The Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (English translation: Philips Physics Laboratory) or NatLab was the Dutch section of the Philips research department. Originally located in the Strijp district of Eindhoven, the Netherlands (left picture), the facility moved to Waalre in the early 1960s. A 1972 municipal rezoning brought the facility back into Eindhoven.
The NatLab was founded in 1914 after a direct decision of Gerard and Anton Philips. At the time Philips was branching out into different areas of electronics and they felt the need to do in-house research to support product development, as well as create a company patent portfolio and reduce the company dependence on patents held by third parties.
On October 5, 2017, the former building of Philips Research at the Kastanjelaan in Eindhoven has been declared as Historical Site by the European Physical Society (EPS). This places the building amongst about 30 of such historical sites across Europe where groundbreaking physics was conducted in the previous century. It is the 2nd industrial research lab receiving this distinction.
Gilles Holst (1886 - 1968) founding father of the NatLab, 1948 painting by Sierk Schröder, was a Dutch physicist. Holst was the first employee and director of the Philips Physics Laboratory (Nat Lab) in Eindhoven. During his academic research career, he studied the electrical resistance of metals cooled in liquid Helium (-270ºC) and thereby pioneered in the discovery of superconductivity in metals. In 1914, Gilles Holst became director of Nat Lab – and he left an indelible imprint on the culture of Philips Research. One of his talents was evaluating the maturity and market value of emerging technologies.
The Eindhoven Research Lab from the air.
Picture at the right Ine and Ronald at Sept 19 2017 to celebrate Ronald's 40 yr working jubilee at the 'NatLab', at the antennna platform of building htc37 where the first Dutch color TV broadcasting was performed.
Click the links below for more history.
General NatLab information from Wikipedia.
Book by Vries, de, M. J., & Boersma, F. K. (2005). 80 years of research at the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium (1914-1994) : the role of the Nat.Lab. at Philips. Amsterdam: Pallas Publications.
Casimir on Holst.
H.B.G. Casimir, G. Holst and his ideas on industrial research, Philips Res. Repts 24, 161-167, July 1969.
Casimir's Holst-Lezing 1981 on Holst. 'Pionier van industrieel onderzoek in Nederland (in Dutch).
Philips Research Reports (PRR) were bimonthly publications started (V.1) in 1945. The PRR (1945-1977) were continued as Philips Journal of Research V.33 (1978) which ended after more than 50 years (V.51) in 1998.
Philips Technical Review (PTR), in Dutch Philips Technisch Tijdschrift (PTT) was another Philips journal it existed from 1936-1989.
Booklet Veertig Jaren Research. On July 2 1955 the Nat. Lab celebrated the 40th birthday (in Dutch).
Booklet "Philips Research 100 years of patents and publications, Jan. 2014".
Ronald Aarts' homepage with bio and publications.