Berzelius, Jöns Jakob, Baron


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Berzelius, Jöns Jakob, Baron

(bərzē`lēəs; Swed. yöns yä`kôp bĕrsā`lĭəs), 1779–1848, Swedish chemist, M.D. Univ. of Uppsala, 1802. He was noted for his work as teacher at the medical school and other institutions in Stockholm and for his discoveries in diverse fields of chemistry. He developed the modern system of symbols and formulas in chemistry, prepared a remarkably accurate table of atomic weights, analyzed numerous chemical compounds, and discovered the elements selenium, thorium, and cerium. Silicon in the amorphous form was first prepared by Berzelius, and he was the first to isolate zirconium. Berzelius coined the words isomerism, allotropy, and protein. He also contributed to the science of electrochemistry and wrote numerous books.

Bibliography

See study by J. Eric Jorpes (tr. 1971).