The Theory of Dissociation into Ions

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THE numerical agreement obtained when certain properties of solutions are interpreted on the theories of osmotic pressure and ionic dissociation is undoubtedly very striking, and it is, consequently, not very surprising that these theories have obtained such a ready acceptance. Whatever maybe our opinions as to the validity of the theories, and even of the harm which has been done by pressing them too far, we cannot but recognise that they have been the origin of much good work on a condition of matter which is, at the same time, one of the most obscure and one of the most important, both from the physicist's and chemist's point of view. But, however convenient such theories may be as working hypotheses, their advocates should not have forgotten that they depend solely on the numerical relations alluded to, and that something more than this is required before such hypotheses can be raised to the level of acceptable theories, and far more before they should be held up as an indispensable article of faith, which unless a chemist believe he cannot be saved.

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PICKERING, S. The Theory of Dissociation into Ions. Nature 55, 223–224 (1897) doi:10.1038/055223c0

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