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Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875 - 1946) - Biography

By Todd Helmenstine

Gilbert N. Lewis

Lewis was one of America's most influential scientists.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Born:

October 23, 1875 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Died:

March 23, 1946 in his laboratory in the University of California Berkeley at age 70.

Claim to Fame:

 

  • Authored "The Atom and the Molecule" which introduced Lewis dot structures and the idea of valence bond theory.

     

  • Postulated the electron pair relationship of acids and bases that is known as the Lewis theory of acids and bases.

     

  • Authored "Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances" which set the standard for chemical thermodynamics.

     

  • First to produce pure deuterium and isolated naturally occurring heavy water.

 

Notable Awards:

 

  • Distinguished Service Medal from the United States and the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France during World War I for his work and leadership of Chief of the Defense Division of Chemical Warfare Service.

     

  • Chairman and Dean of College of Chemistry at University of California Berkeley.

 

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