Julius Lothar Meyer
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|Julius Lothar von Meyer|
Julius Lothar von Meyer
|Born||August 19, 1830
|Died||April 11, 1895 (aged 65)
|Institutions||University of Tübingen|
|Known for||Periodic table of chemical elements|
|Notable awards||Davy Medal (1882)|
Julius Lothar von Meyer (August 19, 1830 – April 11, 1895) was a German chemist. He was a contemporary and competitor of Dimitri Mendeleev in developing the first periodic table of chemical elements. About five years apart, both Mendeleev and Meyer worked with Robert Bunsen.
Julius Lothar von Meyer was born in Varel, now in Germany (then part of the Duchy of Oldenburg). He was the son of Friedrich August Meyer, a physician, and Anna Biermann. After attending Altes Gymnasium Oldenburg AGO high school, he studied medicine at the Zürich University in 1851. Two years later, he studied at the University of Würzburg, where he was a Pathology student of Rudolf Virchow. He studied under C. F. W. Ludwig in Zurich, which prompted him to devote his attention to physiological chemistry, and after graduating from Würzburg in 1854, he went to Heidelberg, where R. Bunsen held the chair of chemistry. In 1858, he graduated with a Ph.D. with a thesis on the action of carbon monoxide on the blood. Influenced by the mathematical teaching of G. R. Kirchhoff, he took up the study of mathematical physics at Königsberg under F. E. Neumann, and in 1859, he became privat-docent in physics and chemistry at Breslau. In 1866, Meyer accepted a post at the Eberswalde Forestry Academy at Neustadt-Eberswalde but soon moved to Carlsruhe Polytechnic.
Meyer's contributions also included the concept that carbon atoms in benzene were arranged in a ring, although he did not propose the alternation of single and double bonds which later were included in the structure by August Kekulé.
During the Franco-German campaign, the Polytechnic was used as a hospital, and Meyer took an active role in the care of the wounded. In 1876, Meyer became the first Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tübingen, where he served until his death.
Meyer is best known for his part in the periodic classification of the elements. He noted, as did J. A. R. Newlands in England, that if each element is arranged in the order of their atomic weights, they fall into groups in of similar chemical and physical properties repeated at periodic intervals. In particular, he pointed out that if the atomic weights are plotted as ordinates and the atomic volumes as abscissae, the curve obtained presents a series of maxima and minima, the most electro-positive elements appearing at the peaks of the curve in the order of their atomic weights.
His book on Die modernen Theorien der Chemie, first published in Breslau in 1862 (The Internet Database of Periodic Tables. Hemogenesis web book) and 1864, contained an early version of the periodic table containing 28 elements classified into six families by their valence — the first time that elements had been grouped and ordered according to their valence. Work on organizing the elements by atomic weight had hitherto been stymied by inaccurate measurements of the atomic weights.
He published articles on his classification table of the elements in horizontal form (1862, 1864) and vertical form (1870), in which the series of periods are properly ended by an element of the earth metal group (Makeyev A.K. Julius Lothar Meyer was first to build the periodic table of elements. // Eropean applied sciences, April, 2013, 4 (2) - pp. 49–61).
Mendeleev published his periodic table of all known elements (and predicted several new elements to complete the table, plus some corrected atomic weights) in 1869. A few months later, working completely independently, Meyer published a revised and expanded version of his 1864 table, which was virtually identical to that published by Mendeleev (Meyer had been sent a copy of Mendeleev's table earlier; Mendeleev had sent it to all well-known chemists of those times) and a paper showing graphically the periodicity of the elements as a function of atomic weight. Meyer, as well as other chemists, was doubtful about Mendeleev's periodic law, and he criticized Mendeleev for "changing existing elements' atomic weights, only regarding possibility of periodical law in its structure." However, Mendeleev's work provided significant support, particularly when the new elements were found as predicted and remeasured atomic weights accorded with those predicted.
Meyer table with a horizontal display of periods in 1864
|Valence IV||Valence III||Valence II||Valence I||Valence I||Valence II||The mass difference|
Meyer table with vertical display of periods in 1870
Meyer married Johanna Volkmann on August 16, 1866.
- With this interest in the physiology of respiration, he had recognized that oxygen combines with the hemoglobin in blood.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Meyer, Julius Lothar". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Seubert, Karl (1918). "Nekrolog: Lothar Meyer". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 28 (4): 1109–1146. doi:10.1002/cber.18950280498.
- Makeyev A.K. Julius Lothar Meyer was first which built the periodic table of elements // European applied sciences, № 4 2013, (April) volume 2. - pp. 49-61. ISSN 2195-2183
- Periodic table according to Lothar Meyer (1870)
- Video of a talk by Michael Gordin titled "Periodicity, Priority, Pedagogy: Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer"
- The Internet Database of Periodic Tables. Chemogenesis web book.
- "Meyer, Lothar Julius". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
- Eric Scerri's website on the periodic table