Le Châtelier, Henri Louis

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Le Châtelier, Henri Louis

(äNrē` lwē lə shätəlyā`), 1850–1936, French industrial chemist. He made many contributions to industrial chemistry, but is best known for his work on the structure of alloys and for his enunciation of Le Châtelier's principleLe Châtelier's principle,
chemical principle that states that if a system in equilibrium is disturbed by changes in determining factors, such as temperature, pressure, and concentration of components, the system will tend to shift its equilibrium position so as to
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. This fundamental contribution to chemical thermodynamics had been anticipated in part by J. W. Gibbs, whose work Le Châtelier helped to spread in France. Toward the end of his life he wrote on topics involving industrial efficiency and labor-management relations.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Le Châtelier, Henri Louis


Born Oct. 8,1850, in Paris; died Sept. 17, 1936, in Miribel-les-Echelles. French physical chemist and specialist in physical metallurgy. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1907).

Le Châtelier was a professor at the Paris Ecole des Mines (1877–1919), Collège de France (1898–1907), and the University of Paris (1907–25). In 1881–82 he and the French chemist F. E. Mallard proposed a unique method of determining the specific heats of gases at high temperatures. In 1884 he formulated a general law for the disturbance of chemical equilibrium by external factors (Le Châtelier’s principle). Between 1886 and 1889 he devised a thermoelectric pyrometer for measuring high temperatures. He confirmed the experimental analogy between solutions and melts, as suggested by the Russian scientist D. K. Chernov in 1868. In 1897, Le Châtelier constructed a metallographic microscope. He was an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1927).


Baikov, A. A. “Le Shatel’e.” In his book Sobr. trudov, vol. 1. Moscow, 1952. Pages 227–33.
Pascal, P. “Notice sur la vie et les travaux de Henri Le Châtelier (1850-1936).” Bulletin de la Société chimique de France, 1937, vol. 4, no. 10, p. 1557.
“A la mémoire de Henri Le Châtelier, 1850–1936.” Revue de métallurgie, 1937, no. 1. (Contains a bibliography of works by Le Châtelier.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.