Wilhelm Ostwald( German chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1909)
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Biography Wilhelm Ostwald
September 2, 1853, Mr.. - April 4, 1932
German chemist Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald was born in Riga (Latvia). He was the second son of Gottfried Ostwald, a skilled cooper, and Elizabeth (Loykel) Ostwald. Being engaged in Riga Realschule, O. proved himself a good student with an unusually wide range of interests. He was fascinated by physics, chemistry, literature and painting, as well as playing viola and piano. Despite the fact that his father advised him to study engineering, The. chemistry and carried away in 1872, Mr.. became a student of chemistry department of Dorpat (now Tartu) University. Four years later, he received a bachelor's degree and remained in Dorpat in graduate school, occupying the position of both private-docent (visiting professor).
In the 70-ies. XIX century. German chemists have been actively conducted research structures, properties and synthesis of molecules of organic substances. About Interests. lay in a forgotten time Physical Chemistry. In this area, reactivity is analyzed by determining changes in the physical properties of the reactants, as volume, refractive index, viscosity, color and electrical conductivity. The provisions of master's thesis on. University of Dorpat related volume changes that occur during the neutralization of acids, bases in dilute solutions.
In 1878, Mr.. he was awarded doctorate for a thesis on the optical refractive index of the acid-base reactions. While working as an assistant physicist at Arthur von Ettingen and leading the teaching of physics and chemistry at a local school, On. continued to study the physical characteristics of the application to the analysis of chemical reactions. In 1881, Mr.. He was elected professor of chemistry at Riga Polytechnic Institute. In subsequent years, has written several textbooks, which have played an important role in the adoption of physical chemistry as an independent discipline.
In 1884, Mr.. O. received the text that caused heated debate doctoral dissertation Svante Arrhenius, who was brought to the protection of Uppsala University. In his dissertation Arrhenius proposed the theory explaining the dissociation of acids and bases in aqueous solutions of electrically charged ions. Since at that time dominated by the conviction that the solution can not coexist oppositely charged particles, the work of Arrhenius received a low rating in the Uppsala University. OA, however, found his ideas worthy of attention, and immediately applied them to verify the results of its own research affinity acids. 'Taking advantage of the resistance box, taken a few days at the Telegraph (longer there without it could not do) ... I soon had experience with all the available hand acids, which have given me other investigators - later recalled about. - With growing excitement I found that the results one after another to confirm the predictions and expectations'.
About. not only supported the idea of Arrhenius, but also contributed to their spread among chemists. Moreover, he has to Arrhenius received post-doctoral fellowship (it can get during the year post-doctoral. - Ed.) And, thus, was able to continue their studies. However, the idea that the molecules dissociate into stable, electrically charged particles when dissolved in polar solvents such as water, in the opinion of many chemists, was too complicated. They rejected the view that the solutions contain ions, assuming that the ions with opposite charges must necessarily be re-assembled in a molecule. Their doubts intensified after the fiasco attempt to accurately predict the 'conduct' a very strong acids and bases. At the beginning of XX century. Peter Debye and Lars Onsager developed the theory of dissociation based on the concept of electronic explanation of atomic structure. Much later demonstration by X-ray analysis of the fact that the crystals are strong electrolytes are ionic lattice and fully ionize at any concentration, persuaded the community of chemists in the correctness of the theory of ionization.
. In 1887, Mr.
. O. was appointed the first professor of physical chemistry at Leipzig University, where among his assistants and colleagues worked Jacob van't Hoff. Arrhenius and Walther Nernst. In the same year on. founded the 'Journal of Physical Chemistry' ( "Zeitschrift fur physikalische Chemie"), the editor of which he remained for many years. He also created Germanskoe electrochemical society, which soon was transformed into Germanskoe physico-chemical Society Bunsen.
Interest in the theory of ionic dissociation allowed on. see in it an excellent explanation of many chemical reactions in which catalysts are weak acids and bases. (As in the case of dissociation of strong electrolytes, . catalytic activity of strong acids and bases were not sufficiently predicted by this theory.) When there is chemical equilibrium, . rate of occurrence of direct and reverse reactions identical,
. O. demonstrated that the presence of a catalyst accelerates the reaction in both directions equally. He also demonstrated that the system passes from a less stable state to a more sustainable gradually and not always reaches its most stable state. This dependence is called Ostwald dilution law. Applying their knowledge of catalytic processes for the development of industry, scientists have studied the possibility of synthesis of ammonia from hydrogen, using as a catalyst of iron wire.
In 1890, Mr.. O. interest in view of energy as a fundamental principle of the physical world. Skeptical about all the materialistic concepts, and especially the atomic-molecular theory, O. believed that natural phenomena can be explained by the transformation of energy. In accordance with this approach, he derived the laws of thermodynamics at the level of philosophical generalizations.
After the first time in the exchange of researchers on. a year lecturing at Harvard University (during which time he learned Esperanto, and has developed its own artificial language), . he, . Upon his retirement in 1906, . devoted himself to the study of energy color, . as well as organizational and writing activities,
. O. established a quantitative theory of color with the scale of the order determining the color, which is contained in the Atlas colors, and developed a system of color harmony.
In 1909, Mr.. Oh, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "in recognition of his work on catalysis, as well as for research into the basic principles of management of chemical equilibrium and rates of reaction '. Presenting it on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Hans Hildebrand pointed to the value of discoveries about. not only for the development of the theory, but also for their practical application, such as sulfuric acid and the synthesis of dyes on the basis of indigo. Hildebrand also predicted that the chemistry of catalysis greatly helps to understand the function of the enzyme.
In the last years of life on. involved in various educational, cultural and reformist movement, t. h. internationalist, pacifist, and the movement for the conservation of natural resources. He actively participated in numerous international scientific societies, including the International Commission on Atomic Weights and the International Association of Chemical Societies. O. deal with the public education and training of scientists.
In 1880, Mr.. O. married Nellie von Reyer, the daughter of a surgeon from Riga. They had two daughters and three sons, one of whom, Wilhelm Ostwald, Wolfgang, became an outstanding scientist in the field of colloid chemistry. O. died at age 78 at his home near Leipzig, April 4, 1932, Mr.. One of his former students, Wilder Bancroft, wrote: 'On. was a great fighter and an inspiring teacher. He had the gift to speak what you want, and as needed. When we consider the development of chemistry in general, the name on. stands in the front row. O. managed to find their place in life '.