Cohen, Ernst Julius

Cohen, Ernst Julius


Born Mar. 7. 1869, in Amsterdam; died Mar. 5, 1944, in Oswiçcim (Auschwitz). Dutch physical chemist; student of J. van’t Hoff. After graduating from the University of Amsterdam in 1893, he taught there (he became a professor in 1901). From 1902 to 1939 he was a professor at the University of Utrecht. In 1944 he was savagely murdered by Hitler’s troops in Oswiecim.

Cohen’s research concerned the polymorphic modifications of chemical elements and compounds. He demonstrated, in particular, that the destruction of tin articles at low temperatures (tin pest) is caused by the transformation of common (white) tin into another, polymorphic modification (gray tin). Cohen also did research in quantitative analysis of the effect of pressure on physicochemical processes. He was the author of several educational manuals, as well as works on the history of chemistry, in particular a detailed biography of van’t Hoff (1912). Cohen was a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1924).


Physikalisch-chemische Metamorphose und einige piezochemische Probleme. Leipzig, 1927.


Donnan, F. G. “The Ernst Julius Cohen Memorial Lecture.” Journal of the Chemical Society. London, December, 1947. Pages 1700–06.
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