Haber, Fritz

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Haber, Fritz

(hä`bər), 1868–1934, German chemist. He was a professor of physical chemistry at Karlsruhe and became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute at Dahlem in 1911. During World War I he directed Germany's chemical warfare activities, which included the introduction of poison gas; following the Nazi rise to power in 1933, however, he resigned his posts and went into exile. Haber won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the Haber processHaber process
, commercial process for the synthesis of ammonia, NH3. Pure hydrogen and nitrogen gases are mixed in the appropriate proportion, heated to between 450°C; and 600°C;, compressed to about 1,000 atmospheres pressure, and passed over a catalyst.
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 for synthesizing ammonia from its elements. He also did studies of autoxidation and pyrolysis.


See biographies by M. H. Goran (1967) and D. Charles (2005).

Haber, Fritz


Born Dec. 9, 1868, in Breslau; died Jan. 29, 1934, in Basel. German inorganic chemist.

In 1898, Haber became a professor at the Karlsruhe Poly technical School. In 1904 he began to investigate the equilibrium between ammonia and its elements, nitrogen and hydrogen, at high temperatures and pressures. In 1908, working under semifactory conditions, Haber first produced liquid ammonia (Nobel Prize, 1918). In 1913 a plant for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen was organized under his direction. In 1911 he took over the direction of the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at Berlin-Dahlem. During World War I he was one of the organizers of the German war chemicals industry, developing in particular poison gases. After the war, Haber actively contributed to the revival of the German war industry. He left Germany after the fascists came to power in the spring of 1933.

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