Adolf von Baeyer
|Adolf von Baeyer|
von Baeyer in 1905
Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf Baeyer
October 31, 1835
Berlin, Prussia (German Confederation)
August 20, 1917
Starnberg, (Bavaria) German Empire
University of Berlin
University of Strasbourg
University of Munich
|Alma mater||University of Berlin|
|Doctoral advisor||Friedrich August Kekulé|
John Ulric Nef
Carl Theodore Liebermann
|Known for||Synthesis of indigo, phenolphthalein, fluorescein|
Davy Medal (1881)
Liebig Medal (1903)
Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1905)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1912)
|Spouse||Adelheid Bendemann (m. 1868; 3 children)|
Life and career
Baeyer was born in Berlin as the son of Johann Jacob Baeyer (1794-1885), a well-known geodesist, and his wife Eugenie Hitzig. His father was a Lutheran. His mother was daughter of Julius Eduard Hitzig, member of the Jewish Itzig family, and had converted to Christianity. Baeyer initially studied mathematics and physics at Berlin University before moving to Heidelberg to study chemistry with Robert Bunsen. There he worked primarily in August Kekulé's laboratory, earning his doctorate (from Berlin) in 1858. He followed Kekulé to the University of Ghent, when Kekulé became professor there. He became a lecturer at the Berlin Trade Academy 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 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 1881 the
- Biography Biography from Nobelprize.org website
- Speech given by Professor A. Lindstedt, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on December 10, 1905, upon Baeyer's receiving the Nobel Prize
- Adolf Baeyer, Viggo Drewsen (1882). "Darstellung von Indigblau aus Orthonitrobenzaldehyd" [Preparation of blue indigo from o-nitrobenzaldehyde].
- Adolf von Baeyer: Winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1905 Armin de Meijere Angewandte Chemie International Edition Volume 44, Issue 48 , Pages 7836 – 7840 2005 Abstract
- "Adolf von Baeyer - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. 1917-08-20. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- """HowStuffWorks "Adolf von Baeyer. Science.howstuffworks.com. 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911.
- Adolf Baeyer (1885). "Ueber Polyacetylenverbindungen (Zweite Mittheilung)" [On polyacetylene compounds (Part II)]. See especially pages 2277-2281.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
Baeyer's name is pronounced like the English word "buyer." His birth name was Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf Baeyer, but throughout most of his life he was known simply as "Adolf Baeyer." The poet Adelbert von Chamisso and the astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel were his godparents. On his fiftieth birthday he was raised to the hereditary nobility, changing his name to "Adolf von Baeyer."