The New International Encyclopædia/Mitscherlich, Eilhard

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MITSCHERLICH, mĭt'shĕr-līK, Eilhard (1794-1863). A distinguished German chemist, born at Neuende, near Jever. In 1811 he proceeded to the University of Heidelberg, where, as well as at Paris and Göttingen, he devoted himself to history, philology, Oriental languages, and the natural sciences and medicine. Afterwards he turned his attention to chemistry, and while working under Link at Berlin he first observed the similarity in the crystalline form of those phosphates and arsenates similar in chemical composition. He then set to work measuring crystals of a large number of substances, and was able to establish, about 1820, the principle of isomorphism. The importance of the discovery was fully recognized by Berzelius, on whose invitation Mitscherlich went to Stockholm, remaining there until 1821, when on the death of Klaproth he was appointed to the vacant chair of chemistry at Berlin. One of his earliest discoveries after his appointment was that of the double crystalline form of sulphur, the first observed case of dimorphism. He further discovered selenic and permanganic acids and nitro-benzene; studied the formation of ethers, the phenomena of fermentation, etc. His principal work is his Lehrbuch der Chemie, begun in 1829 (ed. 4, Berlin. 1842-47). His papers on various scientific topics appeared in Poggendorff's Annalen, in the Annales de chimie et de physique, and in the Abhandlungen of the Academy of Berlin. A complete edition of his works was published at Berlin in 1896. Mitscherlich was an honorary member of almost all the great scientific societies, and received the gold medal from the Royal Society of London for his discovery of the law of isomorphism. Consult Rose, Eilhard Mitscherlich (Berlin, 1864). See Chemistry, section on History, paragraph General Chemistry.