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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 5 Issue 3 (2000) pp 156-161

Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem: A Polemical Scientist

Jaime Wisniak

Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105

Published online: 1 June 2000

Abstract. Pierre Duhem was a multifaceted and prolific scientist active in thermodynamics, physics, history, and philosophy. His rigid and noncompromising attitude, together with deep religious feelings at a time when France was riding a very strong wave of anticlericalism, led to his being unable to teach in Paris and to academic exile in the provinces. He was a prolific writer and he left his name on many equations such as the Gibbs-Duhem and Duhem-Margules equations. We present here a general picture of his life and activities against the political climate in France as well as a discussion of some of his most important contributions to thermodynamics.

Key Words:  Chemistry and History; physical chemistry

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Issue date: June 1, 2000

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