See also:born at
See also:Darmstadt, according to his baptismal certificate, on the 12th of May 1803 (4th of May, according to his
See also:mother) . His
See also:father, a drysalter and dealer in
See also:colours, used sometimes to make experiments in the hope of finding improved processes for the production of his wares, and thus his son early acquired familiarity with
See also:practical chemistry . For the theoretical side he read all the text-books which he could find, somewhat to the detriment of his -ordinary school studies . Having determined to make chemistry his profession, at the age of fifteen he entered the
See also:shop of an apothecary at Appenheim, near Darmstadt; but he soon found how
See also:great is the difference between practical
See also:pharmacy and scientific chemistry, and the explosions and other incidents that accompanied his private efforts to increase his chemical knowledge disposed his
See also:master to view without regret his departure at the end of ten months . He next entered the university of
See also:Bonn, but migrated to
See also:Erlangen when the
See also:professor of chemistry, K . W . G . Kastner (1783-1857), was appointed in 1821 to the
See also:chair of physics and chemistry at the latter university . He followed this professor to learn how to analyse certain minerals, but in the end be found that the teacher himself was ignorant of the
See also:process . Indeed, as he himself said afterwards, it was a wretched
See also:time for chemistry in Germany . No laboratories were accessible to ordinary students, who had to content themselves with what the
See also:universities could give in the lecture
See also:room and the library, and though both at Bonn and Erlangen Liebig endeavoured to make up for the deficiencies of the official instruction by founding a students'
See also:physical and chemical society for the discussion of new discoveries and speculations, he
See also:felt that he could never become a chemist in his own
See also:country . Therefore, having graduated as Ph.D. in 1822, he
See also:left Erlangen—where he subsequently complained that the contagion of the " greatest philosopher , and metaphysician of the century " (Schelling), in a
See also:period "
See also:rich in words and ideas, but poor in true knowledge and genuine studies," had cost him two precious years of his life—and by the liberality of
See also:Louis I.,.
See also:grand-duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, was enabled to go to
See also:Paris .
By the help of L . J .
See also:Thenard he gained
See also:admission to the private laboratory of H . F . Gaultier de Claubry (1792-1873), professor of chemistry at the Ecole de Pharmacies and soon afterwards, by the influence of A. von Humboldt, to that of Gay-Lussac, where in 1824 he concluded his investigations on the composition of the fulminates . It was on Humboldt's advice, that he determined to become a teacher of chemistry, but difficulties stood in his way . As a native of Hesse-Darmstadt he ought, according to the academical rules of the time, to have studied and graduated at the university of
See also:Giessen, and it was only through the influence of Humboldt that the authorities forgave him for straying to the
See also:foreign university of Erlangen . After 'examination his Erlangen degree was recognized, and in 1824 he was appointed extraordinary professor of chemistry at Giessen, becoming ordinary, professor two years later . In this small
See also:town his most important
See also:work was accomplished . His first care was to persuade the Darmstadt
See also:government to provide a chemical laboratory in 'which the students might obtain a proper practical training . This laboratory, unique of its kind at the time, in conjunction with Liebig's unrivalled gifts as . a teacher, soon rendered Giessen the most famous chemical school in the
See also:world; men flocked from every country to enjoy its advantages, and many of the most accomplished chemists of the loth century had to thank it for their early training . Further, it gave a great impetus to the progress of chemical
See also:education throughout Germany, for the continued admonitions of Liebig combined with the influence of his pupils induced many other universities to build laboratories modelled on the same plan .
