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Debye, Peter

( Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1936.)

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Biography Debye, Peter
Debye, Peter (Petrus) JOSEPH WILLIAM (Debye, Petrus (Peter) Josephus Wilhelmus) (1884-1966) (Netherlands). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1936.

Born March 24, 1884 in Maastricht in the Netherlands in the family Wilhelmus Debo, controller of the company for the production of wire, and Mary Remkens. After leaving school in 1901 he joined the Technical University of Aachen in Germany on Electrical Engineer.

In Aachen Debye (so he began to write his name) expressed interest in chemistry and physics. One of his teachers gave him permission to conduct experiments in the institute's physics laboratory, where she was free. As a student last year, he became assistant to Arnold Sommerfeld, professor of technical mechanics of the future.

In 1906, after obtaining a diploma in electrical engineering, Debye followed Sommerfeld moved to the University of Munich, where for five years worked as his assistant. In 1908 Debye completed a dissertation on light pressure on the balls having electrical properties, and received a doctorate in physics.

Two years later began working as a lecturer, University of Munich, but left in 1911, went to the University of Zurich in Switzerland to A. Einstein, where he became professor of theoretical physics. Zurich Debye began his classical structural studies.

In 1912 Debye moved to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and two years later was a professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Gottingen, where he remained six years.

In 1920 he returned to Switzerland, where he became director of the Physics Institute at the Federal Institute of Technology, is both a professor at the University of Zurich

. In 1927-1934-x Debye at Leipzig University studied the diffraction of X-ray radiation in gases and continued to study the theory of dipole molecules and electrolytes, . then moved to Berlin University, . where, under his control created Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics (now the Max Planck Institute),
. Here he continued to work with the diffraction in gases.

In 1936, Debye was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for his contribution to knowledge about the structure of molecules for his research of the dipole moments and diffraction of X-rays and electrons in gases'

. Debye developed the idea of the structure of condensed matter: A model of solid, . according to which its internal energy is not determined by fluctuations of individual atoms, . and standing waves (phonons), . which have a finite range of frequencies, . corresponding number of degrees of freedom; revised the quantum Einstein's theory of specific heat capacity and derived a formula for calculating the associated temperature, . which is called the Debye temperature, . and showed, . that at low temperatures the lattice heat capacity is proportional to the cube of absolute temperature, developed the theory of thermal conductivity of crystalline insulators, . as well as the dipole theory of dielectrics, . based on representations of molecules as rigid dipoles, based on the opening of the Max von Laue (Nobel Prize winner in physics, . 1914), . that X-rays, . passing through the crystals, . diffracted or rejected depending on the nature of the sample, . demonstrated the relationship between the diffracted beams and the thermal motion of atoms in crystals; proposed (1916), together with Paul Scherrer (Paul Scherrer, . 1890-1969) method of observing X-ray diffraction in the crystalline powder (and liquid), . has found application in the study of molecular structure, in 1923 created the theory of Compton effect, . (named in honor of Nobel laureate in physics (1927) Arthur Compton Xolli), . gave additional confirmation of wave-particle nature of light,

. Debye set up the structure of substances in solution: studied (since 1912) the dipole moments of molecules in solutions of polar and nonpolar solvents and created the theory of dipole moments, together with Erich Armand Arthur Joseph Hц+ckel (Erich Armand Arthur Joseph Hц+ckel, . 1896-1980) developed (1923) theory of strong electrolytes (the theory of Debye - Huckel),

Debye introduced new ideas about the structure of matter in the gas phase, by measuring the distances between atoms using X-ray diffraction, using electrolytes.

The theoretical significance of his discoveries were added later work, which has been improved methods of production of explosives, drugs, dyes, etc..

In 1939, Debye was dismissed from the laboratory because of the lack of German citizenship. He went to read Beykerovskie lecture at Cornell University in Ithaca (New York), which finally ended his wanderings. He remained there, becoming dean of the chemistry department, and in 1946 became an American citizen. In 1952 he resigned from Cornell University, where he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor.

As a result of his work at Cornell University and the laboratories of the company 'Bell' have developed new ways of calculating the size of the molecules of complex polymers. In addition to lectures (a Debye was an excellent lecturer), he devoted much time organizing the Scientific and Technological Institute of the University of Michigan (1960).

Died Nov. 2, 1966 in Ithaca (New York) of a heart attack.

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