chemistry

Walther Nernst and the third Law of Thermodynamics

Walther Nernst and the third Law of Thermodynamics

On June 25, 1864, German physicist Walther Hermann Nernst was born. One of the founders of modern physical chemistry he is best known for his theories behind the calculation of chemical affinity as embodied in the third law of thermodynamics, for which he won the 1920 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Nernst contributed to electrochemistry, thermodynamics and solid state physics. He is also known for developing the Nernst equation. Nernst was born in…
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Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and the Discovery of Vitamins

Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and the Discovery of Vitamins

On June 20, 1861, English biochemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born. He is best known for the discovery of essential nutrient factors, now known as vitamins, needed in animal diets to maintain health. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, in 1901. Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in 1861 in England. It is believed that in his early years, Hopkins was more interested in literature rather than science. He attended school in London and…
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Richard Smalley – the Father of Nanotechnology

Richard Smalley – the Father of Nanotechnology

On June 6, 1943, American chemist and physicist Richard Errett Smalley was born. He is sometimes also referred to as ‘Father of Nanotechnology’. Richard Smalley shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Robert Curl, Jr., and Harold W. Kroto for their joint 1985 discovery of carbon60 and the fullerenes. Richard Smalley was born in Akron, Ohio, as the youngest of 4 children of Frank Dudley Smalley, Jr, a successful publisher of…
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Wallace Hume Carothers and the Invention of Nylon

Wallace Hume Carothers and the Invention of Nylon

On April 27, 1896, American chemist and inventor Wallace Hume Carothers was born. He is credited with the invention of nylon, the first synthetic polymer fibre to be spun from a melt. Carothers produced this polyamide, by condensation of adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine working for the DuPont chemical company as head of organic chemistry research. “Living in the midst of abundance we have the greatest difficulty in seeing that the supply of…
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Joseph Black and the Discovery of Carbon Dioxide

Joseph Black and the Discovery of Carbon Dioxide

On April 16, 1742, Scottish physician and chemist Joseph Black was born. He is best known for his discoveries of latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. “As the ostensible effect of the heat … consists not in warming the surrounding bodies but in rendering the ice fluid, so, in the case of boiling, the heat absorbed does not warm surrounding bodies but converts the water into vapor. In both cases, considered…
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Jeremias Richter and the Law of Definite Proportions

Jeremias Richter and the Law of Definite Proportions

On March 10, 1762, German chemist Jeremias Benjamin Richter was born. He discovered the law of definite proportions and is best known for introducing the term stoichiometry, i.e. the calculation of relative quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions. Youth and Education Jeremias Benjamin Richter was born at Hirschberg in Silesia, today’s Jelenia Góra in Western Poland. He graduated from the Hirschberg Gymnasium, and in 1778 joined the engineering corps of…
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Joseph Priestley and the Discovery of Oxygen

Joseph Priestley and the Discovery of Oxygen

On February 6, 1804, English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and Liberal political theorist Joseph Priestley passed away. Being a rather prolific author with more than 150 works published, he is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier also have a claim to the discovery.[4,6] “It is known to all persons who are conversant in experimental…
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Maria Telkes and the Power of the Sun

Maria Telkes and the Power of the Sun

On December 12, 1900, Hungarian–American scientist and inventor Mária Telkes was born. She is best known for her work in solar energy technology. Mária Telkes finished her dissertation in the field of physical chemistry in 1924 at the University o Budapest and moved to the united States shortly after. About one year later, Telkes accepted a position as a biophysicist for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where she researched on creating a photoelectric…
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Nicolas Leblanc and the Leblanc Process

Nicolas Leblanc and the Leblanc Process

On December 6, 1742, French chemist and surgeon Nicolas Leblanc was born, who discovered how to manufacture soda from common salt. The eponymous Leblanc process became one of the most important industrial processes of the 19th century. Due to his early death of his father, Nicolas Leblanc grew up with Dr. Bien, who was a close friend to the family and inspired the young boy to increase his interest in medicine. He…
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Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

On December 3, 1842, American chemist Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards was born. She was the foremost female industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science widened professional opportunities for women in the sciences and laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. Richard was educated at home, since both of her parents were trained…
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