Giauque, William Francis

Giauque, William Francis

(jēōk`), 1895–1982, American chemist, b. Niagara Falls, Ont., Canada, grad. Univ. of California (B.S., 1920; Ph.D., 1922). A member of the faculty of the Univ. of California from 1922, he became professor in 1934. He was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the properties of substances at temperatures approaching absolute zero. In addition to discovering the adiabatic demagnetization method of producing temperatures below 1°K;, he was also the discoverer (with H. L. Johnston, 1929) of the second and third isotopes of oxygen.

Giauque, William Francis

 

Born May 12, 1895, in Niagara Falls, Canada. Physical chemist; member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of the USA and of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1920 he graduated from the chemistry department of the University of California, where he became a professor of chemistry in 1934.

Giauque’s main work has been the study and experimental verification of the third law of thermodynamics and the measurement of entropy and other thermodynamic properties of substances, particularly condensed gases, at very low temperatures. In collaboration with H. Johnston, he showed the existence of the oxygen isotopes 17O and 18O. In collaboration with D. MacDougall he developed the method of adiabatic demagnetization for the production of temperatures below 1°K and a method of measuring very low temperatures. He was a Nobel Prize laureate in 1949.

REFERENCE

Nobel Lectures Including Presentation Speeches and Laureates’ Biographies: Chemistry, 1942-1962. New York, 1964.