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Peter Debye, Dutch physical chemist

Peter Debye, Dutch physical chemist

C023/4405

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CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Peter Joseph William Debye (1884-1966), Dutch physical chemist. Debye was instrumental in the discovery and study of the dipolar nature of some molecules. Those molecules with a positive charge on one portion of their structure and a negative charge on another may be made to align with an electrical field. This work led to his 1936 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He also developed the modern model of ionic solutions. In 1940 he moved to the USA, becoming a US citizen in 1946. His other awards included the Willard Gibbs Award (1949), the Priestley Medal (1963), the Max Planck Medal (1950), and the National Medal of Science (1965).

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