Jacques-Louis Soret

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Jacques-Louis Soret
Jacques-Louis Soret.JPG
Jacques-Louis Soret
Born(1827-06-30)30 June 1827
Geneva, Switzerland
Died13 May 1890(1890-05-13) (aged 62)
Geneva, Switzerland
Known fordiscovery of holmium, structure of ozone

Jacques-Louis Soret (30 June 1827 – 13 May 1890) was a Swiss chemist and spectroscopist. He studied both spectroscopy and electrolysis. He held the chairs of chemistry (1873-1887) and medical physics (1887-1890) at the University of Geneva.[1]

Soret determined the chemical composition and density of ozone and the conditions for its production.[1][2] He described it correctly as being composed of three oxygen atoms bound together.[3][4][5]

Soret also developed optical instruments. He climbed Mont Blanc, where he was the first scientist to make actinometric measurements of solar radiation. These observations were published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1867.[6][1][2]

In 1878, he and Marc Delafontaine were the first to spectroscopically observe the element later named holmium, which they identified simply as an "earth X" derived from "erbia".[2][7][8] Independently, Per Teodor Cleve separated it chemically from thulium and erbium in 1879.[9][10] All three researchers are given credit for the element's discovery.[2]

The Soret peak or Soret band, a strong absorption band at approximately 420 nm in the absorption spectra of hemoglobin, is also named after him.[11][12]

Jacques-Louis Soret died in Geneva on 13 May 1890.[1] His son was Charles Soret, a recognized physicist and chemist in his own right.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Fontani, Marco; Costa, Mariagrazia; Orna, Virginia (2014). The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table's Shadow Side. Oxford University Press. pp. 119–124. ISBN 978-0-19-938334-4.
  2. ^ a b c d Weeks, Mary Elvira (1956). The discovery of the elements (6th ed.). Easton, PA: Journal of Chemical Education.
  3. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1867). "Untersuchungen über die Dichtigkeit des Ozons". Annalen der Physik und Chemie. 208 (9): 165–174. Bibcode:1867AnP...208..165S. doi:10.1002/andp.18672080908.
  4. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1865). "Recherches sur la densité de l'ozone". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 61: 941.
  5. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1867). "Recherches sur la densité de l'ozone (Seconde partie)". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 64: 904.
  6. ^ Chinnici, Ileana (2018). Decoding the stars : a biography of Angelo Secchi, Jesuit and scientist. Leiden, Boston: Brill. p. 182. ISBN 9789004387294.
  7. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1878). "Sur les spectres d'absorption ultra-violets des terres de la gadolinite". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 87: 1062.
  8. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1879). "Sur le spectre des terres faisant partie du groupe de l'yttria". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 89: 521.
  9. ^ Cleve, Per Teodor (1879). "Sur deux nouveaux éléments dans l'erbine". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 89: 478.
  10. ^ Cleve, Per Teodor (1879). "Sur l'erbine". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 89: 708.
  11. ^ Bigio, Irving J.; Fantini, Sergio (January 7, 2016). Quantitative biomedical optics : theory, methods, and applications. Cambridge University Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-0521876568.
  12. ^ Soret, Jacques-Louis (1883). "Analyse spectrale: Sur le spectre d'absorption du sang dans la partie violette et ultra-violette". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. 97: 1269–1273.
  13. ^ Platten, J. K.; Costesèque, P. (2004). "Charles Soret. A short biography. On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of his death". European Physical Journal E. 15 (3): 235–239. Bibcode:2004EPJE...15..235P. doi:10.1140/epje/i2004-10062-8. PMID 15592762. S2CID 118692286.