He worked on a variety of projects including the development of vector analysis as a mathematical tool, optics and statistical mechanics. His largest contribution was combining the study of thermodynamics and chemistry. He introduced the concept of chemical potential and free energy. This was a concept that related all the different energies such as chemical, electrical, and thermal and the entropy of the system and the system's ability to perform mechanical work.
Gibbs laid the groundwork for mathematical physical chemistry and chemical thermodynamics. Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.