Wilhelm Ostwald by Nicola Perscheid
|Born||Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald
(1853-09-02)2 September 1853
Riga, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire (now Latvia)
|Died||4 April 1932(1932-04-04) (aged 78)
GroÃŸbothen near Leipzig, Germany
|Nationality||Baltic German by birth. Prussian, German (after 1871)|
|Institutions||University of Dorpat
University of Leipzig
|Alma mater||University of Dorpat|
|Doctoral advisor||Carl Schmidt|
|Doctoral students||Arthur Amos Noyes
Frederick George Donnan
Coining the term ‘Mole’
HSL and HSV
Ostwald dilution law
|Notable awards||Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1909)|
For, with pure water the inversion of cane sugar scarcely proceeds and subsequently it required very thorough, difficult studies before this effect and its order of magnitude were established.
The individual organs follow the same pattern as the whole organism, i.e. they have their period of growth, of stationary, maximum activity and then of aging decline.
In specific circumstances the period of aging decline can set in earlier in a particular organ than in the organism as a whole which, in a certain general or theoretical sense, is left a cripple or invalid.
The distinction between the old and the new formulations consisting in the incorporation of the concept of the rate of chemical reactions is so great that it immediately asserted itself in the objective development of catalysis.
It has pleased no less than surprised me that of the many studies whereby I have sought to extend the field of general chemistry, the highest scientific distinction that there is today has been awarded for those on catalysis.
Faced with this general consideration it will immediately be realized on inquiry into the particular position occupied within this general scheme by the scientific field of catalysis that it is in the first stages of its development.
The worst manifestations of exhaustion were successfully cured by a long period of rest but it was immediately apparent to me that I had lost once and for all my former capacity for carrying out experimental work until physically tired.
In the first quarter of the nineteenth century the experimental proof for the interdependence of the composition and properties of chemical compounds resulted in the theory that they are mutually related, so that like composition governs like properties, and conversely.
Soon afterwards I studied the inversion of sugar in the light of these considerations and immediately found that this classical reaction, too, was determined quantitatively by the same property of the acids, as was of course to be expected from the previous results.
The well-known fact that the form of a specific substance, e.g. water, and hence its properties can alter without a change in composition was disposed of by the formal view that a physical, not a chemical, process was involved.
We know from biology that new forms of organisms simulate their primitive form as closely as possible at first, even though obliged to exist under changed internal and external conditions.
Nowadays, however, we recognize that simultaneously with the typical case of a chemical reaction a typical case of catalytic effect had been studied which constitutes a limiting case.
The development of a rational view of the nature of catalysis was thus absolutely dependent on the creation of the concept of the rate of chemical reaction.
Whether that coherence obtains universally is a question that need not be answered here since only those parts where the coherence has actually been found become part of Science.