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Richard Zsigmondy

Richard ZsigmondyAKA Richard Adolf Zsigmondy

Born: 1-Apr-1865
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: 23-Sep-1929
Location of death: Göttingen, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified [1]
Remains: Buried, Göttingen City Cemetery, Göttingen, Germany

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Inventor

Nationality: Austria
Executive summary: Ultramicroscope

German scientist Richard Zsigmondy won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1925, "for his demonstration of the heterogeneous nature of colloid solutions (substances consisting of particles larger than atoms but too small to be visible to the naked eye or through conventional microscopes) and for the methods he used, which have since then become fundamental in modern colloid chemistry." As a cornerstone of his work, in 1903 he invented the ultramicroscope (also called a black-backdrop microscope), which projects high-intensity illumination at right angles, using scattered light to indicate the presence of particles. This allows quantification, measurement, and tracking of colloidal particles, smoke particles, and other extremely small objects.

After attending college Zsigmondy worked for a glass manufacturing company for several years, then quit to pursue his own research in a laboratory at his home, where he designed the ultramicroscope and did much of his early research into colloids. He entered academia in 1907, and introduced an improved immersion ultramicroscope in 1913. His brother, mathematician Karl Zsigmondy (1867-1925), devised Zsigmondy's theorem in 1882, a calculation used in group theory.

[1] Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Father: Adolf Zsigmondy (dentist, d. 1880)
Mother: Irma von Szakmary Zsigmondy
Brother: Karl Zsigmondy (mathematician, b. 27-Mar-1867, d. 14-Oct-1925)
Wife: Laura Luise Müller Zsigmondy (m. 1903)
Daughter: Annemarie Zsigmondy Huckel
Daughter: Käthe Zsigmondy

    University: BS, Vienna University of Technology (1887)
PhD, University of Munich (1890)
    Lecturer: University of Graz (1907-08)
    Professor: Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, University of Göttingen (1908-29)

    Schott Glass Manufacturing Company 1897-1900
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1925
    Lunar Crater Zsigmondy (59.7° N, 104.7° W, 65 km diameter)
    Austrian Ancestry
    German Ancestry
    Hungarian Ancestry

Author of books:
Kolloid-und dem Ultramikroskop (Colloids and the Ultramicroscope) (1909, non-fiction)
Kolloidchemie (Colloidal Chemistry) (1912, non-fiction)
Die Chemie von Kolloiden (The Chemistry of Colloids) (1917, non-fiction)
Das Kolloide Gold (About the Colloidal Gold) (1925, non-fiction; with Peter A. Thiessen)

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