Irving Langmuir( The American chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1932)
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Biography Irving Langmuir
January 31, 1881, Mr.. - August 16, 1957 g.Amerikansky chemist Irving Langmuir was born in New York, Brooklyn. He was the third child of Charles and Sadie (Cuming) Langmuir. His father, a Scot by descent, worked as an insurance agent, and the kind his mother went back to the first English settlers, the Puritans, who landed from the ship 'Mayflower' (on the ground in North America in 1620. - Ed.). L. attended school in Paris, New York and Philadelphia, and then enrolled at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, graduating in 1899
Being a student at Columbia University, L. enrolled in the Mountain Institute, because, as he explained later, 'it gave a strong background in chemistry'. 'Knowledge of physics there gave more than the chemical department, in mathematics - more than the physical, but I wanted to explore all three of these disciplines'. In 1903, Mr.. He graduated metallurgical engineer and went to Germany, where he continued his studies at the University of Gц╤ttingen under the direction of physical chemist Walther Nernst. Doing research work in Gottingen, L. focused on the dissociation of various gases in contact with the hot platinum wire - a topic closely related to its future industrial research electric lighting. In 1906, Mr.. University of Gц╤ttingen, he was awarded a doctoral degree.
Having two entities - chemical and mathematical physics - L. got a choice: whether to start a career in high-paying field of industrial chemistry, . as did his older brother Arthur, , . He returned to America and for three years worked as a teacher of chemistry in Stivensonovskom Institute of Technology in Hoboken (New Jersey).,
. Since L
. discovered that he had left too little time to conduct their own research, it is the summer of 1909, Mr.. resigned from the Institute of Technology in the research laboratory of the company 'General Electric' in Shenektade (New York). Laboratory 'General Electric', which then led Willis P. Whitney has developed a new concept of industrial research. The fact is that, initially, the industrial use of electricity generated revenues through the knowledge that has been collected by academic scientists in the XIX century. Then, in the first decade of XX century., Executives 'General Electric' decided that the company must contribute to the development of scientific knowledge. Whitney, who once came here after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, encouraged the desire L. develop its own program of research. 'When I came to this lab, - later told LA - I found that there were more academic freedom than I have ever seen in any of the universities'. This freedom and the wonderful opportunities that are available in the laboratory for research, opened in front of L. whole range of those controversial and important issues, which he implemented during his career.
The basis of his first major contribution to science based on studies conducted by them during the preparation of doctoral dissertation. They were related to characteristics of the fibers on their ability to burn in various gases. Three years after the L. began working in the company 'General Electric', he challenged the generally accepted among electrical engineers an idea of what the lamp is due to the impeccable flawless vacuum. Instead, he proved that if the bulb is filled with nitrogen, the lamp shines stronger and brighter than any other. The simplicity and efficiency of the new bulb saves a huge amount of energy (which in turn allows consumers to save approximately one million dollars per day for electricity bills) and bring more profit company, General Electric '.,
. Interest A
. the phenomena associated with the vacuum, led him to the invention in 1916. mercury high-vacuum pump. This pump was 100 times more powerful than any of the previously existing, and with the help of L. managed to create a low pressure required for the manufacture of vacuum tubes, which are used in radio. Around the same time, L. to analyze a narrow plate of tungsten covered with thorium oxide, to determine its ability to emit electrons. He found that the tungsten filament 'behave better', if it is covered with a layer of thorium oxide thickness of only one molecule. This discovery led L. turn to the study of surface phenomena - molecular activity that occurs in the thin coatings or on surfaces. This is actually a two-dimensional world, he studied the adsorption and surface tension, as well as the behavior of thin coatings of liquid and solid. Adsorption - the ability of certain substances to keep on their surface molecules of other substances - examined in the XIX century. Scottish chemist James Dewar and the American physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs. However, generalized, based on the results of experiments, the concept has not yet been worked out. Based on achievements in the theory of atomic structure, L. described the chemical behavior of surfaces as the behavior of individual atoms and molecules, which occupy certain places, like pieces on a chessboard. He also established, . that the adsorption phenomena involved 6 of forces: the Coulomb force, . dipole intermolecular forces, . Bond strength, . force of attraction Vander Waals (named after Jan Diederik van der Waals), . repulsive, . caused by the impermeability of the filled electron shells, . and electron pressure, . that balances the forces of the Coulomb interaction,
. During the First World War L. had to interrupt the study of surface chemistry, as he developed the mechanism of detection of submarines for the Navy United States.
After the war, L. interest in atomic structure, in particular the issues that lie at the interface of chemistry and physics. Based on the model of the atom proposed by Niels Bohr, and the chemical theory of Gilbert H. Lewis L. contributed to the development of the theory of the atom, describing the chemical valence (the ability of atoms to form chemical bonds) as dependent on the filling of electrons e 'shell', or orbital, which surrounds the nucleus.
In 1923, Mr.. L. begun lasted for nine years studying the properties of electrical discharges in gases. The scientist coined the term 'plasma' to the ionized gas, which was formed when in the course of experiments used an extremely powerful alternating currents. He also developed the theory of electron temperature and method of measuring both the electron temperature and ion density using a special electrode, now known as the Langmuir probe. Controlled thermonuclear fusion is based on the theories of plasma, which were first proposed by L.
In 1932, Mr.. L. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his discoveries and research in the chemistry of surface phenomena '. His contribution to the chemistry of surface processes was very important to many engineering fields: biology - for the study of complex viruses, chemistry - for the study of giant molecules in optics - to study the transmission of light. In the year of receipt of the Nobel Prize L. was appointed director of the laboratory of the company 'General Electric'.
Since 1938. before retirement A. devoted himself to studying the natural world, especially the atmosphere. He studied the form of the series formed by mown grass, which represent a typical pattern of marine algae in the open sea surface winds, as well as the formation of clouds of airborne liquid particles of various sizes. During the Second World War L. participated in the creation of equipment, providing a smokescreen to hide troops and ships from enemy observation. The scientist has also worked on the creation of methods to prevent icing of aircraft. After the war, L. returned to the mutual interest of his studies meteorology and advocated the establishment of control over the weather, carried out by spraying the clouds with dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) and silver iodide.
In 1912, Mr.. L. married Marion Mercero. Couple was united hobbies such as hiking, sea travel, aviation, love for classical music. Langmuir educate adoptive son and daughter. L., which is constantly invited to act as a lecturer and popularizer of scientific knowledge, gladly shared his views on the philosophy of science and the relationship of science and society. One of his favorite topics was: 'Freedom, which is characteristic of democracy and the need for scientific discovery'. The scientist died on Aug. 16, 1957, Mr.. Woods Hole (Mass.).
In addition to the Nobel Prize, A. received many other awards, in t. h. Hughes Medal of the Royal Society of London (1918), . Rumford Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1920), . medal Nichols (1920) and Willard Gibbs (1930) American Chemical Society, . Franklinovskogo Medal of the Franklin Institute (1934) and the Faraday Medal of the London Institute of Electrical Engineers (1944),
. He was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London, president of the American Chemical Society (1929) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1941). L. were awarded 15 honorary degrees. Its named after a mountain in Alaska, as well as one of the colleges of New York State University at Stony Brook.