François-Marie Raoult: Past and Modern Look
The academic and research career of Raoult is an example of success against the odds. He was born into a family of modest means and made his academic career far from Paris, the center of scientific power and means. He did his research on the behavior of solutions in general, and electrolytes in particular, before the concepts of molecular association, salt dissociation, and molecular structure had been established. In spite of this, by precise experimental work and brilliant intuition he made fundamental and everlasting contributions to thermodynamics. Raoult’s results are discussed against the scientific background of his time and then reanalyzed using current thermodynamic ideas.