Chemistry and History

The Chemical Educator

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 335-339

Johannes Jacobus Van Laar Unappreciated Scientist

  • Jaime WisniakAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Van Laar’s academic and research career was adversely affected by psychological traumas he experienced during his youth. Loss of his parents at a young age, submission to a hard discipline, and lack of a formal university education made van Laar emotionally unstable and gave him many enemies, among them van der Waals. Still, Van Laar’s scientific achievements have resulted in the transformation of mathematical chemistry into the independent subjects known today as chemical thermodynamics and theory of phase equilibria. Discussed here as well is Van Laar’s theory of solutions using the state of thermodynamics at his time and modern thermodynamic concepts.