He remained at Giessen for, twenty-eight years, until in 1852 he accepted the invitation of the Bavarian government to the ordinary chair of chemistry at
See also:Munich university, and this
See also:office he held, although he was offered the chair at Berlin in 1865, until his
See also:death, which occurred at Munich on the loth of
See also:April 1873 . Apart from Liebig's labours for the improvement of chemical teaching, the influence of his experimental researches and of his contributions to chemical thought was felt in every branch of the science . In regard to methods and apparatus, mention should be made of his improvements in the technique of organic analysis, his plan for determining the natural alkaloids and for ascertaining the molecular weights of organic bases by means of their chloroplatinates, his process for determining the quantity of
See also:urea in asolution—the first step towards the introduction of precise chemical methods into practical medicine—and his invention of the
See also:form of
See also:condenser known in every laboratory . His contributions to inorganic chemistry were numerous, including investigations on the compounds of antimony, aluminium, silicon, &c., on the separation of nickel and
See also:cobalt, and on the analysis of
See also:waters, but they are outweighed in importance by his work on organic sub-stances . In this domain his first
See also:research was on the fulminates of mercury and
See also:silver, and his study of these bodies led him to the
See also:discovery of the
See also:isomerism of cyanic and fulminic acids, for the composition of fulminic acid as found by him was the same as that of cyanic acid, as found by F .
See also:Wohler, and it became necessary to admit them to be two bodies which differed in properties, though of the same percentage composition . Further work on cyanogen and connected substances yielded a great number of interesting derivatives, and he described an improved method for the manufacture of potassium
See also:cyanide, an
See also:agent which has since proved of enormous value in metallurgy and the arts . In 1832 he published, jointly with Wohler, one of the most famous papers in the
See also:history of chemistry, that on the oil of bitter almonds (benzaldehyde), wherein it was shown that the radicle benzoyl might be regarded as forming an unchanging constituent of a long series of compounds obtained from oil of bitter almonds, throughout which it behaved like an
See also:element .
See also:Berzelius hailed this discovery as marking the
See also:dawn of a new era in organic chemistry, and proposed for benzoyl the names " Proin " or " Orthrin " (from 7rpn.,1 and o"pOpvs) . A continuation of their work on bitter
See also:almond oil by Liebig and Wohler, who remained
See also:firm friends for the
See also:rest of their lives, resulted in the elucidation of the mode of formation of that substance and in the discovery of the ferment emulsin as well as the recognition of the first
See also:glucoside, amygdalin, while another and not less important and far-reaching inquiry in which they collaborated was that on uric acid, published in '837 . About 1832 he began his investigations into the constitution of
See also:ether and
See also:alcohol and their derivatives . These on the one
See also:hand resulted in the enunciation of his
See also:ethyl theory, by the
See also:light of which he looked upon those substances as compounds of the radicle ethyl (C2H5), in opposition to the view of J .
B . A .
See also:Dumas, who regarded them as hydrates of olefiant
See also:gas (
See also:ethylene); on the other they yielded
See also:chloral and aldehyde, as. well as other compounds of less general
See also:interest, and also the method of forming mirrors by depositing silver from a slightly ammoniacal solution by acet aldehyde . In 1837 with Dumas he published a note on the constitution of organic acids, and in the following
See also:year an elaborate paper on the same subject appeared under his own name alone; by this work T .
See also:Graham s
See also:doctrine of polybasicity was extended to the organic acids . Liebig also did much to further the hydrogen theory of acids . These and other studies in pure chemistry mainly occupied his
See also:attention until about 1838, but the last
See also:thirty-five years of his
See also:life were devoted more particularly to the chemistry of the processes of life, both animal and
See also:vegetable . In animal physiology he set himself to trace out the operation of determinate chemical and physical
See also:laws in the
See also:maintenance of life and
See also:health . To this end he examined such immediate vital products as
See also:blood, bile and urine; he analysed the juices of flesh, establishing the composition of creatin and investigating its decomposition products, creatinin and sarcosin; he classified the various articles of
See also:food in accordance with the
See also:function performed by each in the animal
See also:economy, and expounded the philosophy of +cooking; and in opposition to many of the medical opinions of his time taught that the
See also:heat of the
See also:body is the result of the processes of combustion and oxidation performed within the organism . A secondary result of this
See also:line of study was the preparation of his food for infants and of his extract of
See also:meat . Vegetable physiology he pursued with special reference to
See also:agriculture, which he held to be the foundation of all
See also:trade and
See also:industry, but which could not be rationally practised without the guidance of chemical principles . His first publication on this subject was Die Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agricultur and Physiologie in 184o, which was at once translated into
See also:English by Lyon Playfair .
