Death Anniversary Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff

01 Mar 2021  Mon

Jacobus Henricus Van’t Hoff was a Dutch physical chemist and first winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1901), for work on rates of chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium, and osmotic pressure.

His pioneering work helped found the modern theory of chemical affinity, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and chemical thermodynamics. In his 1874 pamphlet, Van 't Hoff formulated the theory of the tetrahedral carbon atom and laid the foundations of stereochemistry. In 1875, he predicted the correct structures of allenes and cumulenes as well as their axial chirality. He is also widely considered one of the founders of physical chemistry as the discipline is known today.

In 1885, Van 't Hoff was appointed as a Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Other distinctions include honorary doctorates from Harvard and Yale (1901), Victoria University, the University of Manchester (1903), and the University of Heidelberg (1908).

Van 't Hoff died at the age of 58, on 1 March 1911, at Steglitz, near Berlin, of tuberculosis. To honour him the Netherlands Postal Department has issued a stamp of value 60 cents in 1991.

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