CHEM 125a - Lecture 21 - Berzelius to Liebig and Wöhler (1805-1832)

Lecture 21 - Berzelius to Liebig and Wöhler (1805-1832)


The most prominent chemist in the generation following Lavoisier was Berzelius in Sweden. Together with Gay-Lussac in Paris and Davy in London, he discovered new elements, and improved atomic weights and combustion analysis for organic compounds. Invention of electrolysis led not only to new elements but also to the theory of dualism, with elements being held together by electrostatic attraction. Wöhler's report on the synthesis of urea revealed isomerism but also persistent naiveté about treating quantitative data. In their collaborative investigation of oil of bitter almonds Wöhler and Liebig extended dualism to organic chemistry via the radical theory.


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Reading assignments, problem sets, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources for this lecture can be accessed from Professor McBride's on-campus course website, which was developed for his Fall 2008 students. Please see Resources section below.

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