Rejecting the old notion that
See also:plants derive their nourishment from humus, he taught that they get
See also:carbon and nitrogen from the carbon dioxide and
See also:present in the atmosphere, these compounds being returned by them to the atmosphere by the processes of putrefaction and fermentation—which latter he regarded as essentially chemical in nature—while their potash, soda, lime,
See also:sulphur, phosphorus, &c., come from the
See also:soil . Of the carbon dioxide and ammonia no exhaustion can take place, but of the mineral constitutents the supply is limited because the soil cannot afford an indefinite amount of them;- hence the chief care of the
See also:farmer, and the function of
See also:manures, is to restore to the soil those minerals which each
See also:crop is found, by the analysis of its ashes, to take up in its growth . On this theory he prepared artificial manures containing the essential mineral substances together with a small quantity of ammoniacal salts, because he held that the air does not supply ammonia fast enough in certain cases, and carried out systematic experiments on ten acres of poor sandy
See also:land which he obtained from the town of Giessen in 1845 . But in practice the results were not wholly satisfactory, and it was a long time before he recognized one important reason for the failure in the fact that to prevent the alkalis from being washed away by the
See also:rain he had taken pains to add them in an insoluble form, whereas, as was ultimately suggested to him by experiments performed by J . T . Way about 1850, this precaution was not only superfluous but harmful, because the soil possesses a power of absorbing the soluble saline matters required by plants and of retaining them, in spite of rain, for assimilation by the roots . Liebig's
See also:literary activity was very great . The Royal Society's
See also:Catalogue of Scientific Papers enumerates 318
See also:memoirs under his name, exclusive of many others published in collaboration with other investigators . A certain impetuousness of character which disposed him to rush into controversy whenever doubt was
See also:cast upon the views he supported accounted for a great
See also:deal of writing, and he also carried on an extensive
See also:correspondence with Wohler and other scientific men . In 1832 he founded the Annalen der Pharmazie, which became the Annalen der Chemie and Pharmazie in 184o when Wohler became joint-editor with himself, and in 1837 with Wohler and Poggendorff he established the HandwOrterbuch der reinen and angewandten Chemie . After the death of Berzelius he continued the Jahresbericht with H . F .
M .Kopp . The following are his most important
See also:separate publications, many of which were translated into English and French almost as soon as they ap- peared: Anleitung zur Analyse der organischen Kerper (1837); Die Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agrikultur and Physiologic (184o) ; Die Thier-Chemie
See also:Oder die organische Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Physiologic and Pathologie (1842); Handbuch der organischen Chemie mil Rucksicht auf Pharmazie (1843); Chemische Briefe (1844) ; Chemische Untersuchungen uber das Fleisch and
See also:seine Zubereitung zum Nahrungsmittel (1847) ; Die Grundsatze der Agrikultur-Chemie (1855); Ober Theorie and Praxis in der Landwirthschaft (1856); Naturwissenschaftliche Briefe fiber die moderne Land- wirthschaft (1859) . A
See also:posthumous collection of his
See also:miscellaneous addresses and publications appeared in 1874 as Reden and Abhandlungen, edited by his son
See also:George (b . 1827) . His
See also:criticism of
See also:Bacon, Uber
See also:Francis von Verulam, was first published in 1863 in the Augsburger allgemeine Zeitung, where also most of his letters on chemistry made their first appearance . See The Life Work of Liebig (
See also:London, 1876), by his
See also:pupil A . W. von
See also:Hofmann, which is the
See also:Faraday lecture delivered before the London Chemical Society in
See also:March 1875, and is reprinted in Hofmann's Zur Erinnerung an vorangegangene Freunde; also W . A .
See also:Shenstone, Justus von Liebig, his Life and Work (1895) .
MAX LIEBERMANN (1849– )
WILHELM LIEBKNECHT (1826-1900)
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