David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ostwald (born September 2, 1853, Riga, Latvia, Russia; died April 4, 1932, at his private estate near Leipzig, Germany) almost single-handedly established physical chemistry as an acknowledged academic discipline. In 1909, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on catalysis, chemical equilibria, and reaction velocities. Ostwald was graduated in chemistry at the University of Dorpat (now Tartu, Estonia) and appointed professor of chemistry in Riga in 1881, before he moved from Russia to Germany on the chair in physical chemistry at the University of Leipzig in 1887. For about twenty years he made Leipzig an international center of physical chemistry: by establishing an instruction and research laboratory that attracted virtually the whole next generation of physical chemists; by editing the first journal of the field (Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie); and by writing numerous textbooks. In 1906, he retired from university and devoted the rest of his life to various topics, including the history and philosophy of science, color theory, painting, the writing of textbooks and popular books about science, the international organization of science, and the formation of an artificial language for the international exchange of ideas. Since his master degree thesis in 1876, Ostwald followed the general approach of applying physical measurement and mathematical reasoning to chemical issues. One of his major research topics was the chemical affinity of acids and bases. To that end, he studied the point of equilibrium in reactions systems where two acids in aqueous solution compete with each other for reaction with one base and vice versa. Because chemical analysis would have changed the equilibria, he skillfully adapted the measurement of physical properties to that problem, such as volume, refractive index, and electrical conductivity. From his extensive data he derived for each acid and base a characteristic affinity coefficient independent of the particular acid-base reactions. To understand the different chemical affinities, Ostwald drew on a new, but then hardly accepted and not yet fully developed, theory advanced by Svante Arrhenius. According to this theory of electrolytic dissociation, electrolytes like acids, bases, and salts dissociate in solution into oppositely charged ions to a certain degree, such that at infinite solution dissociation is complete..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
R. J. Deltete (2007). Wilhelm Ostwald's Energetics 2: Energetic Theory and Applications, Part I. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 9 (3):265-316.
Robert J. Deltete (2008). Wilhelm Ostwald's Energetics 3: Energetic Theory and Applications, Part II. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):187-221.
Friedemann Schmithals (1995). Die erste Berufung für physikalische Chemie: “Ein Unterfangen von höchster wissenschaftlicher Bedeutung”. NTM International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine 3 (1):227-253.
Joachim Schummer (1998). The Chemical Core of Chemistry I: A Conceptual Approach. Hyle 4 (2):129 - 162.
Joachim Schummer (1997). Towards a Philosophy of Chemistry. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (2):307 - 336.
Richard Martin Pagni (2009). The Origin and Development of the Acidity Function. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):43-50.
Joachim Schummer (2004). Editorial: Substances Versus Reactions. Hyle 10 (1):3 - 4.
Ute Deichmann (1999). The Expulsion of Jewish Biochemists From Academia in Nazi Germany. Perspectives on Science 7 (1):1-86.
Mario Bunge (1982). Is Chemistry a Branch of Physics? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 13 (2):209-223.
Alan Chalmers (2012). Klein on the Origin of the Concept of Chemical Compound. Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):37-53.
Peter H. Plesch (1999). On the Distinctness of Chemistry. Foundations of Chemistry 1 (1):6-15.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads2 ( #361,549 of 1,099,867 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #303,846 of 1,099,867 )
How can I increase my downloads?