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Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand (1826–1897) Swedish chemist and mineralogist

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Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand, Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy at Lund University from 1862 to 1895, was one of the important chemists of the second half of the nineteenth century. His theoretical ideas and experimental accomplishments contributed to advances in several branches of chemistry. Living in Sweden during a transitional period between the older and newer chemistry and being a scientific as well as a political conservative, Blomstrand sought to reconcile Berzelius's dualistic theory with the unitary and type theories. He was opposed to Kekulé's dogma of constant valency, and he strove to establish a sound and complete theory of variable valency. This article briefly outlines Blomstrand's life and considers his best known book, Die Chemie der Jetztzeit (1869), as well as his work on mineralogy, inorganic chemistry (the earth acid elements, heteropoly acids, platinum complexes), and his theoretical views on valency, diazo compounds, and metal-ammines. His so-called ‘chain theory', as developed and modified by his fellow Scandinavian chemist and close friend, Sophus Mads Jørgensen, was for more than three decades the most popular and successful of the numerous attempts to explain the constitution, properties, and reactions of coordination compounds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California State University, Fresno, California, 93740, U.S.A.

Publication date: 01 January 1975

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