1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Meyer, Victor

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MEYER, VICTOR (1848-1897), German chemist, was born at Berlin on the 8th of September 1848, and studied at Heidelberg University under R. W. Bunsen, H. F. M. Kopp, G. R. Kirchhoff and H. L. F. Helmholtz. At the age of twenty he entered J. F. W. A. Baeyer's laboratory at Berlin, attacking among other problems that of the composition of camphor. In 1871, on Baeyer's recommendation, he was engaged by H. von Fehling as his assistant at Stuttgart Polytechnic, but within a year he left to succeed J. Wislicenus at Zürich. There he remained for thirteen years, and it was during this period that he devised his well-known method for determining vapour densities, and carried out his experiments on the dissociation of the halogens. In 1882, on the death of W. Weith (1844-1881), professor of chemistry at Zürich University, he undertook to continue the lectures on benzene derivatives, and this led him to the discovery of thiophen. In 1885 he was chosen to succeed Hans Hübner (1837-1884) in the professorship of chemistry at Göttingen, where stereo-chemical questions especially engaged his attention; and in 1889, on the resignation of his old master, Bunsen, he was appointed to the chair of chemistry in Heidelberg. He died on the 8th of August 1897. In recognition of his brilliant experimental powers, and his numerous contributions to chemical science, he was awarded the Davy medal by the Royal Society in 1891.