Debye, Peter Joseph Wilhelm

Debye, Peter Joseph Wilhelm (1884-1966)

20th Century
Born: Maastricht (The Netherlands), 1884
Died: Ithaca (USA), 1966
Debye studied at the University of Aachen and received a degree in electrical engineering in 1905. However, he turned to physics and received his Ph.D. at the University of München, working under Sommerfeld in 1910. He was professor at the universities of Zürich (1911-1912), Utrecht (1912-1914), Göttingen (1914-1920), Zürich (1920-1927), Leipzig (197-1934), Berlin (1934-1939) and the Cornell University in Ithaca (1940-1952). He did research on the dipole moments of molecules (1912) and he extended the work of the Braggs (1916). Most spectacularly he extended the work of Arrhenius on ionic dissociation in solution and worked out a mathematical theory of electrolytes (the so called Debye-Hückel theory). Debye received the 1936 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work on dipolar moments.

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Link icon  The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1936
"for his contributions to our knowledge of molecular structure through his investigations on dipole moments and on the diffraction of X-rays and electrons in gases"