Rihard Zsigmondy

Picture of Rihard Zsigmondy

Date of Birth: 04/01/1865

Age: 64

Place of birth: Vienna

Citizenship: Austria


Z. studied chemistry at the University of Vienna and the Technical University in Vienna, and then in 1887 he entered the University of Munich. Three years later he received his doctorate in organic chemistry and began working at the University of Munich as an assistant. In 1893, C began to lecture in chemical engineering at the Technical University in Graz (Austria). There he became interested in coloring glass and porcelain, and this interest led him to the study of colloid chemistry. While working as a chemical engineer in the "voice of Schott Manufacturing Company" in Jena (Germany) from 1897 to 1900, he developed the technology Jena "milk" glass. In 1900, Z. quit this work and for the next seven years (with the financial support of their families) engaged in purely scientific work by studying colloidal systems. He continued his studies, and after 1907 became a professor at the University of Gottingen, and later director of the University Institute of Inorganic Chemistry.

Such systems are called colloidal where tiny particles are stably distributed in a liquid medium. An example of such a system in our daily lives is the egg white. Particles in colloidal systems may give them some special characteristics, such as color effects in the glass powder of gold, which studied Z. After XIX - XX in the beginning. the nature of colloidal systems has not been completely clear. Z. believed that the action of the substances, coloring glass, called a well-dispersed chemically inert particles so tiny that they can not see in the then existing microscopes. Thus, the visual evidence of the existence of such particles is absent, and do colloidal solutions were stable and did not give the precipitate, as might be expected with a mixture of particles in a liquid medium.

C has developed a range of mixed technologies in order to establish the nature of colloidal systems. According to one such technology, it is added to the liquid medium the reactants, trying to achieve coagulation of colloids and thus learn more about this transition state. However, his main goal was to see the particles themselves, and in 1903 he and a physicist G.F.V. Siedentopf working for Zeiss optical plants in Jena, designs ultramicroscope.

Rather than illuminate the specimen along the optical axis, as is done in standard microscopes, perpendicular to the lighting used in ultramicroscopy. This system is similar to the everyday phenomenon in which a tiny arise in the air of dust particles can be seen in a beam of sunlight, when you look at it from the outside. By optimizing the technology of what is called dark field lighting, Z. and engineers with the Zeiss factories were able to solve this problem for the tiny particle size of 10 nanometers (10 millionth of a millimeter). Further improvements led to the creation of so-called immersion ultramicroscope in which visible particles in the size of 4 nanometers. With it, Z. studied the behavior of glass dyes and found that some color changes are explained by coagulation of colloidal particles.

In these studies, Z. studied the dynamics of colloidal systems. Knowing that the gold particles in a colloidal solution of negatively charged, it is speculated that occurs as a result of the mutual repulsion between similarly charged particles causes their resistance. When added to the colloidal solution of a salt form of electric attraction centers around which aggregation occurs prior to gold until the particles do not precipitate from colloidal suspension. With the help of theoretical physicist Marian Smoluchowski Z. calculated at some distance from each other should be in a colloidal solution of gold particles to aggregation occurred.

In 1925, Z. Nobelevckaya Prize in Chemistry was awarded for "the establishment of the heterogeneous nature of colloid solutions and for the methods developed in this respect of fundamental importance in modern colloid chemistry." In his opening speech on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences XG Sederbaum stressed that "all manifestations of organic life is ultimately linked to the colloidal environment of protoplasm."

In the future, continuing to work at the University of Gottingen, Z. conducted the research using ultrafilters. This technology has proven itself in the study of many substances, including the gel structure. Scientist retired in 1919

In 1903, Z. married Laura Luise Muller, the daughter of a teacher of Physiology of the University of Jena. The couple had two daughters. Z. and his wife liked to spend his spare time on his estate in the Tyrol, where the scientist was resting in the middle of nature, enjoying the walks in the mountains. Z. died in Gottingen, September 23, 1929