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 Josiah Willard Gibbs

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Josiah Willard Gibbs

  • Birth 11 Feb 1839 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 28 Apr 1903 New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 18663052

Scientist. He was born to Josiah Willard Gibbs, a professor of sacred literature at Yale University. His work mainly focused on what is now physical chemistry, specifically heterogeneous substances where his most notable publication is concentrated. In 1863 he was awarded the first American Ph.D. in engineering. In 1869 he was appointed to the faculty of Yale University, where he stayed for his entire life. He did spend a year each in Paris, Berlin, and Heidelberg studying with other well known scientists and mathematicians, including Kirchhoff and Helmholtz. In 1876 he published a series of papers titled "On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances", where he covered topics such as the description of free energy (now Gibbs free energy), chemical potential, the rule of phases, and the Gibbs ensemble in statistical mechanics. These papers are said to be the most important scientific achievement of the 19th century. He also developed vector analysis which advanced the study of mathematical physics. He also later contributed to other disciplines such as crystallography and comet and planetary orbits. He was never married and lived his life in his childhood home in New Haven with his sister and brother-in-law, the Yale librarian.

Bio by: The Guardian


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: The Guardian
  • Added: 28 Mar 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18663052
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Josiah Willard Gibbs (11 Feb 1839–28 Apr 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18663052, citing Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .