WILLARD GIBBS by Muriel Bukeyser


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This may prove one of the most important books of the year; it will get an outstanding critical and scientific press, and a slow build-up of sales. Gibbs is today ranked by world scientists as among the first five scientists since the Renaissance. He has been called the ""father of physical chemistry"". He was the discoverer of ""the Phase Rule"", from which stem such widely divergent aspects of modern science as new developments of alloys, of metallurgy, petrology, agriculture, the dye industry, high explosives, medicine, and mathematics. Modern refrigeration owes him a debt, liquefaction of helium, radio activity. His discovery of the chemical potential linked classical thermodynamics and contemporary electro-and physical chemistry. And yet, because he lived his life bounded by the physical limitations of Yale University and New Haven, receiving recognition abroad when scarcely known here, his contemporary Edison is known to every schoolboy, and Gibbs, a greater man, is unknown. Muriel Bukeyser has done a great service supremely well. The world has become his laboratory.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1942
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran