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Ten fun facts about Wilhelm Ostwald


1. The Man Who Earned His Ph.D. from Estonia

In 1875, Wilhelm Ostwald achieved a major milestone in his academic career when he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tartu in Estonia. This university, founded in 1632, is the oldest university in the Baltic states and has a long history of producing distinguished graduates. Ostwald's Ph.D. was in physical chemistry, a field in which he would go on to make significant contributions.

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2. Inventor of Nitric Acid Process

Wilhelm Ostwald is a renowned German chemist who is best known for his invention of the Ostwald process, a method used in the production of nitric acid. This process involves the oxidation of ammonia with air, and is widely used in the chemical industry today. Ostwald's invention revolutionized the production of nitric acid, making it more efficient and cost-effective. His work has had a lasting impact on the chemical industry, and his name is still associated with the Ostwald process.

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3. A Child's Determination Led to a Career in Chemistry

As a child, Wilhelm Ostwald had a clear vision of his future: he was determined to pursue a career in chemistry, despite his father's wishes for him to become an engineer. His passion for chemistry was so strong that he was willing to defy his father's wishes in order to pursue his dream. This passion eventually led him to become one of the most influential chemists of the 19th century, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1909.

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4. Nobel Prize Winner & Die Brucke Founder

Wilhelm Ostwald, a Nobel Prize winner, was instrumental in the development of the Die Brucke Institute of Munchen, of which he was one of the directors. His prize money from the Nobel Prize was a key factor in the Institute's growth, allowing it to expand its research and educational activities. Ostwald's involvement in the Institute was a testament to his commitment to furthering scientific knowledge and education.

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5. Nobel Prize Winner Who Was Cut Short By World War 1

In 1917, Wilhelm Ostwald's membership in the International Committee on Atomic Weights was cut short due to the outbreak of World War 1. Ostwald was a renowned chemist and Nobel Prize winner, and his involvement in the committee was highly valued. The committee was responsible for determining the relative atomic weights of the elements, and Ostwald's expertise was instrumental in this process. Unfortunately, the war put an end to his involvement in the committee, and his contributions to the field of atomic weights were never fully realized.

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6. Wilhelm Ostwald - Nobel Prize Winner and Philosopher

Wilhelm Ostwald was a renowned scientist and philosopher who made significant contributions to a wide range of fields. He was a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and was also highly respected for his work in philosophy. His published works included pieces on topics such as the philosophy of science, the philosophy of nature, and the philosophy of history. He was also a prolific writer, having written over 500 books and articles on various topics. His work was highly influential and his ideas continue to be studied and discussed today.

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7. Master of Color Theory

Wilhelm Ostwald was a passionate painter who had a deep interest in color theory. He was so dedicated to his craft that he even went as far as to make his own pigments, ensuring that his artwork was of the highest quality. His dedication to the art of painting and his knowledge of color theory made him a master of his craft.

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8. Wilhelm Ostwald Wins Nobel Prize in 1909

Wilhelm Ostwald was a German chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1909 for his groundbreaking work on reaction velocities and catalysis. His research focused on the rates of chemical reactions and the effects of catalysts on those reactions, and his discoveries revolutionized the field of chemistry. His Nobel Prize-winning work has had a lasting impact on the field, and his theories are still used today in the study of chemical reactions.

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9. Founder of Physical Chemistry

Wilhelm Ostwald, alongside two other pioneering scientists, is widely regarded as one of the modern founders of physical chemistry. His groundbreaking work in the field helped to revolutionize the way we understand the physical and chemical properties of matter. His contributions to the field include the development of the Ostwald process, a method of synthesizing nitric acid, and the Ostwald-Freundlich equation, which describes the relationship between the surface tension of a liquid and its temperature. His work has had a lasting impact on the field of physical chemistry and continues to be studied and applied today.

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10. Wilhelm Ostwald, Nobel Prize-winning chemist, generous philanthropist

Wilhelm Ostwald, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, was a generous philanthropist. He donated a portion of his prize money to the Ido movement, an international language movement that aimed to create a universal language to foster peace and understanding between people of different cultures. Ostwald believed that a common language could help bridge the gap between different cultures and promote understanding and cooperation.

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