Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff

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Jacobus Henricus van ’t Hoff

Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, Jr. (30 August 18521 March 1911) was a Dutch physical and organic chemist and the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is best known for his discoveries in chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, osmotic pressure, and stereochemistry. Van 't Hoff's work in these subjects helped found the discipline of physical chemistry as it is today.

==Quotes by van 't Hoff

  • A famous name has this peculiarity that it becomes gradually smaller especially in natural sciences where each succeeding discovery invariably overshadows what precedes.
  • It is sometimes easier to circumvent prevailing difficulties [in science] rather than to attack them.
  • Whereas the chemico-chemists always find in industry a beautiful field of gold-laden soil, the physico-chemists stand somewhat farther off, especially those who seek only the greatest dilution, for in general there is little to make with watery solutions.

Quotes about van 't Hoff

  • In that year [1874], Jacobus van’t Hoff and Joseph Le Bel added a third dimension to our ideas about organic compounds when they proposed that the four bonds of carbon are not oriented randomly but have specific spatial directions. Van’t Hoff went even further and suggested that the four atoms to which carbon is bonded sit at the corners of a regular tetrahedron, with carbon in the center.
    • John McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th ed. (2012), Ch. 1 : Structure and Bonding