Onsager (Onsager), Lars( Norwegian-American chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1968)
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Biography Onsager (Onsager), Lars
November 27, 1903, Mr.. - October 5, 1976
Norwegian-American chemist Lars Onsager was born in Oslo, the son of Erling Onsager, a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Norway, and Ingrid (Kirkebi) Onsager. Visiting a school in Oslo, he studied literature, Norwegian sagas, philosophy and art. In 1925, Mr.. He got a degree in chemical engineering at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim.
About. particularly interested in chemistry and physics of electrolytes - compounds that in solution dissociate into charged particles (ions), conducting an electric current. The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Peter Debye and his assistant Eric Hц?ckel developed a general theory to describe the thermodynamic behavior of solutions of strong electrolytes. Working independently of them in Norway, The. checked their calculations and in 1925. Debye presented their arguments. Job On. produced the Debye so impressed that he was the following year took him to his laboratory as an assistant.
In 1928, Mr.. O. was appointed professor of chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (Maryland). Teaching freshmen, he found that not in a position to give lectures at the elementary level, which is suitable for them, and soon was dismissed. Then O. offered the post of curator and researcher at Brown University in Providence (Rhode Island), where he also lectured on statistical mechanics. (This course of his students jokingly called 'the first Norwegian complicated'.)
Three Laws of classical thermodynamics describe the relationship between the properties of systems in equilibrium. They said nothing about time or reaction rates. According to the first law of thermodynamics (law of conservation of energy applied to the thermodynamic processes), the energy of one type can be converted into energy of another kind, but may not appear or disappear. The second law of thermodynamics determines whether this or that chemical reactions occur spontaneously, and sets the entropy (a measure of disorder) of. Third law of thermodynamics describes the calculation of equilibrium constants.
Working at Brown University, O. created a theory to describe the irreversible reactions that occur under non-equilibrium processes. For example, when a cold lump of sugar dissolves in hot tea, heat moves from hot to cold body and at the same time, the sugar molecules dissolved in the liquid. With the help of statistical mechanics, based on the laws of motion, D. showed how to simultaneously occurring reactions affect each other in relationships, currently known as the Onsager reciprocity relationship. He also proved that the relations of reciprocity is a mathematical equivalent of a more general principle of least dissipation, which asserts that the rate of increase of entropy in irreversible processes involving minimal. Its theoretical description of irreversible processes, published in 1931, was not at that time taken seriously. Moreover, when O. presented this work at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim as a doctoral dissertation, it was declared inadmissible. Since the Second World War, the ratio of equation (now called the fourth law of thermodynamics) began to receive recognition for that value, what they were for physics, chemistry, biology and technology.
. When the head of the department of chemistry at Brown University suggested that OA, in addition to theoretical analysis, to do experimental work, On
. agreed to try to separate isotopes of thermal diffusion (isotopes of the same element have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons). The only required for this apparatus was a platinum tube with three compartments. However, the economic difficulties caused by the Great Depression, led to that position, which had been held on. at Brown University in 1933. been eliminated, and this experiment was carried out only 10 years later, scientists working on the Manhattan Project.
After the elimination of the post which he occupied, on. did work on the Department of Chemistry, Yale University, where he was engaged in research on the scholarship and Sterling Gibbs, which is available to those who defended his doctoral dissertation. Shortly after his arrival on. Administration found that he had no degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Department of Chemistry suggested that Yale University has awarded about. this degree, provided that he would present some recent publication of his doctoral dissertation in place. However, the scientist has written a new article, which stated the mathematical basis for their studies of weak electrolytes. Department of Chemical and physical faculties have stated that they are competent enough to assess these points, and handed them over to the Department of Mathematics. In 1935. O. was awarded a doctoral degree in chemistry, a year earlier, he was appointed assistant professor.
In 1936, Mr.. scholar published a long article about the behavior of polar liquids (molecules - such as a molecule of water and many acids - which are electrically asymmetrical) in the applied electric field. This work is important for the interpretation of electric dipoles of amino acids and proteins in solution, contained a correction to yet another theory developed by Debye, which he accepted until many years later.
Since O. to 1945. was not a U.S. citizen, he did not participate in work related to projects of military departments, which involves most of the scientists during the Second World War. Instead, he spent all the war years, analyzing one of the problems of physics, which is almost universally regarded as an insoluble. This was the problem of possible explanations using statistical mechanics of phase transitions of matter. For example, many substances, such as ferromagnetic materials, exhibit spontaneous ordering, when they are cooled. In other words, at high temperatures they are not magnetized, and when cooled to a certain critical temperature becomes magnetized. Swedish physicist Gustaf Ising proposed a simple two-dimensional model of a ferromagnetic material - a square lattice of atoms, oriented either up or down. The total energy of the system is the sum of all neighboring or antiparallel parachastits. As the lattice temperature is approaching the critical point, the area increases the effective interaction between atoms and each atom affects all the other atoms in the system. Applying their knowledge of little-known areas of mathematics, including algebra of quaternions and spinors and the theory of elliptic functions, O. proved that the heat of the transition point increases to infinity. This conclusion was everywhere recognized as one of the most important contributions to theoretical physics, made over the last decade.
About. continued to make a significant contribution to the development of the theory of phase transitions for many years. He also worked on problems of turbulence, quantum effects in superfluid helium, the electric and magnetic behavior of metals in strong magnetic fields, the behavior of liquid crystals and the properties of the virus suspensions in water. The findings O., inspired scientists to conduct two international conferences - 'Thermodynamics of irreversible processes and statistical mechanics of phase transitions', which was held in 1962. Brown University, and 'phenomena in the vicinity of the critical point', which was held in Washington in 1965
In 1968. O. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 'for his discovery of the reciprocity relations in irreversible processes, his name, which are crucial for the thermodynamics of irreversible processes. 'You've made contributions to physics and chemistry can be regarded as the cornerstone for the development of science - said Stig Class in his opening speech on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. - Your opening of relations of reciprocity holds a special place. It represents a major step towards the development of science in the XX century '.
From 1945 to 1972. O. was a professor of theoretical chemistry at Yale University, and when he retired, he was elected Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables (Fla.), where he worked at the Center for theoretical research and neyronauchnyh programs.
. In 1933
. O. married Margaret Arledter. In the couple had three sons and a daughter. At his farm in New Hampshire on. liked to work in the garden, swimming, carpentry. He read a lot and translated several ancient Scandinavian sagas into English. O. suffered from thrombophlebitis. Died scientist in Coral Gables in the age of 72.
Despite the fact that the recognition of his contribution to science came later, on. has been awarded many prizes. In addition to the Nobel Prize, . He received the Rumford Gold Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1953), . Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (1958), . Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society (1965), . Belfer Award in the field of pure science, Yeshiva University (1966) and the National Medal 'For his scientific achievements' of the National Science Foundation (1968),
. He was the holder of honorary degrees from Harvard, Brown, Cambridge University, Ohio State University, and the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim and the University of Chicago. He was a member of the American Physical Society, . U.S. National Academy of Sciences, . American Academy of Arts and Sciences, . American Philosophical Society, . American Chemical Society, . Norwegian and Swedish Academy of Sciences, . as well as the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.,