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Condensed Matter Physics

[Photo of Johanna Levelt Sengers] 

Johanna Levelt Sengers

Additional Information

Some Important Contributions:

  • Applied the concepts of critical-point scaling to fluids. This paper pointed the way to the testing and application of the modern theory of critical phenomena in fluids, and made an important connection between experimental data and the evolving understanding of critical point properties.

" Scaling-law equation of state for gases in the critical region " M. S. Green, M. Vicentini-Missoni, and J.M.H. Levelt Sengers, Phys. Rev. Lett. 18: 1113 (1967).

  • Discovered that the critical behavior of water is in the same universality class as that of simple fluids.  Water is not a simple fluid and this result was interesting and important.

  "Thermodynamic anomalies near the  critical point of steam", J.M.H. Levelt Sengers and Sandra C. Greer, Intern. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer 15: 1865 (1972).

J. M. H. Levelt Sengers, C. M. Everhart, G. Morrison, and K. S. Pitzer, "Thermodynamic anomalies in near-critical aqueous NaCl solutions" Chem. Eng. Comm., 47: 315 (1986).

"Vapor-liquid equilibria, scaling, and crossover in aqueous solutions of sodium chloride near the critical line", A. A. Povodyrev, M. A. Anisimov, J. V. Sengers, and J. M. H. Levelt Sengers, Physica, A 244: 298 (1997).

Some Honors:

NBS Special Actor Services Award, 1968
Silver Medal Award, Department of Commerce, 1972
Edward Uhler Condon Award, NBS, 1975
Special Achievement Award, NBS, 1977
Certificate of Recognition, NBS, 1978
Gold Medal Award, Department of Commerce, 1978
Regents Professor, University of California at Los Angeles, 1982
Correspondent, Royal Netherlands Acadamy of Sciences, 1990
Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 1992
Elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 1996


1958-1959 Research Associate, University of Wisconsin, Institute of Theoretical Chemistry
1959-1963 Research Physicist, Van der Waals Laboratory, University of Amsterdam
1962-1963 Lecturer, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands1963-1995 Physicist, National Bureau of Standard
1974-1975 Research Scientist, Instituut voor Theoretische Fysica, Amsterdam
1984-1995 Senior NIST Fellow, National Bureau of Standards/National Institute of Standards and Technology
1995-      NIST Fellow Emeritus, National Institute of Standards and Technology


Candidaats, Physics and Chemistry (equivalent of B.S.),University of Amsterdam, 1950
Doctoraal, Physics (equivalent of M.S.), University of Amsterdam, 1954
Ph.D., Physics, Van der Waals Laboratory, University of Amsterdam, 1958

Sources and References consulted:

J. M. H. L. Sengers and [4AMWS]

Additional Information/Comments:

Dr. Sengers is married to Dr. Jan Vincent Sengers  with whom she  frequently publishes. They have have four children.

Dr. Sengers was born and educated in Amsterdam.  She wrote " A an immigrant to the United State I have found at the national Bureau of Standards [ now NIST ]  a work environment where I felt welcome and accepted, where even in the 1960's women scientists had successful careers, where special arrangments were made for me while I was raising my family, and where I was given all support to succeed."

  • Dr. Sengers took an interest in the practical applications of critical point properties. Below are some important publications in this area.

Thermodynamic properties of industrially important fluid

"The critical-region equation of state of ethene and the effect of small impurities", Hastings, J.R., Levelt Sengers, J.M.H. and Balfour, F.W., J. Chem. Thermophysics 12: 1009 (1980).

"The search for tricriticality in binary mixtures of near-critical propane and normal paraffins," Peters, C., van der Kooi, H., de Roo, J., de Swaan Arons, J., Gallagher, J., and Levelt Sengers, J.M.H., Fluid Phase Equilibria, No. 51, Elsevier Science  Publishers, B.V., Amsterdam (The Netherlands), pp. 339-351, (1989).
Properties of supercritical fluid mixtures

  Thermodynamics of solutions near the solvent's critical point, in "Supercritical Fluid Technology: Reviews in Modern Theory and Applications", pp. 1-56, T.J. Bruno and J.F. Ely, Editors, CRC Press, Boca Raton, (1991).

  "Critical behavior of fluids: concepts and applications," in Supercritical Fluids:  Fundamental for Application, E. Kiran and J.M.H. Levelt Sengers, Editors, NATO Advanced Studies Institute, Series E: Applied Sciences, Vol. 273, pp. 3-38, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherland (1994).

Field Editors: Joseph Rudnick/Ben Widom

Original citer's name:

F. Stahl

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latest revision {4/30/97 mjw} 3/16/01 nb