RICHARDS (Richards), Theodore W.( The American chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1914)
Comments for RICHARDS (Richards), Theodore W.
Biography RICHARDS (Richards), Theodore W.
January 31, 1868, Mr.. April 2, 1928
The American chemist Theodore William Richards was born in Germantown (Pennsylvania), a Quaker family. He was the fourth of six children in the family of a successful artist and marine painter William Torsti Richards and poetess Anna (Metlak) Richards. Mother R., dissatisfied with the quality of public education, worked with his son at home. Richards spent summer months at his home in Newport, in Rhode Island, where their neighbor was a chemistry professor at Harvard University, Joshua Parsons Cooke, Jr.. Cook awakened in the boy interested in science, showing him in a telescope the planet Saturn.
By doing just a second course of Haverford College at the age of 14 years, P. superior to other students in the knowledge of chemistry and astronomy. In 1885, Mr.. he is better than all of the class graduated from college and received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. After moving the same fall to Harvard to study with Cook, he is in 1886. brilliantly graduated from Harvard University at the rate of chemistry. As a graduate student Cook R. began studying the connection between the atomic masses. Atomic mass - is the relative mass of atoms of this element. Despite the fact that by this time were determined atomic weights of several elements, the reliability of the results remains questionable.
Under the leadership of the Cook P. focus on defining the atomic masses of oxygen and hydrogen. He used the original method, by burning a certain amount of hydrogen with copper oxide, so that was defined by a certain amount of water. His results (weight ratio of hydrogen to oxygen as the weight of 1: 15,96), contrary to prevalent opinion then, that the atomic weight of any element must be integer multiples of the atomic mass of hydrogen R. also clarified the atomic weight of copper, corrected it the earlier the number of 63,31 to 63.54.
Once in 1888. R. was awarded a Harvard University Ph.D., he received a scholarship Parker, which allowed him to continue his education in Germany, in Gц╤ttingen, Munich and Dresden University of. The following year, after returning to Harvard, P. was appointed professor of quantitative analysis. In 1891, Mr.. He became a curator, and in 1894 assistant professor at Harvard University. A year later, after the death of Cook, P. was sent for training for a year abroad, where he worked with Wilhelm Ostwald at Leipzig and Walther Nernst at the University of Gц╤ttingen. In 1901, Mr.. He left the post of Head of Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Gottingen and became a full professor at Harvard University. From 1903 to 1911. R. headed the Department of Chemistry there, and since 1912. until his death served as a professor of chemistry.
In 1905, Mr.. scientist concluded that the adopted values of many atomic masses are wrong, and set out to fix them. To improve the accuracy of measurement, . he invented several new instruments, . including equipment, . prevents contamination of test samples with moisture from the atmosphere, . calorimeter, . had not been exposed to small temperature fluctuations, . caused by the substance under study, . turbidimeter and a device, . allows visually determine the concentration or size of particles in solution.,
. During the next decade, P
. determined the atomic weights of more than thirty elements, twenty-one of which he found himself. This work, in addition to its practical importance, was a fundamental contribution to chemical theory. Confirming, for example, that the cobalt atomic weight greater than that of nickel, despite the fact that he is the periodic table before, P. showed that, contrary to conventional theory is not atomic masses are the basis of chemical order. Perhaps his most significant achievement in determining the atomic mass is the proof of them in 1914. that lead in radioactive minerals is obviously lower atomic weight than the 'normal' lead. This was one of the earliest evidence of the existence of isotopes - atoms of the same element with different atomic weights.
In 1914, Mr.. R. was the main candidate for the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. However, with the beginning of the First World War, the definition of the winners has been postponed until next year P. was awarded the title 'for the accurate determination of atomic weights of a large number of chemical elements'. The scientist was unable to come himself to get award. Speaking at a ceremony in Stockholm, H.G. Sederbaum on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted that 'in almost every treatise P. describes the methods and operations that are markedly more perfect than those that applied in practice to him '. R. gave a Nobel lecture in Stockholm in 1919. In the study of atomic masses, he said, 'I was particularly inspired by the philosophical passion for knowledge of the fundamental nature of matter and its relationship with energy. Later, I became more and more clearly aware that a better understanding of the 'behavior' of matter should give mankind a great power over life's circumstances'.
Besides working on the definition of atomic mass, R. dealt with problems of equilibrium, electrochemistry and chemical thermodynamics. Studying the thermodynamics of elements at low temperatures allowed him in 1902. make observations, which anticipated the third law of thermodynamics, open three years later Nernst. Of special interest for P. atomic volumes. According to the recommendation in 1907. theory of 'Compact' atoms, the atomic volume depends on the chemical state. Continuing research, R. analyzed the deviations in the atomic volume, observed in many elements.
In 1896, Mr.. R. married Miriam Stuart Thayer, the daughter of a professor of theology at Harvard University. They had a daughter and two sons. AR, which the writer and historian of science, Benjamin Harrow describes as a man "of average height ... glasses, with piercing eyes and cordial manners', to devote his spare time he loved literature, music and art. His amazing dedication to research and teaching activities have helped to make Harvard University a leading center for training specialists with higher chemical education. R. continued his teaching work almost until the last days of his life. He died in 1928. Cambridge (Mass.).
In addition to the Nobel Prize, P. was awarded the Davy Medal of the Royal Society of London (1910), . Willard Gibbs Medal of the American Chemical Society (1912), . Franklinovskogo Medal of the Franklin Institute (1916) and the Lavoisier Medal of the French Chemical Society (1922) and was awarded honorary degrees from 13 universities in Europe and the U.S.,
. He was president of the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of many scientific societies.