Svante Arrhenius

Picture of Svante Arrhenius

Date of Birth: 02/19/1859

Age: 68

Place of birth: Having Wijk

Citizenship: Sweden


In 1876, Alexander enrolled at Uppsala University, where he studied physics, chemistry and mathematics. In 1878, his Bachelor of Science degree was awarded. However, he went on to study physics at Uppsala University for the next three years, and the v1881 was left in Stockholm, the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, to continue research in the field of electricity under the supervision of Eric Edlund.

While the physical nature of electricity remained not entirely clear. It was known, however, that either pure water or dry salt can not by themselves conduct electricity, while the aqueous salt solutions may do so. A. investigated passage of electric current through the many types of solutions. It is speculated that the molecules of certain substances when dissolved in liquid dissociate or break up into two or more particles, which he called ions. Despite the fact that each whole molecule is electrically neutral, its particles carry a small electrical charge - either positive or negative, depending on the nature of the particle. For example, molecules of sodium chloride (salt) when dissolved in water to dissolve the sodium atoms are positively charged and negatively charged chlorine atoms. These charged atoms, molecules of the active components are formed only in solution and to create the possibility of passage of electric current. Electric current in turn directs the active components to the oppositely charged electrodes.

This hypothesis formed the basis of the doctoral thesis of A., which he introduced in 1884 to protect at Uppsala University. At that time, however, many scientists doubted that a solution can coexist oppositely charged particles, and the Faculty Board appreciated his dissertation on the fourth grade - too low, so that he could be admitted to the lectures.

Not at all discouraged by this, Alexander not only published the results, but also sent copies of his theses a number of leading European scientists, including the famous German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald. Ostwald so interested in this work, he has visited A. in Uppsala and invited him to work in his laboratory at the Riga Polytechnic Institute. A. rejected the proposal, but support Ostwald contributed to the fact that he was appointed a lecturer at Uppsala University. A position he held for two years.

In 1886, Alexander became a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which enabled him to work and conduct research abroad. Over the next five years he worked in Riga from Ostwald, in Wurzburg with Friedrich Kohlrausch (where he met with Walter Nernst), the University of Graz with Ludwig Boltzmann in Amsterdam - with Jacob van`t Hoff. When he returned to Stockholm in 1891, A. begins to give lectures on physics at Stockholm University and in 1895 received the post of professor there. In 1897, he has served as Rector of the University.

During this time A. continues to develop his theory of electrolytic dissociation, as well as to study the osmotic pressure. (Osmotic pressure is a measure of the desire of two different solutions on either side of the membrane to equalize its concentration.) Van`t Hoff osmotic pressure expressed by the formula PV = iRT, where P is the osmotic pressure of the substance dissolved in a liquid; V - volume; R - pressure of any gas present; T - temperature and i - coefficient, which for gas is often equal to 1, and for solutions containing salts - more than 1 Van`t Hoff could not explain why changing the value of i, and the work of A. helped him to show that this factor may It is related to the number of ions in the solution.

In 1903, A. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "in recognition of special importance to his theory of electrolytic dissociation to the development of chemistry." Speaking on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Robert X. The Terneblad stressed that the theory of ion A. laid a good basis of electrochemistry, "allowing it to apply a mathematical approach." "One of the most important results of the theory of A., - said Terneblad - is the completion of the huge generalization, for which the first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Van`t Hoff."

A scientist with a wide range of interests, AA conducted research in many areas of physics, published an article on ball lightning (1883) studied the effect of solar radiation on the atmosphere, looking for an explanation of this climate change, as the ice ages, tried to apply the theory to the study of physicochemical volcanic activity. In 1901 vmestes several of his colleagues, he confirmed the hypothesis of James Clerk Maxwell that cosmic radiation is putting pressure on the particles. A continued study of the problem and, using this phenomenon, attempted to explain the nature of the aurora borealis and the solar corona. He also suggested that in outer space thanks to the pressure of light can be transported spores and other living seeds. In 1902, A. began research in the field of immunochemistry - science, which never ceased to interest him for many years.

Once in 1905. A. resigned, left the University of Stockholm, he was appointed director of the physico-chemical Nobel Institute in Stockholm, and remained in that post until his death.

In 1894, Alexander married Sophia Rudbeck. They had a son. However, two years after their marriage broke up. In 1905 he married again - to Maria Iogansson, who bore him a son and two daughters. October 2, 1927 after a short illness A. died in Stockholm.

A. received many awards and titles. Among them: the Davy Medal of the Royal Society (1902), the first medal Willard Gibbs American Chemical Society (1911), Faraday Medal of the British Society of Chemistry (1914). He was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society and the German Chemical Society. A. was awarded honorary degrees from many universities, in Vol. H. Of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Oxford and Cambridge.