Julius Thomsen and classical thermochemistry
ABSTRACT Classical thermochemistry is inextricably bound up with the problem of chemical affinity. In 1851, when Julius Thomsen began his career in thermochemistry, the concept of chemical affinity had been in the centre of chemical enquiry for more than a century. In spite of many suggestions, preferably to explain affinity in terms of electrical or gravitational forces, almost nothing was known about the cause and nature of affinity. In this state of puzzling uncertainty some chemists felt it more advantageous to establish an adequate experimental measure of affinity, whatever its nature was. One way of providing affinity with a quantitative description was by means of the heats evolved in chemical processes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The development of Danish chemistry in the 19th century was a complex process involving the establishment of boundaries for chemistry, creation of professional identities, and institutional constructions. Many of these factors can be analysed through detailed studies of the media carrying chemical information. This paper explores the development process by studying three Danish chemical periodicals published in the vernacular. By analysing their contents, editorial lines, and intended audiences, these three periodicals give specific information on the social evolution of chemistry and the process of demarcation of chemistry from non-chemistry. The analysis is linked to the early history of the Danish Chemical Society in order to address the question of what it meant to be a chemist in second half of the 19th-century Denmark. Taken together, examination of specific aspects of the society and the three periodicals provide new perspectives on the relationships between the three most important groups of chemical practitioners: academics, engineers, and pharmacists.Centaurus 12/2007; 49(3):199 - 226. · 0.29 Impact Factor
Conference Paper: A Historical/Philosophical Foundation for Teaching Chemical EquilibriumNinth International History Philosophy & Science Teaching Conference, Calgary. Canada; 06/2007
- Centaurus 07/2007; 41(4):253 - 279. · 0.29 Impact Factor