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Marckwald, Willy


MARCKWALD, WILLY (1864–1950), German organic chemist. Marckwald was born in Jakobskirch, Silesia, and was professor at Berlin University from 1899. He was also director of the chemistry department of the university's physico-chemical institute. In 1910 he was appointed a privy councillor and was president of the German Chemical Society from 1928 to 1931. When the Nazis rose to power, he escaped to Brazil. Marckwald's scientific papers dealt with the physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, and radioactivity. He was the first to isolate the element polonium in pitchblende, which helped toward the discovery of radium. He observed changes caused by light in the color of certain compounds, and called this phenomenon "phototropy."

Marckwald wrote Ueber die Beziehungen zwischen dem Siedepunkte und der Zusammensetzung chemischer Verbindungen (1888), Die Benzoltheorie (1898), and Radium in Biologie und Heilkunde (1911–12).

[Samuel Aaron Miller]

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