Svante August Arrhenius described greenhouse effect, Arrhenius law

Svante Arrhenius – discoverer of Arrhenius equation

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & Contributions

Svante Arrhenius (Svante August Arrhenius) was a Swedish scientist and often he is referred to as a chemist born on February 19, 1859 – died on October 02, 1927.

He is regarded as the cofounder of modern physical chemistry. Arrhenius received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1903 for his theory of electrolytic dissociation. He also made important contributions to chemical kinetics and many other branches of science.

Arrhenius got many awards and medals like Davy Medal in the year of 1902, Nobel Prize for Chemistry in the year of 1903, Willard Gibbs Award in the year of 1911, Franklin Medal in the year of 1920.

Arrhenius' explanation was that in forming a solution, the salt dissociates into charged particles. Arrhenius proposed that, even in the absence of an electric current, solutions of salts contained ions. He thus proposed that chemical reactions in solution were reactions between ions. In an extension of his ionic theory Arrhenius proposed definitions for acids and bases, in 1884. He believed that acids were substances that produce hydrogen ions in solution and that bases were substances that produce hydroxide ions in solution.

In 1889 Arrhenius explained the fact that most reactions require added heat energy to proceed by formulating the concept of activation energy, an energy barrier that must be overcome before two molecules will react. The Arrhenius equation gives the quantitative basis of the relationship between the activation energy and the rate at which a reaction proceeds.

Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the ice ages, and he was the first scientist to attempt to calculate how changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect and he predicted that rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) would cause the earth's temperature to rise. According to him, an increase in carbon dioxide would increase the surface temperature of the earth. He even said that manmade CO2 emissions ensured that the earth would not enter into another ice age, which he thought was a positive. Doubling the CO2 content in the atmosphere would result in an increase in the average global temperature by 5°C. This made him the first person to predict the effect of CO2 emissions, which is a major contributor to global warming.

Arrhenius Acid

Arrhenius acid is a substance that dissociates in water to form hydrogen ions (H+) i.e., an acid increases the concentration of H+ ions in an aqueous solution.

Arrhenius Base

Arrhenius base is a substance that dissociates in water to form hydroxide (OH−) ions i.e., a base increases the concentration of OH− ions in an aqueous solution.

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