Life History

Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist and physicist who lived from 1859 to 1927.

Biography of Svante Arrhenius and Discovery

Svante Arrhenius Birth

Svante Arrhenius was born on February 19, 1859, in Balingsta parish, Vik, Sweden.

Svante Arrhenius Accomplishments

Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist and physicist who made several important contributions to the fields of science in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of his most notable accomplishments:

Founding the science of physical chemistry: Arrhenius was one of the pioneers of the science of physical chemistry and made many important contributions to the field.

Discovery of the principle of electrolytic dissociation: Arrhenius discovered that when a salt is dissolved in water, it breaks down into positively and negatively charged ions. This principle is now known as the theory of electrolytic dissociation and is a fundamental concept in modern chemistry.

Proposed the theory of global warming: Arrhenius was one of the first scientists to propose that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide could lead to global warming. He calculated that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would result in a temperature increase of 5-6 degrees Celsius.

Development of the concept of activation energy: Arrhenius developed the concept of activation energy, which is the minimum amount of energy required for a chemical reaction to occur. This concept is now a fundamental principle in chemistry and is widely used in the study of chemical kinetics.

Svante Arrhenius was a highly influential and accomplished scientist whose contributions have had a lasting impact on the fields of chemistry, physics, and environmental science.

Svante Arrhenius Family Background

Father's name is Gustav Arrhenius and mother's name is Carolina Christina Thunberg

Svante Arrhenius came from a family of farmers and scientists. His father, Gustav Arrhenius, was a land surveyor employed by the University of Uppsala and was in charge of its estates at Vik, where Svante was born. His uncle, Carl Axel Arrhenius, was a professor of botany and later became the rector of the Agricultural High School at Ultuna near Uppsala. He also served as the Secretary of The Swedish Academy of Agriculture.

At a young age, Arrhenius showed exceptional mathematical and scientific abilities. He taught himself to read and solve simple mathematics problems at the age of three, and by the time he was a teenager, he was already studying advanced mathematics and physics.

Given his family background, it is not surprising that Svante Arrhenius had an early interest in science and the natural world.

Svante Arrhenius Education

He received his early education at a private school in Stockholm, Sweden.

Arrhenius received his PhD in physics in 1884 from the University of Uppsala. During his time at university, he studied under the physicist Anders Jonas Γ…ngstrΓΆm, who was a leading expert in spectroscopy and heat transfer. Arrhenius was also heavily influenced by the work of the German chemist Ludwig Boltzmann and the Dutch chemist Johannes van der Waals.

After completing his PhD, Arrhenius became a professor of physics at the Stockholm University College, where he taught for several years before moving on to become a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Stockholm. Throughout his career, Arrhenius continued to do important research and publish many influential papers on topics such as electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and atmospheric chemistry.

Svante Arrhenius Career

Arrhenius is best known for his work on the theory of electrolytic dissociation, which states that salts dissolve in water to form electrically charged ions. He was the first person to accurately calculate the magnitudes of the charges of the ions in solution and the concentration of ions in a solution. This work laid the foundation for the modern understanding of ionic solutions and has been widely used in a variety of scientific fields, including electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and biology.

Arrhenius also made significant contributions to the field of atmospheric chemistry. In 1896, he proposed the idea that variations in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could lead to changes in the Earth's climate. This idea is now widely recognized as the basis of the modern understanding of the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Arrhenius was a charismatic and influential figure in the scientific community of his time. He was also an advocate for international cooperation in science and helped establish the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry. Despite his scientific accomplishments, Arrhenius was not without controversy and his ideas about the role of carbon dioxide in global warming were met with skepticism and opposition during his lifetime.

Svante Arrhenius he is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern physical chemistry and continues to be remembered for his contributions to the field.

Svante Arrhenius Awards

Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Arrhenius was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903 for his work on the ionic theory of electrolytes.

Matteucci Medal: He was awarded the Matteucci Medal in 1896 for his work on electrolytes.

Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala Prize: He was awarded the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala Prize in 1886 for his doctoral thesis on the conductivity of electrolytes.

Franklin Medal: He was awarded the Franklin Medal in 1912 for his pioneering work in the field of electrochemistry.

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Prize in Physics: He was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Prize in Physics in 1895 for his work on the ionic theory of electrolytes.

These awards demonstrate the impact and significance of Arrhenius' contributions to the fields of chemistry and physics.

Svante Arrhenius Personal Life

In terms of his personal life, Arrhenius was married twice. His first marriage was to Sofia Rudbeck, but the couple separated after a few years. Arrhenius later married Marie Meloney, an American journalist, and the couple had two children together.

Svante Arrhenius had three children in total: one son from his first marriage to Sofia Rudbeck, and one son and two daughters from his second marriage to Maria Johansson.

Svante Arrhenius Death

Svante Arrhenius died on October 2, 1927, in Stockholm, Sweden.

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