EuCheMs  European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences

Sørensen, Soren Peter Lauritz (1868-1939)


Sørensen, Søren Peter Lauritz

20th Century

Born: Haurebjerg near Slagelse (Denmark), 9 January 1868 
Died: Copenhagen (Denmark), 12 February 1939

Sørensen first began to study medicine at the University of Copenhagen but soon moved to chemistry where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1899 working under S.M. Jørgensen on inorganic syntheses. Sørensen became director of the chemical section of Carlsberg Laboratories in 1901 and retired from this post in 1938. While at the Carlsberg Laboratories, Sørensen started to study amino acids, proteins and enzymes. Because hydrogen ion concentration played a key role in enzymatic reactions he devised a simple way of expressing it. By taking a negative logarithm of hydrogen ion concentration a convenient scale can be established; this is the well-known pH value. He also developed buffer solutions to maintain constant pH of solutions (Sørensen buffers).

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Link icon Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen

Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen, a Danish biochemist, suggested a convenient way of expressing acidity — the negative logarithm of hydrogen ion concentration (pH).