The Chemical Educator

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 335–339

Johannes Jacobus Van Laar Unappreciated Scientist

Chemistry and History

DOI: 10.1007/s00897000429a

Cite this article as:
Wisniak, J. Chem. Educator (2000) 5: 335. doi:10.1007/s00897000429a


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.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael