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Physikalische Chemie der homogenen und heterogenen Gasreaktionen

Nature volume 92, pages 419420 (11 December 1913) | Download Citation



THIS stout volume witnesses in a remarkable manner to certain recent developments in physical chemistry—developments which bid fair to mark the opening of a period of fundamental and fruitful research, comparable in importance only with the years following the enunciation of the laws of solution and of electrolytic dissociation. We refer, of course, to the third principle of thermodynamics due to Nernst, and to the theory of energy quanta, first deduced by Planck as an integral part of his radiation theory, and then later applied with great success by Einstein, Nernst, and Lindemann to the development of a theory of specific heats. The Nernst principle and the Planck theory are closely connected by the Boltzmann conception of entropy as a statistical and probability magnitude, and the changes which their introduction has already brought about in physical chemistry can be well appreciated by comparing Haber's “Thermodynamik technischer Gasreaktionen” (published in 1905) with the present book, which has been essentially written from the point of view of these new theories. The possibility of the prediction of the course and extent of a chemical reaction from purely thermal data, combined with a knowledge of certain physical constants, is now well within reach.

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