Walther Nernst


Walther Nernst
Walther Nernst

Born 25 June 1864(1864-06-25)
Briesen, West Prussia/Pomerania
Died 18 November 1941(1941-11-18) (aged 77)
Zibelle, Lusatia, Germany
Nationality German
Fields Physical chemistry, Physics
Institutions University of Göttingen
University of Berlin
University of Leipzig
Alma mater University of Zürich
University of Berlin
University of Graz
University of Würzburg
Doctoral advisor Friedrich Kohlrausch
Other academic advisors Ludwig Boltzmann
Doctoral students Sir Frances Simon
Richard Abegg
Irving Langmuir
Leonid Andrussow
Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer
Frederick Lindemann
William Duane
Other notable students Gilbert N. Lewis
Max Bodenstein
Robert von Lieben
Kurt Mendelssohn
Theodor Wulf
Emil Bose
Hermann Irving Schlesinger
Claude Hudson
Known for Third Law of Thermodynamics
Nernst lamp
Nernst equation
Nernst glower
Nernst effect
Nernst heat theorem
Nernst potential
Nernst-Planck equation
Influenced J. R. Partington
Notable awards Nobel Prize in chemistry (1920)
Franklin Medal (1928)
Signature

Walther Hermann Nernst (25 June 1864 – 18 November 1941) was a German physical chemist and physicist who is 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 helped establish the modern field of physical chemistry and contributed to electrochemistry, thermodynamics, solid state chemistry and photochemistry. He is also known for developing the Nernst equation.

Contents

Biography

Early years

Nernst was born in Briesen in West Prussia (now Wąbrzeźno, Poland) as son of Gustav Nernst, who was a district judge. Nernst went to elementary school at Graudentz. He studied physics and mathematics at the universities of Zürich, Berlin, Graz and Wuerzburg, where he graduated in 1887.

Career

After some work at Leipzig, he founded the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at Göttingen. Nernst invented, in 1897 an electric lamp, using an incandescent ceramic rod. His invention, known as the Nernst lamp, was the successor to the carbon lamp and the precursor to the incandescent lamp. Nernst researched osmotic pressure and electrochemistry. In 1905, he established what he referred to as his "New Heat Theorem", later known as the Third law of thermodynamics (which describes the behavior of matter as temperatures approach absolute zero). This is the work for which he is best remembered, as it provided a means of determining free energies (and therefore equilibrium points) of chemical reactions from heat measurements. Theodore Richards claimed Nernst had stolen the idea from him, but Nernst is almost universally credited with the discovery.[1]

In 1911, with Max Planck, he is the main organizer of the first Solvay Conference in Brussels.

In 1920, he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in recognition of his work in thermochemistry. In 1924, he became director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at Berlin, a position from which he retired in 1933. Nernst went on to work in electroacoustics and astrophysics.

Nernst developed an electric piano, the "Neo-Bechstein-Flügel" in 1930 in association with the Bechstein and Siemens companies, replacing the sounding board with radio amplifiers. The piano used electromagnetic pickups to produce electronically modified and amplified sound in the same way as an electric guitar.

His device, a solid-body radiator with a filament of rare-earth oxides, that would later be known as the Nernst glower, is important in the field of infrared spectroscopy. Continuous ohmic heating of the filament results in conduction. The glower operates best in wavelengths from two to 14 micrometers.

Personal life

Nernst married in 1892 to Emma Lohmeyer with whom he had two sons and three daughters. He was a vocal critic of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and two daughters married Jewish men. In 1933, the rise of Nazism led to the end of Nernst's career as a scientist. Nernst died in 1941 and is buried near Max Planck in Göttingen, Germany.

Publications

  • Walther Nernst, "Reasoning of theoretical chemistry: Nine papers (1889-1921)" (Ger., Begründung der Theoretischen Chemie : Neun Abhandlungen, 1889–1921). Frankfurt am Main : Verlag Harri Deutsch, c. 2003. ISBN 3817132905
  • Walther Nernst, "The theoretical and experimental bases of the New Heat Theorem" (Ger., Die theoretischen und experimentellen Grundlagen des neuen Wärmesatzes). Halle [Ger.] W. Knapp, 1918 [tr. 1926]. [ed., this is a list of thermodynamical papers from the physico-chemical institute of the University of Berlin (1906–1916); Translation available by Guy Barr LCCN 27-2575
  • Walther Nernst, "Theoretical chemistry from the standpoint of Avogadro's law and thermodynamics" (Ger., Theoretische Chemie vom Standpunkte der Avogadroschen Regel und der Thermodynamik). Stuttgart, F. Enke, 1893 [5th edition, 1923]. LCCN po28-417

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Coffey, Patrick (2008). Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 78–81. ISBN 0195321340. 

Further reading

  • Barkan, Diana Kormos (1998). Walther Nernst and the Transition to Modern Physical Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052144456X. 
  • Bartel, Hans-Georg; Huebener, Rudolf P. (2007). Walther Nernst. Pioneer of Physics and of Chemistry. Singapore: World Scientific. ISBN 9812565604. 
  • Mendelssohn, Kurt Alfred Georg (1973). The World of Walther Nernst: The Rise and Fall of German Science. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0333148959. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Walther Nernst — (* 25. Juni 1864 in Briesen (Westpreußen); † 18. November 1941 in Zibelle (Oberlausitz); vollständiger Name Walther Hermann Nernst) war ein deutscher Physiker und Chemiker. Für seine Arbeiten in der Thermochemie erhielt Nernst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Walther Nernst — Walther Hermann Nernst Walther Hermann Nernst Walther Hermann Nernst (25 juin 1864 18 novembre 1941) est un physicien et chimiste allemand. Il a mené de nombreuses recherches dans les domaines de l électrochimie, la thermodynamique, la chimie du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walther Nernst — Walther Hermann Nernst (Briesen, Prusia, 25 de junio de 1864 Ober Zibelle, Alemania, 18 de noviembre de 1941); fisico y químico alemán, premio Nobel de Química en 1920. Sus trabajos ayudaron a establecer la moderna física química. Trabajó en los… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hermann Walther Nernst — Walther Hermann Nernst Walther Hermann Nernst Walther Hermann Nernst (25 juin 1864 18 novembre 1941) est un physicien et chimiste allemand. Il a mené de nombreuses recherches dans les domaines de l électrochimie, la thermodynamique, la chimie du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walther Hermann Nernst — Walther Nernst Walther Nernst (* 25. Juni 1864 in Briesen (Westpreußen); † 18. November 1941 in Zibelle, Oberlausitz bei Bad Muskau; vollständiger Name Walther Hermann Nernst) war ein deutscher Physiker und Chemiker (Nobelpreis für Chemie 1920) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Nernst lamp — Nernst lamp, complete, model B with cloche, DC lamp 0.5 ampere, 95 volts, by courtesy of Landesmuseum für Technik und Arbeit in Mannheim, Germany, (Engl.: State Museum of Technology and Labour, Mannheim) …   Wikipedia

  • Nernst, Walther Hermann — born June 25, 1864, Briesen, Prussia died Nov. 18, 1941, Muskau, Ger. German scientist, one of the founders of modern physical chemistry. He taught at the Universities of Göttingen and Berlin until forced to retire in 1933 by the Nazi regime.… …   Universalium

  • Nernst-Effekt — Unter dem Namen Ettingshausen Nernst Effekt sind zwei physikalische Effekte bekannt, die in der Elektrodynamik und Thermodynamik betrachtet werden. Als 1. Ettingshausen Nernst Effekt bezeichnet man das Phänomen, dass bei der Einwirkung eines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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