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Encyclopedia > Willard Gibbs
Willard Gibbs
Scientist
Born February 11, 1839
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Died April 28, 1903
New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Josiah Willard Gibbs (February 11, 1839April 28, 1903) was an American mathematical physicist who contributed much of the theoretical foundation that led to the development of chemical thermodynamics and was one of the founders of vector analysis. From 1871 until his death, he held the chair of mathematical physics at Yale. Josiah Willard Gibbs Original: Image:Wgibbs. ... February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1839 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... City nickname: The Elm City Location in the state of Connecticut Founded April 24, 1638 County New Haven County Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. ... State nickname: The Constitution State Other U.S. States Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) Senators Chris Dodd (D) Joe Lieberman (D) Official languages English Area 14,371 km² (48th)  - Land 12,559 km²  - Water 1,809 km² (12. ... April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 247 days remaining. ... 1903 has the latest occurring solstices and equinoxes for 400 years, because the Gregorian calendar hasnt had a leap year for seven years or a century leap year since 1600. ... City nickname: The Elm City Location in the state of Connecticut Founded April 24, 1638 County New Haven County Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. ... State nickname: The Constitution State Other U.S. States Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) Senators Chris Dodd (D) Joe Lieberman (D) Official languages English Area 14,371 km² (48th)  - Land 12,559 km²  - Water 1,809 km² (12. ... February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1839 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 247 days remaining. ... 1903 has the latest occurring solstices and equinoxes for 400 years, because the Gregorian calendar hasnt had a leap year for seven years or a century leap year since 1600. ... Mathematical physics is a scientific discipline aimed at studying and solving problems inspired by physics within a mathematically rigorous framework. ... Thermochemistry is the application of thermodynamics to chemistry. ... Vector calculus is a field of mathematics concerned with multivariate real analysis of vectors in 2 or more dimensions. ... 1871 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation). ...


Between 1876 and 1878 Gibbs wrote a series of papers collectively entitled "On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances", considered one of the greatest achievements in physical science in the 19th century and the foundation of the science of physical chemistry. In these papers Gibbs applied thermodynamics to the interpretation of physicochemical phenomena and showed the explanation and interrelationship of what had been known only as isolated, inexplicable facts. [1] "It is universally recognised that its publication was an event of the first importance in the history of chemistry. ... Nevertheless it was a number of years before its value was generally known, this delay was due largely to the fact that its mathematical form and rigorous deductive processes make it difficult reading for any one, and especially so for students of experimental chemistry whom it most concerns... " [2] 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... 1878 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Physical Chemistry is the combined science of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics which functions to provide molecular-level interpretations of observed macroscopic phenomena. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Chemistry (in Greek: χημεία) is the science of matter that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo. ... From Latin ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt). ...


Gibbs' scientific career can be divided into four phases. Up until 1879, he worked on the theory of thermodynamics. From 1880 to 1884, he worked on the field of vector analysis. From 1882 to 1889, he worked on optics and the electromagnetic theory of light. After 1889, he worked on statistical mechanics, laying it on firm foundation and "providing a mathematical framework for quantum theory and for Maxwell's theories" [3]; he also produced classic textbooks on the matter. 1879 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 1880 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1884 is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar). ... Vector calculus is a field of mathematics concerned with multivariate real analysis of vectors in 2 or more dimensions. ... 1882 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1889 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Optics (appearance or look in ancient Greek) is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light and the interaction of light with matter. ... Quadrupole (four-pole) magnet, focus particle beams in a particle accelerator. ... Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific setting, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength. ... 1889 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Statistical mechanics is the application of statistics, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... Fig. ... James Clerk Maxwell (June 13, 1831–November 5, 1879) was a Scottish mathematical physicist, born in Edinburgh. ... Theory has a number of distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on the context and their methodologies. ...

Contents


Biography

Early years

Gibbs in his youth.
Gibbs in his youth.

Gibbs was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where his father was a professor of sacred literature at Yale University's Divinity School, best known today for his involvement in the Amistad trial. (Though his father was also named Josiah Willard, he is not referred to as "Josiah Willard Gibbs, Jr.") Gibbs attended Hopkins School and Yale College of Yale University, receiving prizes in mathematics and Latin. Gibbs was the seventh in a long line of American academics stretching back to the 17th century. He graduated, high in his class, in 1858. Image File history File links A_young_Willard_Gibbs. ... Image File history File links A_young_Willard_Gibbs. ... City nickname: The Elm City Location in the state of Connecticut Founded April 24, 1638 County New Haven County Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. ... State nickname: The Constitution State Other U.S. States Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) Senators Chris Dodd (D) Joe Lieberman (D) Official languages English Area 14,371 km² (48th)  - Land 12,559 km²  - Water 1,809 km² (12. ... Josiah Willard Gibbs was a linguist and professor of Theology and sacred literature at the university of Yale. ... For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation). ... La Amistad (Spanish: friendship) was a Spanish merchant ship on which a rebellion by the slaves it was carrying broke out in 1839 when the schooner was travelling along the coast of Cuba. ... Hopkins School, previously known as Hopkins Grammar School, is a coeducational private day school in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. ... For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation). ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Mathematics Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mathematics Look up Mathematics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Mathematics Bogomolny, Alexander: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. ... Latin is an Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... 1858 is a common year starting on Friday. ...


