The Full Wiki

Alexander William Williamson: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alexander William Williamson

Alexander William Williamson
Born 1 May 1824
London
Died 6 May 1904
Surrey
Nationality British
Doctoral advisor Leopold Gmelin
Justus von Liebig
Known for Synthesis of ethers

Alexander William Williamson FRS (1 May 1824 – 6 May 1904) was an English chemist of Scottish descent. He is best known today for the Williamson ether synthesis.

Contents

Biography

After working under Leopold Gmelin at Heidelberg, and Justus von Liebig at Gießen, Williamson spent three years in Paris studying higher mathematics under Comte. In 1849, Williamson was appointed professor of practical chemistry at University College, London, and from 1855 until his retirement in 1887 he also held the professorship of chemistry. He died on 6 May 1904, at Hindhead, Surrey, England, and was buried at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey.[1][2]

Research on ether

Alexander Williamson

Williamson is credited for his research on the formation of ether by the interaction of sulphuric acid and alcohol, known as the Williamson ether synthesis. He regarded ether and alcohol as substances analogous to and built up on the same type as water, and he further introduced the water-type as a widely applicable basis for the classification of chemical compounds. The method of stating the rational constitution of bodies by comparison with water he believed capable of wide extension, and that one type, he thought, would suffice for all inorganic compounds, as well as for the best-known organic ones, the formula of water being taken in certain cases as doubled or tripled.

So far back as 1850 he also suggested a view which, in a modified form, is of fundamental importance in the modern theory of ionic dissociation, for, in a paper on the theory of the formation of ether, he urged that in an aggregate of molecules of any compound there is an exchange constantly going on between the elements which are contained in it; for instance, in hydrochloric acid each atom of hydrogen does not remain quietly in juxtaposition with the atom of chlorine with which it first united, but changes places with other atoms of hydrogen. A somewhat similar hypothesis was put forward by Rudolf Clausius about the same time.

Honours and awards

For his work on etherification, Williamson received a Royal medal from the Royal Society in 1862, of which he became a fellow in 1855, and which he served as foreign secretary from 1873 to 1889. He was twice president of the London Chemical Society, from 1863-1865 and from 1869-1871.

Williamson and the Chōshū Five

In 1863 five students from the Chōshū clan in Japan came to study in London under the guidance of Professor Williamson. They were Ito Shunsuke (later Ito Hirobumi), Inoue Monta (later Inoue Kaoru), and Yamao Yozo. Endo Kinsuke and Nomura Yakichi (later Inoue Masaru). They all later made enormous contributions to the modernization of Japan.

References

  1. ^ Harris, J.; Brock, W. H. (1978). "From Giessen to Gower Street: Towards a Biography of Alexander William Williamson (1824 – 1904)". Annals of Science 31 (2): 95 – 130. doi:10.1080/00033797400200171.  
  2. ^ "Brookwood Cemetery Ltd (October 2007)". http://brookwoodcemetery.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html. Retrieved 2008-12-01.   - Contains a link to a file (pdf format) showing Williamson's grave.

Further reading

  • Foster, G. Carey (1911). "Gedächtnisfeier: Alexander William Williamson". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 44 (3): 2253 – 2269. doi:10.1002/cber.19110440339.  

External links

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Advertisements

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message