Robert Bunsen, German chemist

Robert Bunsen, German chemist

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caricature of the German chemist Robert Bunsen (1811-1899), holding a Bunsen burner. 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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