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BERTHELOT Pierre Eugne Marseille

( French organic chemist and physical chemist, science historian, social activist)

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Biography BERTHELOT Pierre Eugne Marseille
Berthelot, Pierre Eugne Marseille (Berthelot, Pierre-Eugene-Marcellin) (1827-1907), French organic chemist and physical chemist, science historian, social activist. Born in Paris in the doctor's family on Oct. 25, 1827. He graduated from the LycLe Henri IV, then the University of Paris. In 1851 the place was an assistant professor AJ Balard at the College de France, in 1859 became Professor of Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmacy in Paris in 1865, founded and headed the department of organic chemistry at the College de France. From 1876 - Inspector of Higher Education, 1886-1887 - Minister of Education, since 1889 - the permanent secretary of the Paris Academy of Sciences. In 1895 he was Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the chemical science Berthelot became famous as one of the founders of organic synthesis. Using the original methods, the first received from the elements and simple starting materials a lot of new and already known natural compounds belonging to different classes. In 1853-1854, studying the interaction of glycerol and fatty acids (stearic, palmitic, oleic, etc.), to obtain an analogue of natural fats, thus proving the possibility of their synthesis. These works are included in all textbooks of organic and biological chemistry, as well as treatises on philosophy as an example of transformation of 'things in themselves' in 'thing for us'. Fundamental importance was the implementation of the synthesis of ethyl alcohol from ethylene and water with sulfuric acid (1854), opening the way for a new mode of production of this important compound. Previously received only ethanol fermentation of sugars.

A special place in studies Berthelot hold hydrocarbons, which are devoted half a century (with breaks) for scientists and numerous articles and a synthesis work "Hydrocarbons. Experimental studies ". 1851-1901 (Les carbures d'hydrogne, v. 1-3, 1901). Berthelot held a massive synthesis of these compounds and their derivatives from simple substances, sometimes even of the chemical elements. Thus, carbon and hydrogen in the voltaic arc, he received acetylene, and at its base - benzene, styrene, naphthalene, and complex aromatics and condensed systems. In 1867 Berthelot proposed a universal method for recovery of organic compounds with hydrogen iodide, was widely used before the opening of the catalytic hydrogenation with gaseous hydrogen.

Starting from 1865 Berthelot actively engaged in thermochemistry, held extensive calorimetric studies, which led, in particular, the invention of 'bomb calorimeter' (1881), he owned the concept of 'exothermic' and 'endothermic' reactions. Berthelot obtained extensive data on the thermal effects of the huge number of reactions on the heat of decomposition and formation of many substances. His presentation thermochemical scientist stated in two volumes "Thermochemistry" (Thermochimie, v. 1-2, 1897)

. Berthelot was also engaged in the study of chemistry and physical chemistry of explosives (studied the laws of their combustion, . determined the velocity of the blast wave, . established the manufacture of explosives for the defense of Paris during the siege of the city by the Germans in 1870),
. There are studies scholar in the field of agricultural chemistry and biochemistry. Berthelot found the role of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and other elements in plant growth and development, found that in the soil, inhabited by microorganisms, the fixation of nitrogen. These and other studies in the field of biochemistry presented to them in 4-volume work "The Herbal chemistry and agronomy" (Chimie vLgLtale et agricole, v. 1-4, 1899).

Berthelot was busy history of chemistry. In 1885 he released his book "The Origin of Alchemy" (Les origines de l'alchimie, 1885), in 1887-1893 he published a collection of Greek, Syrian and Arab alchemical manuscripts with translations and commentary. Berthelot owned book "Revolution in Chemistry. Lavoisier "(La rLvolution chimique. Lavoisier, 1890) and the works of other great scientists, chemists.

In 1889 Berthelot was elected one of the forty members of the French Academy of Literature and the Arts (TN. 'immortal'). He was a member of almost all the academies of the world, including the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

Berthelot died in Paris on 18 March 1907.


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BERTHELOT Pierre Eugne Marseille, photo, biography
BERTHELOT Pierre Eugne Marseille, photo, biography BERTHELOT Pierre Eugne Marseille  French organic chemist and physical chemist, science historian, social activist, photo, biography
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