingh Onnes’ biography

Paul Dekker (Frost klimaattechniek.) en Jaap Hoogerdijk installing the work.

artist impression

Installing equippement by Frost klimaattechniek.

The cryogenic temperature range has been defined as from -150 celcius (-238 fahrenheit) to absolute zero (-273 celcius or -460 fahrenheit), the temperature at which molecular motion comes as close as theoretically possible to ceasing completely. Cryogenic temperatures are usually described in the absolute or Kelvin scale in which absolute zero is written.

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details build-up of ice, and lighting.

detail thaw

artist impression