||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Born||July 15, 1871
|Died||September 3, 1942
|Institutions||University of Leipzig,
Humboldt University of Berlin,
University of Hanover
|Alma mater||University of Heidelberg|
|Doctoral advisor||Victor Meyer|
|Known for||“Bodenstein-number”, a special type of Peclet number|
Max Ernst August Bodenstein (born July 15, 1871 in Magdeburg - died September 3, 1942 in Berlin) was a German physical chemist known for his work in chemical kinetics. He was first to postulate a chain reaction mechanism and that explosions are branched chain reactions, later applied to the atomic bomb.
He also studied decomposition of hydrohalic acids and their formation. Furthermore Bodenstein studied catalysis in flowing systems and discovered diffusion controlled catalytic reactions and photochemical reactions with Karl Liebermann at the Technical University of Berlin and with Walter Nernst at the University of Göttingen. After having returned to the University of Heidelberg in the year 1899 he habilitated with the theme: "Gasreaktionen in der chemischen Kinetik" (Reaction of Gas in the chemical kinetics).
---His technique was to mix hydrogen and iodine in a sealed tube, which he placed in a thermostat and held at a constant high temperature. The reaction eventually reached an equilibrium, at which the rate of formation of hydrogen iodide was equal to the rate of decomposition to the original reaction: H2 + I2 ≡ 2HI
The equilibrium mixture of H2, Iodine, and HI was frozen by rapid cooling, and the amount of hydrogen iodide present could be analyzed. Using different amounts of initial reactants, Bodenstein could vary the amounts present at equilibrium and verify the law of chemical equilibrium proposed in 1863 by Cato Guldberg and Peter Waage.(Oxford dictionary of scientists) Bodenstein could modify the amounts that arose in the balance, verifying the law of the chemical equilibrium, propose law by Cato Guldberg and Peter Waage in 1863 .
Bodenstein also investigated in photochemistry, being first in demonstrating that, in the reaction of Hydrogen with Chlorine, the high performance could explain by means of one Chain reaction.---
---A brief timeline of Bodensteins educational years. 1899 habilitation; thesis: Gasreaktionen in der chemischen Kinetik
1904 Titularprofessor in Leipzig at the physicochemical institute of Wilhelm Ostwald
1906 extra-ordinary professor in Berlin at the physicochemical institute of Walther Nernst
1908 ordinary professor TH Hannover (electrochemistry, since 1911 also physical chemistry)
1923 ordinary professor University of Berlin (physical chemistry, successor of W. Nernst)---
In 1904 he was firstly appointed as honorary professor at the physicochemical institute from Wilhelm Ostwald at the University of Leipzig before furthermore in 1906 he was called to become associate professor at the University of Berlin and senior manager of the physicochemical institute of Walter Nernst. In 1908 he decided to change to the University of Hanover where he was appointed professor in ordinary and director of the electrochemical institute. Finally in 1923 he went back to Berlin where he accepted to be director of the physicochemical institute after the retirement of Walter Nernst.
Max Bodenstein was also co-operator with the "German Atomgewichts-Kommission" (German Commission of Atomic Weights), co-editor of the journal "Physikalische Chemie" (Physical chemistry) and since 1924 ordinary member in the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
He died in Berlin. His tomb is at the cemetery Berlin-Nikolassee. A tablet commemorating Bodenstein and Walther Nernst was placed in 1983. ---In addition,a link to an extensive family tree that shows the history of his personal relationships. http://academictree.org/chemistry/tree.php?pid=52121---
In 1936 he was awarded the "August Wilhelm von Hofmann votive medal" from the "German Chemical Society". Furthermore he became honorary doctor of science of the University of Princeton and Dr.-Ing. E.h. (honorary doctor of engineering).
Special case and literature 
- Chemische Kinetik. Ergebnisse der exakten Naturwiss., Berlin 1922; I., page 197-209,
- Photochemie. Ergebnisse der exakten Naturwiss., Berlin 1922; I, page 210-227,
- Completed references of his works in the library of Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften:
- Completed references of his works in the Wiley Interscience:
- Image of commemorative tablet
- works in library of Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
- Works in Wiley Interscience