Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Nobel laureates 1905: Philipp Lenard, Adolf von Baeyer, Robert Koch, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Bertha von Suttner

The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelpriset, Norwegian: Nobelprisen) are prizes awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institutet, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributions to the field of economics. Each recipient, or "laureate", receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money, which is decided annually by the Nobel Foundation

Here is a list of 1905 Nobel laureates  

Physics: Philipp Lenard, Slovak-German physicist and academic

Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard (7 June 1862– 20 May 1947) was a Hungarian-born German physicist and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 for his work on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties. One of his most important contributions was the experimental realization of the photoelectric effect. He discovered that the energy (speed) of the electrons ejected from a cathode depends only on the wavelength, and not the intensity, of the incident light.

Lenard was a nationalist and anti-Semite; as an active proponent of the Nazi ideology, he supported Adolf Hitler in the 1920s and was an important role model for the "Deutsche Physik" movement during the Nazi period. Notably, he labeled Albert Einstein's contributions to science as "Jewish physics".

As a physicist, Lenard's major contributions were in the study of cathode rays, which he began in 1888. Prior to his work, cathode rays were produced in primitive, partially evacuated glass tubes that had metallic electrodes in them, across which a high voltage could be placed. Cathode rays were difficult to study using this arrangement, because they were inside sealed glass tubes, difficult to access, and because the rays were in the presence of air molecules. Lenard overcame these problems by devising a method of making small metallic windows in the glass that were thick enough to be able to withstand the pressure differences, but thin enough to allow passage of the rays. Having made a window for the rays, he could pass them out into the laboratory, or, alternatively, into another chamber that was completely evacuated. These windows have come to be known as Lenard windows. He was able to conveniently detect the rays and measure their intensity by means of paper sheets coated with phosphorescent materials.

Lenard observed that the absorption of cathode rays was, to first order, proportional to the density of the material they were made to pass through. This appeared to contradict the idea that they were some sort of electromagnetic radiation. He also showed that the rays could pass through some inches of air of a normal density, and appeared to be scattered by it, implying that they must be particles that were even smaller than the molecules in air. He confirmed some of J. J. Thomson's work, which eventually arrived at the understanding that cathode rays were streams of negatively charged energetic particles. He called them quanta of electricity or for short quanta, after Helmholtz, while Thomson proposed the name corpuscles, but eventually electrons became the everyday term. In conjunction with his and other earlier experiments on the absorption of the rays in metals, the general realization that electrons were constituent parts of the atom enabled Lenard to claim correctly that for the most part atoms consist of empty space. He proposed that every atom consists of empty space and electrically neutral corpuscules called "dynamids", each consisting of an electron and an equal positive charge.

As a result of his Crookes tube investigations, he showed that the rays produced by irradiating metals in a vacuum with ultraviolet light were similar in many respects to cathode rays. His most important observations were that the energy of the rays was independent of the light intensity, but was greater for shorter wavelengths of light.

These latter observations were explained by Albert Einstein as a quantum effect. This theory predicted that the plot of the cathode ray energy versus the frequency would be a straight line with a slope equal to Planck's constant, h. This was shown to be the case some years later. The photo-electric quantum theory was the work cited when Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Suspicious of the general adulation of Einstein, Lenard became a prominent skeptic of relativity and of Einstein's theories generally; he did not, however, dispute Einstein's explanation of the photoelectric effect. Lenard grew extremely resentful of the credit accorded to Wilhelm Röntgen, who received the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, for the discovery of the X-ray, despite the fact that Röntgen was German and a non-Jew. Lenard wrote that he, not Roentgen, was the “mother of the X-rays,” since he had invented the apparatus used to produce them. Lenard likened Röntgen’s role to that of a “midwife” who merely assists with the birth.

Lenard received the 1905 Nobel Prize for Physics in recognition of this work.

Stamp issued by Guinea Bissau depicting Philipp Lenard

Guinea Bissau Nobel Prize Physics Philipp Lenard Germany

Chemistry: Adolf von Baeyer, German chemist and academic

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer (31 October 1835 – 20 August 1917) was a German chemist who synthesized indigo and developed a nomenclature for cyclic compounds (that was subsequently extended and adopted as part of the IUPAC organic nomenclature). He was ennobled in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1885 and was the 1905 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Baeyer charted his own path into science early on, performing experiments on plant nutrition at his paternal grandfather's Müggelsheim farm as a boy; back in the confines of Berlin, he took to the test tubes with chemical experimentation starting at the age of nine. Three years later, he synthesized a previously unknown chemical compound -double carbonate of copper and sodium. On his 13th birthday, he initiated his lifework, buying a chunk of indigo worth two Thalers for his first dye experiments.

When still a schoolboy, his chemistry teacher at the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium appointed him as his assistant. After graduating from secondary school in 1853, he entered the Berlin University to study physics and mathematics. A stint in the Prussian army interrupted his study until 1856, when he returned to academia at the University of Heidelberg, intending to study chemistry under Robert Bunsen. After an argument with the renowned chemist, however, he changed his mentor to August Kekulé. He continued to collaborate with Kekule even after he returned to Berlin in 1858 for the completion of his doctorate on arsenic methyl chloride, or cacodylic chloride.

After completing his doctorate, he followed Kekulé to the University of Ghent, when Kekulé became professor there. He became a lecturer at the Berlin Gewerbeinstitut (Royal Trade Academy [de]) in 1860 and a Professor at the University of Strasbourg in 1871. In 1875, he succeeded Justus von Liebig as Chemistry Professor at the University of Munich.

