Richard Adolf Zsigmondy
- September 23
) was an Austrian
ancestry who studied colloids
. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
in 1925. The Zsigmondy crater
on the moon
is named in his honor.
Zsigmondy was born in Vienna
, Austrian Empire
) to Irma von Szakmary and Adolf Zsigmondy Sr., who had been a scientist and had invented surgical instruments in the field of dentistry. He was brought up by his mother after his father's early death in 1880 and received a comprehensive education while nevertheless enjoying hobbies such as climbing
with his siblings. His brother Karl Zsigmondy
became a notable mathematician in Vienna. In high school he developed an interest in natural science, especially in chemistry and physics and started to carry out experiments in his own home laboratory.
His academic career began at the University of Vienna
Medical Faculty, but soon moved on to the Technical University of Vienna
and later to the University of Munich
in order to study chemistry. In Munich his teacher was Wilhelm von Miller
(1848-1899), where he started his scientific career by concluding research on indene
and receiving his Ph.D. in 1889.
Zsigmondy left organic chemistry and joined the physics group of August Kundt
at the University of Berlin
and finished his habilitation at the University of Graz
Because of his kowledge about glass and its colouring in 1897 the Schott Glass munufactory offered him a job which he accepted. He invented the Jenaer Milchglas and conducted some research on the red Rubby glass.
Zsigmondy left Schott Glass in 1900 but staid in Jena as privat lecturer to conduct his research. Together with the optical instrument manufacturer Zeiss he developed the slit ultramicroscope.
His scientific career continued in 1908 at the University of Göttingen as professor for inorganic chemistry where he remained the rest of his professional career. In 1925 Zsigmondy received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on colloids during his time in Graz and Jena.
Even before Zsigmondy finished his PhD thesis in organic chemistry he published research on the clouring of glass with silver salts and dissolved silver particles which he recovered by dissolving the glass in hydrofluoric acid.
During his work in Graz Zsigmondy accomplished his most notable research work, the work on the chemistry of colloids (a certain coloured glass). The exact mechanism which yields the red colour of the Cranberry or Ruby glass was a result of his studies of colloids
In later years he worked on gold hydrosol and used them to characterize protein solutions During his time in Jena he developed the slit ultramicroscope.
During his time in Jena he married Laura Luise, née Müller. Two daughters, Annemarie and Käthe, resulted from this marriage. Zsigmondy died only a few years after retirement in 1929 in Göttingen
- J. Reitstötter (1966). "Richard Zsigmondy". Journal Colloid & Polymer Science 211 (1-2): 229–234.
- (1965). "R. Zsigmondy (1865–1929)". Nature 206 (4980): 139.
- Lottermoser (1929). "Richard Zsigmondy zum Gedächtnis". Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 42 (46): 1069–1070.
- (1925). "Richard Zsigmondy zum 60. Geburtstage". Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 38 (14): 289–289.
- H. Freundlich (1930). "Richard Zsigmondy zum 60. Geburtstage". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 63 (11): A171–A175.
- Karl Grandin, ed. Richard Adolf Zsigmondy Biography. Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved on 2008-07-29..
- (1966). Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1922-1941. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company.