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Döbereiner, Johann Wolfgang

elements triads post organic

[doe beriyner] (1780–1849) German chemist: introduced Law of Triads and studied catalysis.

A coachman’s son, Döbereiner was largely self-educated, but secured a teaching post at Jena, possibly through aristocratic influence. He held the teaching post through his lifetime; one of his pupils was the philosopher Goethe. He improved organic analysis and made the first estimates of the abundance of elements in the Earth’s crust. He used an earlier observation by (that platinum caused organic vapours to react with air) to devise Döbereiner’s lamp, a toy or demonstration device in which a jet of hydrogen was ignited by contact with platinum sponge. His main claim to fame is his observation of ‘trias’ (later, triads) of elements. These are groups such as Cl, Br, I; or Ca, Sr, Ba; or S, Se, Te; in which the atomic mass of the middle element is close to the mean of the first and last elements in its group and its physical and chemical properties likewise appear average. By 1829 this was developed as the Law of Triads. It then attracted little attention, but can now be seen as a step towards the periodic classification of the elements.

Dündar, Can (1961–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE, LEGACY, DÜNDAR SPEAKS [next] [back] d'Arienzo, Nicola

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