Gilbert Lewis

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In existographies, Gilbert Lewis (80-9 AE) (1875-1946 ACM) (IQ:195|#13) (RGM:489|1,350+) (FTS:8) (PR:7,194|65AE / chemist:94) (TR:410) (LH:14) (TL:453|#10) was an American physical chemist, chemical thermodynamicist, and philosopher, noted for []

Overview

Formation energies

A caricature of Lewis, sketched by William Jensen, depicted Lewis, at left, as "prophet of the chemical bond", for the vision of his dot structure notation developed as an aid to students during his 1902 chemistry lectures at Harvard, and him at right, pointing to the new chemical thermodynamic rule for spontaneity.

In 1914, Lewis, in his “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen”, with his assistant Merle Randall, building on Fritz Haber's Thermodynamics of Technical Gas Phase Reactions (1905), gave free energies of formation values for oxygen, hydrogen, and a few oxides of hydrogen; the opening page of this ground-breaking article is as follows:[1]

“The ‘standard state’ of oxygen will be gaseous oxygen at a pressure of one atmosphere. We might proceed from existing data to calculate the free energy of liquid and solid oxygen, but since the required data are still somewhat uncertain, and since these calculations must be pretty exact to be of value, we shall postpone the calculation of the free energy of oxygen and hydrogen in the liquid and solid state until further data are at hand. This is the first of a series of papers in which the free energy of formation of the more important compounds will be calculated and tabulated. It is perhaps impossible to prepare such tables as these without permitting some errors to creep in, but every precaution which might serve to eliminate such errors has been taken; the experimental data have been most carefully scrutinized in order to determine not only the most probable value in each case, but also the order of magnitude of the possible error. As a rule, however, this estimate of error has been indicated only by the number of significant figures used. As a safeguard against error in computation every calculation has been carried on independently by the two authors.”
— Gilbert Lewis (1914), “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen” (pg. 1969) [2]
“Values obtained for the increase in free energy, at 25°C, in the formation of a substance (at unit activity) form the elements in their standard reference states.”
— Gilbert Lewis (1914), “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen” (pg. #)

In 1923, Lewis, in his Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances, gave the following tables:[3]

Lewis formation energies table 1.png
Lewis table of formation energies 2.png
Lewis table of formation energies 3.png
Lewis table of formation energies 4.png

In 2016, Libb Thims was referring to Lewis' Delta F at STP.png (or Delta G at STP.png) values as being the free energy of formation associated with the "existence state" of a person.

In 66AE (2021), Thims began to refer to Lewis's term free energy of formation as "formation energy".

Quotes

Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Lewis:

“Long before wave mechanics was known, Lewis [1902] put forward a semi empirical theory according to which the covalent bond between atoms was affected by the formation of pairs of electrons shared by each pair of atoms. We now see that wave mechanics affords a full justification of this picture, and, Moreover, give us a precise meaning to these Lewis electron pairs: they are pairs of electrons with antiparallel spin.”
Walter Heitler (1956), Elementary Wave Mechanics (pg. 142)[4]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Lewis:

“It would carry us altogether too far from our subject to take part in the long-continued debate on the subject of vitalism; the vitalists holding that there are certain properties of living matter which are not possessed at all by inanimate things, or, in other words, that there is a difference in kind between the animate and the inanimate. However, we may point out that in the last analysis differences of kind are often reduced to differences in degree. There certainly can be no question as to the great difference in trend which exists between the living organism, and matter devoid of life. The trend of ordinary systems is toward simplification, toward a certain monotony of form and substance; while living organisms are characterized by continued differentiation, by the evolution of greater and greater complexity of physical and chemical structure.”
— Gilbert Lewis (1923), Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (pg. 121)
“I should have liked to use the word ‘metaphysics’ in the title of this book, but there are certain words which have accumulated such evil implications that they must be abandoned, or withdrawn for a period of purification. Two such words, ‘phlogiston’ and ‘ether’, we shall have occasion to discuss in later lectures. However, in its best sense metaphysics might well be defined as the study of the major abstractions of the human mind, such as space, time, matter, life, love, duty, patriotism—we need not enumerate further. A more or less complete list of our major and minor abstractions is furnished by any unabridged dictionary.”
— Gilbert Lewis (1925), The Anatomy of Science (pgs. 2-3)
“Perhaps our genius for unity will some time produce a science so broad as to include the behavior of a group of electrons and the behavior of a university faculty[5], but such a possibility seems now so remote that I for one would hesitate to guess whether this wonderful science would be more like mechanics or like a psychology.”
— Gilbert Lewis (1925), The Anatomy of Science (§8: Life; Body and Mind)

End matter

See also

References

  1. (a) Lewis, Gilbert; Randall, Merle. (1914). “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen” (abs), Journal of American Chemical Society, 35(10):1969-93, Oct.
    (b) Randall, Merle and Young, Leona E. (1942). Elementary Physical Chemistry (note, pg. 302). Randall and Sons.
  2. Lewis, Gilbert; Randall, Merle. (1914). “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen” (abs), Journal of American Chemical Society, 35(10):1969-93, Oct.
  3. Lewis, Gilbert. (1923). Thermodynamics: and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (amanuensis: Merle Randall) (pgs. 5-6; §:Table of Free Energies, pgs. 607-08) . McGraw-Hill.
  4. Heitler, Walter. (1936). Elementary Wave Mechanics: with Application to Quantum Chemistry (pg. 142). Oxford.
  5. Compare: Chemistry professor paradox (Pirsig, 1991).

Works

  • Lewis, Gilbert. (1923). Thermodynamics: and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (amanuensis: Merle Randall). McGraw-Hill.

Further reading

  • Coffey, Patrick. (2008). Cathedrals of Science: the Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry. Oxford.

Videos

  • Newman, Carly. (2016). “Gilbert Newton Lewis” (YT), Carly Newman, Nov 17.

External links

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