Middle years

Founder of Chemical Thermodynamics
Founder of Chemical Thermodynamics

Gibbs continued his studies at Yale, gaining his Ph.D. degree in 1863. This was the first engineering doctorate granted in the United States. He then tutored in Yale College: two years in Latin and a year in what was then called "natural philosophy." In 1866 he went to Europe to study, spending one year each at Paris, Berlin, and Heidelberg, where he was influenced by the luminaries Kirchhoff and Helmholtz. These three years were almost the only time he was ever away from the New Haven area. Image File history File links Thermodynamicist_Willard_Gibbs. ... Image File history File links Thermodynamicist_Willard_Gibbs. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... 1863 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... ... Natural philosophy is a term applied to the objective study of nature and the physical universe before the development of modern science. ... 1866 is a common year starting on Monday. ... World map showing Europe (geographically) When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second-smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ...   Berlin[?], IPA: , is the capital of Germany and its largest city; down from 4. ... Map of Germany showing Heidelberg Heidelberg (halfway between Stuttgart and Frankfurt) is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ... Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (March 12, 1824 – October 17, 1887), a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. ... Hermann von Helmholtz Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894) was a German physician and physicist. ...


In 1869 he returned to Yale and, in 1871, he was appointed Professor of Mathematical Physics. This was the first professorship in mathematical physics in the United States. It was unpaid, in part because Gibbs had never published. 1869 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1871 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Mathematical physics is a scientific discipline aimed at studying and solving problems inspired by physics within a mathematically rigorous framework. ...


Gibbs then started work on the development and presentation of his theory of thermodynamics. In 1873, Gibbs published a paper on the geometric representation of thermodynamic quantities. This paper inspired Maxwell to make (with his own hands) a plaster cast illustrating Gibbs' construct (which he sent to Gibbs and which Yale still retains with great pride). This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 1873 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... // Introduction Geometry (Greek Γεωμετρια, geo = earth, metria = measure ) arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. ... James Clerk Maxwell (June 13, 1831–November 5, 1879) was a Scottish mathematical physicist, born in Edinburgh. ...


Gibbs next published the paper "On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances", which clearly revealed the genius of its author. This appeared in two installments in 1876 and 1878. Gibbs' papers on heterogeneous equilibria included: 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... 1878 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

The chemical potential of a thermodynamic system is the amount by which the energy of the system would change if an additional particle were introduced, with the entropy and volume held fixed. ... In thermodynamics, free energy is a measure of the amount of work that can be extracted from a system. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of statistics, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Gibbs phase rule. ...

Later years

In 1880, Gibbs was offered a $3000 salary by the new Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and Yale responded by offering him $2000, which seemingly was enough to keep him in New Haven. 1880 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Johns Hopkins University is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland. ... Baltimore skyline at night Motto: The Greatest City in America (formerly The City That Reads; BELIEVE is not the official motto but rather a specific campaign) Nickname: Charm City Mob Town Location in Maryland Founded Incorporated 30 July 1729 1797  County Independent city Mayor Martin J. OMalley (Dem) Area...


From 1880 to 1884, Gibbs combined the ideas of the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton on quaternions and the German Hermann Grassmann's Theory of Extension (Ausdehnungslehre) to produce the mathematical field of vector analysis (co-independent formulation; Oliver Heaviside also developed this field). Gibbs designed this to suit the purposes of mathematical physics. 1884 is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar). ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Mathematics Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mathematics Look up Mathematics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Mathematics Bogomolny, Alexander: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. ... William Rowan Hamilton Sir William Rowan Hamilton (August 4, 1805 – September 2, 1865) was an Irish mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. ... In mathematics, the quaternions are a non-commutative extension of the complex numbers. ... Hermann Günther Grassmann (April 15, 1809 – September 26, 1877) was a German mathematician, physicist, linguist, scholar, and neohumanist. ... Vector calculus is a field of mathematics concerned with multivariate real analysis of vectors in 2 or more dimensions. ... Oliver Heaviside (May 18, 1850 – February 3, 1925) was a self-taught English engineer, mathematician and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, developed techniques for applying Laplace transforms to the solution of differential equations, reformulated Maxwells field equations in terms of electric and magnetic... Mathematical physics is a scientific discipline aimed at studying and solving problems inspired by physics within a mathematically rigorous framework. ...


