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Benjamin Collins Brodie, English chemist

Benjamin Collins Brodie, English chemist

C006/4417

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ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Benjamin Collins Brodie (1817-1880), 2nd Baronet, English chemist. Brodie's father was Britain's leading surgeon and president of the Royal Society. Brodie was educated at Harrow, then at Balliol College, Oxford where he studied mathematics. After meeting Liebig in 1844 he moved to Giessen to study chemistry, setting up a laboratory on his return to London. Soon after he joined the Royal Institution before being appointed professor of chemistry at Oxford. He is mostly remembered as a positivist who understood chemistry to be run by mathematics rather than as combinations of atoms. He predicted the triatomic structure of ozone, but his chemical calculus was unfinished by the time of his death.

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