Liebig, Justus von

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b. 12 May 1803 Darmstadt, Germany
d. 18 April 1873 Munich, Germany
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German chemist, pioneer in the training of chemists and in agricultural chemistry.
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As the son of a pharmacist, Lei big early acquired an interest in chemistry. In 1822 he pursued his chemical studies in Paris under Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778–1850), one of the leading chemists of the time. Three years later he became Professor of Chemistry in the small university of Giessen, near Frankfurt, where he remained for over thirty years. It was there that he established his celebrated laboratory for training in practical chemistry. The laboratory itself and the instruction given by Liebig were a model for the training of chemists throughout Europe and a steady stream of well-qualified chemists issued forth from Giessen. It was the supply of well-trained chemists that proved to be the basis for Germany's later success in industrial chemistry. The university now bears Liebig's name, and the laboratory has been preserved as a museum in the same state that it was in after the extensions of 1839. Liebig's many and important researches into chemical theory and organic chemistry lie outside the scope of this Dictionary. From 1840 he turned to the chemistry of living things. In agriculture, he stressed the importance of fertilizers containing potassium and phosphorus, although he underrated the role of nitrogen. Liebig thereby exerted a powerful influence on the movement to provide agriculture with a scientific basis.
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Further Reading
C.Paoloni, 1968, Justus von Liebig: eine Bibliographie sämtlicher Veröffentlichungen, Heidelberg: Carl Winter (includes a complete list of Liebig's papers and books, published collections of his letters and a list of secondary works about him).
A.W.Hofmann, 1876, The Life Work of Liebig (Faraday Lecture), London (a valuable reference).
J.R.Partington, 1964, A History of Chemistry, Vol. 4, London (a well-documented account of his work).
F.R.Moulton, 1942, Liebig and After Liebig: A Century of Progress in Agricultural Chemistry, Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, publication 18 (for Liebig's work in agricultural chemistry).
J.B.Morrell, 1972, "The chemist breeders", Ambix 19:1–47 (for information about Liebig's laboratory).
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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