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ERIC Number: EJ829508
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Liebig-Wohler Controversy and the Concept of Isomerism
Esteban, Soledad
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n9 p1201-1203 Sep 2008
Very often controversies contribute to the development of science. An example is the conflict between Liebig and Wohler on the occasion of their analyses of fulminates and cyanates, which showed that compounds with different properties could have the same composition. Their results, together with other similar evidences, led Berzelius to recognize the phenomenon of isomerism, one of the fundamental concepts in organic chemistry, and the foundation of the study of structural chemistry. This little controversy was also the starting point for a long friendship between Liebig and Wholer, often partners in work that gave rise to other important advances in chemistry. The story of the Liebig-Wohler controversy and the historical development of isomerism make interesting anecdotal material for lectures and can help increase interest in science at the high school level. (Contains 1 figure.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A