Henry Bent

Henry BentIn hmolscience, Henry Albert Bent (1926-2015) was an American physical chemist noted for his 1965 book The Second Law, for his 1971 article “Haste Makes Waste: Pollution and Entropy”, in which he attempts at a connection between the maintenance of the environment and entropy, and for his human thermodynamics education stylized workshops, where he attempted to educate students on how to live ethically according to the laws of thermodynamics. [1]

In 1962, Bent conceived of a global entropy analysis approach used to assess the spontaneity of physicochemical processes. [2] In 1977, in the context of philosophical thermodynamics, Bent coined the phrase “personal entropy ethic”, in an article suggesting that to help in the energy crises one needs to be ethical in the energetic aspects of life based on their knowledge of the second law of thermodynamics. Specifically, in stead of a national energy policy, Bent states: [3]

“What we need is a personal entropy ethic.”

In art thermodynamics, that year, Bent was on the road conducting “Thermodynamics, Art, Poetry, and the Environment” workshops for the Office of Science Education, discussing with students, for instance, a critique on the commandment “thou shalt not unnecessarily create entropy”, among other subjects. [4]

Left step periodic table
In 2007, Bent, along with Frank Weinhold (2008) (Ѻ), where vocal proponents of a left step periodic table (Ѻ), a type of periodic table focusing on the triad rule, which organizes elements according to orbital filling, according to which helium would be placed at the top of the noble gases. [6]

Bent, of note, is the son of American chemist Henry E. Bent, was a professor of physical chemistry at North Carolina State University and at University of Pittsburgh, who taught his a great deal of chemistry, e.g. he gave a regular chemistry Christmas lecture. Bent completed his BS in physical chemistry at Oberlin and his PhD in 1952, with a dissertation on “Decomposition of Molten Ammonium Nitrate”, at the University of California, Berkeley. [5]

1. (a) Bent, Henry A. (1965). The Second Law: an Introduction to Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics. Oxford University Press.
(b) Bent, Henry A. (1971). “Haste Makes Waste: Pollution and Entropy”, Chemistry, Vol. 44, No. 9, pgs 6-15, October.
2. Bindel, Thomas H. (2004). “Teaching Entropy Analysis in the First-Year High School Course and Beyond.” Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 81, No. 11, November.
3. Bent, Henry A. (1977). “Entropy and the Energy Crisis”, The Science Teacher, May, pgs 25-30.
4. Hammond, Dick K. (2005). The Human System from Entropy to Ethics. (pg. 19). Publisher: Dick Hammond.
5. Harkins, Jill. (2011). “Obituary: Henry Bent – Pitt Proved Chemistry Can be Fun”, Post Gazette, Jan 11.
6. Bent, Henry. New Ideas in Chemistry from Fresh Energy for the Periodic Table (abs). Author House.

Further reading
● Schwartz, A. Truman. (2007). “New Ideas in Chemistry from Fresh Energy for the Periodic Table (Henry A. Bent)”, J. Chem. Edu. 84(9): 1431.

External links
Bent, Henry A. – WorldCat Identities.

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