Kopp's World

in Image and Reality

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226723327
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226723358 | DOI:
Kopp's World

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Hermann Kopp (1817–1892) made a number of important scientific and historical contributions, especially in the field of chemistry, and wrote a book entitled Aus der Molecular-Welt (From the Molecular World) in 1882, a fanciful ground-level exploration of atoms and molecules. His scientific work addressed the relationship between macroscopic physical and chemical properties of substances and the invisible microworld of the atoms and molecules that compose them. Kopp also performed experiments on atoms of variable “handedness” (valence) as well as molecular compounds. This chapter describes his contributions in chemistry and examines Aus der Molecular-Welt. It also explores a chemical parody that has some parallels to Kopp's fantasy. This lampoon includes a paper by “F. W. Findig,” who argues that zoology can be of the greatest assistance to organic chemistry. There is also a long poem entitled “Disputation (Frei nach Heine)” by Otto Witt, who looks at the battles that had erupted between August Kekulé's hexagon and Albert Ladenburg's prism formula over the formula for benzene.

Keywords: Hermann Kopp; atoms; molecules; der Molecular-Welt; valence; benzene; August Kekulé; Otto Witt; Albert Ladenburg; organic chemistry

Chapter.  11741 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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