Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946)


American chemist, was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in October 23rd 1875, and died in Berkeley, California, at March 24th 1946.

Studied at the Harvard University and later in Leipzig and Goettingen, Germany. Directed the division measurements in Philippines' Island Government Laboratory (1904-1905). From 1907 to 1912 was professor of Physics and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1912 went to the University of California, Berkeley, where remained professor of Chemistry until his death.

Lewis is known by his work in thermodynamics, for the Lewis theory for acids and bases, and for the development of the valence theory in chemical reactions. In 1916, Lewis proposed that the interaction between two electrons is the base of a valence bonding, an idea developed by Irving Langmuir which remains the base of modern valence theories. Lewis was honored with the Davy medal by the Royal Society, the Arrhenius medal of the Swedish Academy, and the Gibbs and Richards medals. Lewis was one of the first foreign scientists to enter the ex-USSR Sciences Academy.