Walther Nernst

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Walther Nernst.

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

Nernst was born in Briesen, Prussia. He studied physics and mathematics at the universities of Zrich, Berlin and Graz. After some work in Leipzig, he founded the Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at Gttingen. Nernst invented, in 1898, an electric metallic-filament lamp (the carbon lamp successor and the precursor to the incandescent lamp).

Nernst researched osmotic pressure and electrochemistry. Around 1906 he established what he referred to as a "heat theorem", later known as the Third law of thermodynamics (which describes the behavior of matter as temperatures approach absolute zero).

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

Nernst invented an electrical piano, in 1930, replacing the sounding board with radio amplifiers. The piano used pickups to produce electronically modified and amplified sound resembling that of an electric guitar. His Nernst glower, important in the field of spectroscopy, is a solid-body radiator with a filament of rare-earth oxides. Continuous ohmic heating of the filament results in conduction. The glower operates best in wavelengths from 2 to 14 micrometers.

Publications and biographies

  • "Theoretical Chemistry from the Standpoint of Avogadro's Rule and Thermodynamics". 1893 [5th editon, 1923].
  • "The New Heat Theorem". 1918 [tr. 1926].
  • Mendelssohn, Kurt A. G., "The world of Walther Nernst. The rise and fall of German science.". Macmillan, 1973 (biography).
  • Barkan, Diana Kormos, "Walther Nernst and the Transition to Modern Physical Science". Cambridge University Press, 1998.

External links and references

es:Walther Hermann Nernst fr:Walther Hermann Nernst ja:ヴァルター・ネルンスト pl:Walther Hermann Nernst sl:Walther Hermann Nernst

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