Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff

Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff

Birth
Rotterdam, Rotterdam Municipality, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Death 1 Mar 1911 (aged 58)
Steglitz, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany
Burial Dahlem, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany
Memorial ID 179490161 · View Source
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Nobel Prize Recipient, Chemist. He received world-wide notoriety for receiving the first Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which was presented in 1901 "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions." He is credited with being one of the founders of a new field of science, physical chemistry. After being a professor in his native Netherlands, in 1896 he relocated to a position at the University of Berlin in Germany, where he could do more research and less teaching as professor at the Prussian Academy of Sciences. He formulated the osmotic pressure law, but also was important in stereochemistry, which studies molecular structure. He authored a pamphlet printed in Dutch on his research in 1874, which was translated to French in a small book within months, and a German translation done in 1877. After earning the respect and support of the scientific community, he published in 1884 his research on chemical kinetics in a book, “Studies in Chemical Dynamics.” According to the Nobel presentation, he made during the 1870s and 1880s “pioneering contribution with the respect to both the structure of molecules and various sequences of events. A theory about osmotic pressure explains how concentrations even out in solutions that are separated by a membrane that allows the solvent to pass through but not the dissolved substance. Other works deal with chemical reactions and how temperatures affect them.” Born the third of seven children in a physician's household, his interest in science was recognized early. Against his father's wishes, he chose a career in science. After rapidly studying for two years at Delft University of Technology, he received a degree in chemical technology in 1871, which followed studying at the University of Leiden. Continuing his studies with well-known scholars of chemistry, he went to Bonn, Germany to study with Friedrick Kekule and to in Paris with Charles A. Wurtz, before receiving his doctorate at the University of Utrecht in 1874 and earning respect in the field of organic chemistry. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received other awards for his achievements in chemistry: in 1885 being appointed to The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; several honorary doctorate degrees including from Yale and Harvard Universities; in 1894 the Knight of the French Legion of Honor; and from Germany, the Helmholtz Medal of Prussian Academy of Sciences and Senator in the Kaiser Wilhelm Geselschaft in 1911. He belonged to Chemistry Societies in England, the Netherlands, and the United States. Married with two daughters and two sons, he often took humble positions to support his family, such as his first teaching position was in a veterinarian school. His productive life was cut short with tuberculosis.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: letemrip
  • Added: 19 May 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 179490161
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (30 Aug 1852–1 Mar 1911), Find a Grave Memorial no. 179490161, citing Friedhof Dahlem, Dahlem, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .