- Jöns Jakob Berzelius
name = J. J. Berzelius
caption = Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848)
birth_date = birth date|1779|8|20|df=y
Väversunda, Östergötland, Sweden
death_date = death date|1848|8|7|df=y (aged 68)
nationality = Swedish
James Finlay Weir Johnston Heinrich Rose
known_for = Law of constant proportions Chemical notation
Silicon Selenium Thorium Cerium
FriherreJöns Jacob Berzelius (20 August 1779 – 7 August 1848) was a Swedish chemist. He invented the modern chemical notation, and is together with John Dalton, Antoine Lavoisier, and Robert Boyleconsidered a father of modern chemistry. [cite encyclopedia
title = Jöns Jacob Berzelius
encyclopedia = Encyclopædia Britannica Online
url = http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/62958/Jons-Jacob-Berzelius
accessdate = 2008-08-03]
Berzelius was born at
Väversundain Östergötlandin Sweden. He lost both his parents at an early age. He was taken care of by relatives in Linköpingwhere he attended the school today known as Katedralskolan. Thereafter he enrolled at the Uppsala Universitywhere he learned the profession of medical doctorfrom 1796 to 1801. He was taught chemistry by Anders Gustaf Ekeberg, the discoverer of tantalum. He worked as apprentice in a pharmacy and with a physician in the Medevimineral springs. During this time he conducted analysis of the spring water. For his medical studies he examined the influence of galvanic current on several diseases. He worked as physician near Stockholm until the mine owner Wilhelm Hisingerdiscovered his analytical abilities and provided him with a laboratory.
In 1807 Berzelius was appointed professor in chemistry and pharmacy at the
Law of Definite Proportions
Not long after arriving to Stockholm he wrote a chemistry textbook for his medical students, from which point a long and fruitful career in chemistry began. While conducting experiments in support of the textbook he discovered the law of constant proportions, which showed that
inorganic substances are composed of different elements in constant proportions by weight. Based on this, in 1828 he compiled a table of relative atomic weights, where oxygenwas set to 100, and which included all of the elements known at the time. This work provided evidence in favour of the atomic theoryproposed by John Dalton: that inorganic chemical compounds are composed of atoms combined in whole number amounts. In discovering that atomic weights are not integer multiples of hydrogen's, Berzelius also disproved Prout's hypothesisthat elements are built up from atoms of hydrogen.
In order to aid his experiments, he developed a system of chemical notation in which the elements were given simple written labels—such as O for oxygen, or Fe for
iron—with proportions noted by numbers. This is the same basic system used today, the only difference being that instead of the subscript number used today (e.g., H2O), Berzelius used a superscript (H2O).
Discovery of Elements
Berzelius is credited with identifying the
chemical elements silicon, selenium, thorium, and cerium. Students working in Berzelius' laboratory also discovered lithium, and vanadium.
Berzelius is also credited with originating the chemical terms "
catalysis", " polymer", " isomer" and "allotrope", although his original definitions differ dramatically from modern usage. For example, he coined the term "polymer" in 1833 to describe organic compounds which shared identical empirical formulas but differed in overall molecular weight, the larger of the compounds being described as "polymers" of the smallest. According to this (now obsolete) definition, glucose (C6H12O6) would be a polymer of formaldehyde (CH2O).
Berzelius had an effect on biology as well. He was the first person to make the distinction between organic compounds (those containing carbon), and inorganic compounds. In particular, he advised
Gerhardus Johannes Mulderin his elemental analyses of organic compounds such as coffee, teaand various proteins. The term "protein" itself was coined by Berzelius, after Mulder observed that all proteins seemed to have the same empirical formulaand might be composed of a single type of (very large) molecule. Berzelius proposed the name because the material seemed to be the primitive substance of animal nutrition that plants prepare for the herbivores.
Berzelius was a prolific correspondent with such leading scientists as Mulder,
Claude Louis Berthollet, Humphry Davy, Friedrich Wöhlerand Eilhard Mitscherlich).
After denying the fact that chlorine is an element (which was proposed by
Humphry Davyin 1810) for quite some time, the dispute was ended by the finding of iodine in 1813. Berzeliusskolan, a school situated next to his alma mater Katedralskolan, is named for him.
In 1835 at the age of 56, he married Elisabeth Poppius, the 24-year old daughter of a Swedish cabinet minister.
* A biography on "Jac. Berzelius - his life and work" was written by J. Erik Jorpes and published in 1966 and 1970 (originally in Swedish, first published in 1949).
title=Berzelius, Jöns Jacob
title = Jöns Jacob Berzelius A Guide to the Perplexed Chemist
author = Jaime Wisniak
journal = The Chemical Educator
year = 2000
volume = 5
issue = 6
pages = 343–350
doi = 10.1007/s00897000430a
title = Zum 100. Todestag von Jöns Jakob Berzelius am 7. August 1948
journal = Zeitschrift Naturwissenschaften
volume = 34
issue = 11
pages = 321–327
year = 1947
doi = 10.1007/BF00644137
* [http://runeberg.org/authors/jjberzel.html Publications] - at
*gutenberg author|id=Jöns_Jacob_Berzelius|name=Jöns Jacob Berzelius
NAME= Berzelius, J. J.
DATE OF BIRTH= 20 August 1779
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Väversunda, Östergötland, Sweden
DATE OF DEATH= 7 August 1848
PLACE OF DEATH=
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Jöns Jakob Berzelius — Berzelius in einer Lithographie von 1836 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Jöns Jakob Berzelius — Jöns Jacob Berzelius Jöns Jacob Berzelius (20 août 1779 7 août 1848), l un des fondateurs de la chimie moderne. Sommaire 1 Biographie … Wikipédia en Français
Jons Jakob Berzelius — noun Swedish chemist who discovered three new elements and determined the atomic weights of many others (1779 1848) • Syn: ↑Berzelius • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist … Useful english dictionary
Jöns Jacob Berzelius — Nacimiento 20 de agosto de 1779 Östergötland Suecia … Wikipedia Español
Jöns Jacob Berzelius — Jöns Jakob Berzelius Berzelius in einer Lithographie von 1836 Jöns Jakob Berzelius (* 20. August 1779 im Socken Väversunda … Deutsch Wikipedia
Jöns Jacob Berzelius — Portrait de Berzelius parue dans le Svenska Familj Journalen en 1873 Naissance 20 août 1779 Väversunda Sörgård ( … Wikipédia en Français
Jons Jacob Berzelius — Jöns Jacob Berzelius Jöns Jacob Berzelius (20 août 1779 7 août 1848), l un des fondateurs de la chimie moderne. Sommaire 1 Biographie … Wikipédia en Français
Jöns Jacob Berzélius — Jöns Jacob Berzelius Jöns Jacob Berzelius (20 août 1779 7 août 1848), l un des fondateurs de la chimie moderne. Sommaire 1 Biographie … Wikipédia en Français
Jakob Berzelius — Jöns Jakob Berzelius Berzelius in einer Lithographie von 1836 Jöns Jakob Berzelius (* 20. August 1779 im Socken Väversunda … Deutsch Wikipedia
Johann Jakob Berzelius — Jöns Jakob Berzelius Berzelius in einer Lithographie von 1836 Jöns Jakob Berzelius (* 20. August 1779 im Socken Väversunda … Deutsch Wikipedia