From 1882 to 1889, Gibbs researched optics, developing a new electrical theory of light. Gibbs also completed his vector analysis during this time. He deliberately avoided theorizing on the structure of matter, developing a theory of more generality than any type of matter composition would imply. After 1889, Gibbs produced milestone textbooks on statistical mechanics, which were published by Yale in 1902. 1882 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1889 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Optics (appearance or look in ancient Greek) is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light and the interaction of light with matter. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of statistics, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... 1902 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Other areas Gibbs contributed to include crystallography and the determinism of planetary and comet orbits, the latter by application of his vector methods. Crystallography (from the Greek words crystallon = cold drop / frozen drop, with its meaning extending to all solids with some degree of transparency, and graphein = write) is the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in solids. ...


Gibbs never married, but lived with his sister and brother-in-law. His brother-in-law was librarian at Yale and publisher of the Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences, the little read journal which published most of Gibbs' work.


Death and afterwards

Gibbs remained at Yale until his death in 1903. Since Gibbs died shortly after the inauguration of the Nobel Prizes, he never won a Nobel. However, his receipt of the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom is regarded as the highest honor available at the time from the international scientific community. 1903 has the latest occurring solstices and equinoxes for 400 years, because the Gregorian calendar hasnt had a leap year for seven years or a century leap year since 1600. ... Sir Edward Appletons medal Photographs of Nobel Prize Medals. ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is claimed to be the oldest learned society still in existence. ...


Scientific recognition

A U.S. stamp commemorating Thermodynamicist J.W. Gibbs
A U.S. stamp commemorating Thermodynamicist J.W. Gibbs

Among the honors given to Gibbs' memory after his death, Yale University created the "J. Willard Gibbs Professorship in Theoretical Chemistry". Held during most of his career at Yale by eventual Nobel Prize laureate Lars Onsager, it was an extremely appropriate title for Onsager, who was primarily involved, like Gibbs, in the application of new mathematical ideas to problems in physical chemistry, especially statistical mechanics. Josiah Willard Gibbs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Josiah Willard Gibbs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Lars Onsager (November 27, 1903 – October 5, 1976) was a Norwegian physical chemist, winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. ...


Since, in the mid-1800s, American colleges had little interest in the sciences and emphasized classics, Gibbs found little student interest in his lectures. The interest in his work came mainly from other scientists, particularly the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who was one of the first European scientists to recognize Gibbs as a theoretical physicist of international stature [4]. Even that recognition was slow in coming, because he published in an obscure journal which was not widely read in Europe, and it was only when Wilhelm Ostwald translated his papers into book form in German (in 1892) and Henri Louis le Chatelier made a French translation (in 1899), that his ideas received wide currency in Europe. // What is science? There are different theories of what science is. ... Royal motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin: No one provokes me with impunity) (Scots: Wha daur meddle wi me) Scotlands location within the UK Languages with Official Status1 English Gaelic Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Since antiquity, people have tried to understand the behavior of matter: why unsupported objects drop to the ground, why different materials have different properties, and so forth. ... James Clerk Maxwell (June 13, 1831–November 5, 1879) was a Scottish mathematical physicist, born in Edinburgh. ... Theoretical physics is physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions rather than experimental processes. ... World map showing Europe (geographically) When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second-smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... Wilhelm Ostwald Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald (commonly just Wilhelm Ostwald) (September 2, 1853 - April 4, 1932) was a German chemist. ... 1892 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Henry Louis Le Chatelier, an influential French chemist and engineer, inventor of Le Chateliers principle. ... 1899 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


