The Work of J. H. Van ’t Hoff, In Connection with a Recent Book

  • Pierre Duhem
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 223)


The prodigious development of Physical Chemistry will undoubtedly remain one of its characteristics, and not the least beautiful, as the nineteenth century draws to a close. The Dutch Schools have played a most important role in this development. Not content, in Leyden, to follow with patience and admirable sagacity his investigations into the hydration of colloidal substances, Professor van Bemmelen looked favourably upon the activity of his lector, Bakhuis Roozboom. He exhumed from the midst of Gibbs’ algebraic formulas the phase law 2 and the properties of transition points, transforming these theorems into powerful instruments of research and, both alone and with his pupils, Schreinemakers and Stortenbeker, disentangled the most complicated chemical equilibria. At Amsterdam, while J. H. van der Waals was penetrating deeply into the problem of the liquefaction of gas and [6] of the continuity between the liquid and gaseous states, J. H. van ‘t Hoff was enlarging all the branches of Physical Chemistry by his discoveries.


Endothermic Reaction Transformation Point Cane Sugar Rotatory Power Sodium Tartrate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

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  • Pierre Duhem

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