Johannes van Laar

Johannes van Laar nsIn chemical thermodynamics, Johannes Jacobus van Laar (1860-1939), often cited as J.J. van Laar, was a Dutch chemist who became a self-assigned representative of what he called the “Gibbs-Planck view” of chemical thermodynamics, namely the view that the thermodynamic potentials, in contrast to the alternative early methods of going about studying chemical processes thermodynamically, are the paramount concept, superior to that of the methods used in the so-called “osmotic school” of thermodynamics. [1]

Van Laar is often classified as being part of the Dutch school of thermodynamics. [2]

In 1896, he engaged with a heated debate with Walther Nernst; and continued on with his attack on “osmotics” for over ten years. [1]

Education
Both of van Laar’s parents dereacted (died; ended) before he was thirteen (mother at two; father at thirteen), thus situating him, curiously, in the early parental death categorization. After becoming a naval officer, at the behest of his guardians, from 1881 to 1884 he began to study chemistry, physics, and mathematics, attending the lectures of Jacobus van’t Hoff and Johannes van der Waals. In 1893, he wrote his first book The Thermodynamics of Chemistry. In 1898, he began tutoring in mathematical chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. In 1903, he became an assistant to Dutch chemist Bakhuis Roozeboom. He resigned for health reasons in 1912, and moved to Switzerland. [3]

References
1. Kragh, Helge and Weininger, Stephen J. (1996). “Sooner Science than Confusion: the Tortuous Entry of Entropy into Chemist” (abs), Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, 27(1): 91-130.
2. Sengers, Johanna L. (2002). How Fluids Unmix: Discoveries of the School of Van der Waals and Kamerling Onnes (abs). Koninklijke Nerlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen.
3. Johannes Jacobus van Laar (Dutch → English) – Historici.nl.

External links
Johannes van Laar – Wikipedia.
Johannes van Laar (Dutch → English) – Wikipedia.

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