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Liebig, Justus

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Definition: Liebig ( noun) Justus Baron von Liebig. (1803 - 1873) from

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German chemist, who founded agricultural chemistry. He also contributed to organic chemistry, especially to the concept of radicals, and discovered chloroform.

Summary Article: Liebig , Justus, Freiherr (Baron) von (1803 - 1873) from The Cambridge Dictionary of Scientists
As a druggist’s son, Liebig was attracted early to chemistry. In 1822 he went to study in Paris (then the centre for chemistry) and became assistant to Gay-Lussac. By 1825 he became professor in the very small university at Giessen, near Frankfurt. He stayed there for nearly 30 years, and set up his famous laboratory for students of practical chemistry. It was not the first, as he claimed; but, like his research group of graduate students, it was the model on which systematic training in chemistry was afterwards based elsewhere. His university is now the Justus von Liebig University.In 1826 his work showed that the fulminates, and the very different cyanates (made by Wöhler) had the same molecular formulae. This sort of phenomenon (isomerism) could not then be explained, but it showed that a molecule was not merely a collection of atoms; they were arranged in particular ways, with each arrangement corresponding to one compo...    Continue Reading

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