The Full Wiki

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy: Wikis


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.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy
Born 1 April 1865(1865-04-01)
Vienna, Austrian Empire
Died 23 September 1929 (aged 64)
Göttingen, Germany
Nationality Austria
Ethnicity Hungarian[1]
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Vienna
Technical University of Vienna
University of Munich
University of Graz
University of Göttingen
Alma mater Technical University of Vienna
University of Munich
Doctoral advisor Wilhelm von Miller
Influenced August Kundt
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1925)

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy (1 April 1865 – 23 September 1929) was a Hungarian born[1] Austrian-German chemist and Nobel laureate for chemistry known for his research in colloids. The crater Zsigmondy on the Moon is named in his honour. He was an ethnic Hungarian.




Early years

Zsigmondy was born in Vienna, Austrian Empire to Irma von Szakmary and Adolf Zsigmondy, Sr., who had been a scientist and had invented surgical instruments in the field of dentistry. He was raised by his mother after his father's early death in 188, and received a comprehensive education. He enjoyed hobbies such as climbing and mountaineering with his siblings. His brother Karl Zsigmondy became a notable mathematician in Vienna. In high school he developed an interest in natural science, especially in chemistry and physics, and experimented in his home laboratory.

His academic career began at the University of Vienna Medical Faculty, but soon moved on to the Technical University of Vienna and later to the University of Munich in order to study chemistry. In Munich his teacher was Wilhelm von Miller (1848–1899), where he started his scientific career by concluding research on indene and receiving his Ph.D. in 1889.[2]


Aqueous colloidal gold.

Zsigmondy left organic chemistry and joined the physics group of August Kundt at the University of Berlin and finished his habilitation at the University of Graz in 1893. Because of his knowledge about glass and its colouring in 1897 the Schott Glass factory offered him a job which he accepted. He invented the Jenaer Milchglas and conducted some research on the red Ruby glass.

Zsigmondy left Schott Glass in 1900 but remained in Jena as private lecturer to conduct his research. Together with the optical instrument manufacturer Zeiss, he developed the slit ultramicroscope. His scientific career continued in 1908 at the University of Göttingen as professor of inorganic chemistry, where he remained the rest of his professional career. In 1925 Zsigmondy received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on colloids.

Before Zsigmondy finished his PhD thesis in organic chemistry, he published research on colouring glass with silver salts and dissolved silver particles, which he recovered by dissolving the glass in hydrofluoric acid.

Vintage cranberry glass bowl

During his work in Graz Zsigmondy accomplished his most notable research work, the work on the chemistry of colloids (a certain coloured glass). The exact mechanism which yields the red colour of the Cranberry or Ruby glass was a result of his studies of colloids.[3] In later years he worked on gold hydrosol and used them to characterize protein solutions. While in Jena he developed the slit ultramicroscope.

Private life

Zsigmondy was married in 1903 Laura Luise Müller with whom he had two daughters, Annemarie and Käthe. He died a few years after retirement in 1929 in Göttingen, Germany


  1. ^ a b Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, lands, and culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 394. ISBN 1576078000, 9781576078006. Retrieved 2009.06.06..  
  2. ^ W. v. Miller, Rohde (1889). "Zur Synthese von Indenderivaten". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 22 (2): 1881–1886. doi:10.1002/cber.18890220227.  
  3. ^ R. Zsigmondy (1898). "Ueber wässrige Lösungen metallischen Goldes". Justus Liebig's Annalen der Chemie 301 (1): 29–54. doi:10.1002/jlac.18983010104.  

Further reading

  • J. Reitstötter (1966). "Richard Zsigmondy". Journal Colloid & Polymer Science 211 (1–2): 229–234. doi:10.1007/BF01500203.  
  • "R. Zsigmondy (1865–1929)". Nature 206 (4980): 139. 1965. doi:10.1038/206139a0.  
  • Lottermoser (1929). "Richard Zsigmondy zum Gedächtnis". Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 42 (46): 1069–1070. doi:10.1002/ange.19290424602.  
  • "Richard Zsigmondy zum 60. Geburtstage". Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 38 (14): 289–289. 1925. doi:10.1002/ange.19250381402.  
  • H. Freundlich (1930). "Richard Zsigmondy zum 60. Geburtstage". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 63 (11): A171–A175. doi:10.1002/cber.19300631144.  

External links


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