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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 1 (2001) pp 55-61

Frederick Thomas Trouton: The Man, the Rule, and the Ratio

Jaime Wisniak

Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105
Received July 12, 2000. Accepted October 17, 2000

Published online: 29 December 2000

Abstract. Trouton was a multifaceted theoretician and experimentalist who left his name in several fields. Here, his many contributions to science are described and analyzed with particular emphasis on Trouton's rule and its further development, his contributions to rheology (Trouton's ratio), and the famous Trouton–Noble experiment, which is related to the absolute movement of the Earth through the æther.

Chemists and chemical engineers are familiar with Trouton through the rule that carries his name. Trouton’s rule states that at the normal boiling temperature the entropy of vaporization is constant. They are generally unaware of his rich contributions in other scientific areas, such as rheology, osmotic pressure, and physics. Here we describe his personal life and career, his scientific achievements, and, in particular, how his rule has been further developed by others.

Key Words:  Chemistry and History; Trouton

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Issue date: February 1, 2001

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