Physical chemist and first winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry
(1901) for work on rates of reaction, chemical equilibrium, and osmotic
Hoff was professor of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology at the University
of Amsterdam (1878-96). In 1884 he published Etudes de Dynamique chimique
("Studies in Chemical Dynamics"), which contained the principles
of chemical kinetics, described a new method for determining the order
of a reaction, and applied the laws of thermodynamics to chemical equilibriums.
He also introduced the modern concept of chemical affinity. In 1886
he showed a similarity between the behaviour of dilute solutions and
gases. Until 1895 he worked on Svante Arrhenius' theory of the dissociation
of electrolytes. In 1896 he became professor to the Prussian Academy
of Science at Berlin. His studies of the salt deposits at Stassfurt,
Ger., contributed to that nation's chemical industry. In 1887 he and
the German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald founded the influential Zeitschrift
fur physikalische Chemie ("Journal of Physical Chemistry").
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