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Michael PolanyiScientist and Philosopher$
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William Taussig Scott and Martin X. Moleski

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174335

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019517433X.001.0001

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 Institute for Physical Chemistry: 1923–1933

 Institute for Physical Chemistry: 1923–1933

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 Institute for Physical Chemistry: 1923–1933
Source:
Michael Polanyi
Author(s):

William Taussig Scott

Martin X. Moleski (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019517433X.003.0005

After establishing his credentials as a scientist, Polanyi was transferred to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and was allowed to focus on reaction rates and transition state theory; the group employed gas-flame experiments to measure reaction rates and calculate the activation energies in them. Polanyi's interest in economics was stimulated by inflation, unemployment and social upheavals in Germany, debates with his brother, Karl Polanyi, who advocated a form of Christian socialism, economic conditions in the Soviet Union, and the rise of nihilism. Polanyi's second son, John Charles Polanyi, was born on January 23, 1929. Developments in quantum theory and dipole-dipole interactions confirmed Polanyi's theory of adsorption potential.

Keywords:   transition state theory, reaction rates, activation energies, inflation, Karl Polanyi, socialism, nihilism, John Charles Polanyi, dipole-dipole interactions, adsorption potential

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