Baeyer's chief achievements include the synthesis and description of the plant dye indigo, the discovery of the phthalein dyes, and the investigation of polyacetylenes, oxonium salts, nitroso compounds (1869) and uric acid derivatives (1860 and onwards) (including the discovery of barbituric acid (1864), the parent compound of the barbiturates). He was the first to propose the correct formula for indole in 1869, after publishing the first synthesis three years earlier. His contributions to theoretical chemistry include the 'strain' (Spannung) theory of triple bonds and strain theory in small carbon rings.

In 1871 he discovered the synthesis of phenolphthalein by condensation of phthalic anhydride with two equivalents of phenol under acidic conditions (hence the name). That same year he was the first to obtain synthetic fluorescein, a fluorophore pigment which is similar to naturally occurring pyoverdin that is synthesized by microorganisms (e.g., by some fluorescent strains of Pseudomonas). Baeyer named his finding "resorcinphthalein" as he had synthesized it from phthalic anhydride and resorcinol. The term fluorescein would not start to be used until 1878.

In 1872 he experimented with phenol and formaldehyde; the resinous product was a precursor for Leo Baekeland's later commercialization of Bakelite.

In 1881 the Royal Society of London awarded Baeyer the Davy Medal for his work with indigo. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1884. In 1905 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "in recognition of his services in the advancement of organic chemistry and the chemical industry, through his work on organic dyes and hydroaromatic compounds", and he continued in full active work as one of the best-known teachers in the world of organic chemistry up to within a year of his death.

Stamp issued by Guinea Bissau depicting Adolf von Baeyer

Guinea Bissau Nobel Prize Chemistry Adolf Von Baeyer Germany

Physiology or Medicine: Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist

Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a German physician and microbiologist. As one of the main founders of modern bacteriology, he identified the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and gave experimental support for the concept of infectious disease, which included experiments on humans and other animals. Koch created and improved laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology, and made key discoveries in public health. His research led to the creation of Koch's postulates, a series of four generalized principles linking specific microorganisms to specific diseases that remain today the "gold standard" in medical microbiology.

During his time as the government advisor with the Imperial Department of Health in Berlin in the 1880s, Robert Koch became interested in tuberculosis research. At the time, it was widely believed that tuberculosis was an inherited disease. However, Koch was convinced that the disease was caused by a bacterium and was infectious, and tested his four postulates using guinea pigs. Through these experiments, he found that his experiments with tuberculosis satisfied all four of his postulates. In 1882, he published his findings on tuberculosis, in which he reported the causative agent of the disease to be the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

For his research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. The Robert Koch Institute is named in his honor.

Belgium Robert Koch

German Reich 1944 Robert Koch

Germany 1982 Robert Koch

Germany Berlin 1960 Robert Koch

Hungary Robert Koch

Russia Robert Koch

Literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish journalist and author

Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz (5 May 1846 – 15 November 1916), also known by the pseudonym Litwos, was a Polish journalist, novelist and Nobel Prize laureate. He is best remembered for his historical novels, especially for his internationally known best-seller Quo Vadis (1896).

Born into an impoverished Polish noble family in Russian-ruled Congress Poland, in the late 1860s he began publishing journalistic and literary pieces. In the late 1870s he traveled to the United States, sending back travel essays that won him popularity with Polish readers. In the 1880s he began serializing novels that further increased his popularity. He soon became one of the most popular Polish writers of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and numerous translations gained him international renown, culminating in his receipt of the 1905 Nobel Prize in Literature for his "outstanding merits as an epic writer."

Many of his novels remain in print. In Poland he is best known for his "Trilogy" of historical novels – With Fire and Sword, The Deluge, and Sir Michael – set in the 17th-century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; internationally he is best known for Quo Vadis, set in Nero's Rome. The Trilogy and Quo Vadis have been filmed, the latter several times, with Hollywood's 1951 version receiving the most international recognition.

Polish stamps depicting Henryk Sienkiewicz

Poland 1928 Henryk Sienkiewicz

Poland 1987 MNH, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish novelist, Nobel in Literature

Peace: Bertha von Suttner, Austrian journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1843)

Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner (9 June 1843 – 21 June 1914) was an Austrian-Bohemian pacifist and novelist. In 1905, she became the second female Nobel laureate (after Marie Curie in 1903), the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first Austrian laureate.

In 1889 Suttner became a leading figure in the peace movement with the publication of her pacifist novel, Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!), which made her one of the leading figures of the Austrian peace movement. The book was published in 37 editions and translated into 12 languages. She witnessed the foundation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and called for the establishment of the Austrian Gesellschaft der Friedensfreunde pacifist organisation in an 1891 Neue Freie Presse editorial. Suttner became chairwoman and also founded the German Peace Society the next year. She became known internationally as the editor of the international pacifist journal Die Waffen nieder!, named after her book, from 1892 to 1899. In 1897 she presented Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria with a list of signatures urging the establishment of an International Court of Justice and took part in the First Hague Convention in 1899 with the help of Theodor Herzl, who paid for her trip as a correspondent of the Zionist newspaper, Die Welt.

Upon her husband's death in 1902, Suttner had to sell Harmannsdorf Castle and moved back to Vienna. In 1904 she addressed the International Congress of Women in Berlin and for seven months travelled around the United States, attending a universal peace congress in Boston and meeting President Theodore Roosevelt.

Though her personal contact with Alfred Nobel had been brief, she corresponded with him until his death in 1896, and it is believed that she was a major influence on his decision to include a peace prize among those prizes provided in his will, which she was awarded in the fifth term on 10 December 1905. The presentation took place on 18 April 1906 in Kristiania.

German and Austrian stamps depicting Bertha von Suttner

Germany Women 200 PF Bertha von Suttner

Austria 1965, 60th anniv Nobel Prize Bertha von Suttner

Austria 2009 Bertha von Suttner Novelist Nobel Price Winner Sheet.

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