See also

// What is science? There are different theories of what science is. ... Information theory is the mathematical theory of data communication and storage founded in 1948 by Claude E. Shannon. ... Entropy of a Bernoulli trial as a function of success probability. ... In mathematics, the quaternions are a non-commutative extension of the complex numbers. ... Electricity is a general term applied to phenomena involving a fundamental property of matter called an electric charge. ... Maxwells equations are the set of four equations, attributed to James Clerk Maxwell (written by Oliver Heaviside), that describe the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields, as well as their interactions with matter. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Mathematics Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mathematics Look up Mathematics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Mathematics Bogomolny, Alexander: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. ... Approximation of square wave in 5 steps Approximation of square wave in 25 steps Approximation of square wave in 125 steps The Gibbs phenomenon, named after the American physicist J. Willard Gibbs, (also known as ringing artifacts) is the peculiar manner in which the Fourier series of a piecewise continuously... Physical Chemistry is the combined science of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics which functions to provide molecular-level interpretations of observed macroscopic phenomena. ... In the physical sciences, a phase is a set of states of a macroscopic physical system that have relatively uniform chemical composition and physical properties (i. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Gibbs phase rule. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of statistics, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... In thermodynamics, free energy is a measure of the amount of work that can be extracted from a system. ... Lewis in the Berkeley Lab Gilbert Newton Lewis (October 23, 1875-March 23, 1946) was a famous American physical chemist. ... William Rowan Hamilton Sir William Rowan Hamilton (August 4, 1805 – September 2, 1865) was an Irish mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. ... Lars Onsager (November 27, 1903 – October 5, 1976) was a Norwegian physical chemist, winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. ... Ludwig Boltzmann Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist famous for the invention of statistical mechanics. ... William Stanley, Jr. ... Oliver Heaviside (May 18, 1850 – February 3, 1925) was a self-taught English engineer, mathematician and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, developed techniques for applying Laplace transforms to the solution of differential equations, reformulated Maxwells field equations in terms of electric and magnetic... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation). ... Grove Street Cemetery or Grove Street Burial Ground in New Haven, Connecticut is located in the center of the Yale University campus. ... Many famous physicists of the 20th and 21st century are found on the list of recipients of the Nobel Prize in physics. ... Timeline of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and random processes 1738 - Kinetic theory of gases first proposed by Daniel Bernoulli but fails to gain recognition in the face of Joseph Blacks caloric theory. ... This page aims to list all Wikipedia articles that are related to physics. ...

Further reading

Sorted by date

  • Bumstead, H. A., "Josiah Willard Gibbs". American Journal of Science, 4, XVI. 1903.
  • Longley, W. R., and R. G. Van Name, "The Collected Works of J Willard Gibbs". 1928.
  • Donnan, F. G., and A. E. Haas, "A Commentary on the Scientific Writings of J Willard Gibbs". 1936. ISBN 0405125445
  • Rukeyser,M., "Willard Gibbs: American Genius". 1942. ISBN 0918024579
  • Gibbs, J. Willard, "The Early Work of Willard Gibbs in Applied Mechanics". 1947. ISBN 1881987175
  • Wheeler, L. P., "Josiah Willard Gibbs, The History of a Great Mind". 1952. ISBN 1881987116
  • Gibbs, J. Willard, "Scientific Papers". 1961. ISBN 084462127
  • Crowther, J. G., "Famous American Men of Science". 1969. ISBN 0836900405
  • Seeger, Raymond John (1974) J. Willard Gibbs, American mathematical physicist par excellence, Pergamon Press. ISBN 0080180132

External links and references

  • The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, "Josiah Willard Gibbs". School of Mathematics and Statistics. University of St Andrews, Scotland.
  • AIP, "Josiah Willard Gibbs 1839-1903". 1976, 2003.
  • Friel, Charles Michael, "J. Willard Gibbs".
  • Jolls, Kenneth R., and Daniel C. Coy, "Gibbs models". Iowa State University.
  • "Dr. J. Willard Gibbs".
  • Rukeyser, Muriel, "Willard Gibbs", Ox Bow Press, Woodbridge, CT, ISBN 0-918024-57-9 [Reprint of first edition published in 1942].

  Results from FactBites:
 
Willard Gibbs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1125 words)
Josiah Willard Gibbs (February 11, 1839 April 28, 1903) was an American mathematical physicist who contributed much of the theoretical foundation that led to the development of chemical thermodynamics and was one of the founders of vector analysis.
Between 1876 and 1878 Gibbs wrote a series of papers collectively entitled "On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances", considered one of the greatest achievements in physical science in the 19th century and the foundation of the science of physical chemistry.
Gibbs was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where his father was a professor of sacred literature at Yale University's Divinity School, best known today for his involvement in the Amistad trial.
AllRefer.com - Josiah Willard Gibbs (Physics, Biography) - Encyclopedia (238 words)
Gibbs also contributed to crystallography, the determination of planetary and comet orbits, and electromagnetic theory.
James Clerk Maxwell was one of the first European scientists to recognize Gibbs as a theoretical physicist of international stature.
Gibbs was also interested in the practical side of science; his doctorate was the first granted by Yale for an engineering thesis, and he received a patent (1866) for an improved type of railroad brake.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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