Richard Bunsen, German chemist

Richard Bunsen, German chemist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Bunsen (1811-1899). 1867 illustration of the German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen. Bunsen is best known as the inventor of the Bunsen burner, which he developed in order to get a clean, hot flame for his work on spectral analysis. Bunsen's studies of arsenous acid led to arsenic poisoning (but also the discovery of iron oxide hydrate as a precipitating agent and antidote), and his investigations of cacodyl derivatives led to an explosion in which he lost the sight in his right eye. Later Bunsen taught at Kassel, invented an improved version of Grove's electrochemical cell and used electrolysis to purify many metals.

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