Staudinger, Hermann


Hermann Staudinger (1881–1965) is a German organic chemist who made fundamental contributions to the foundation of macromolecular chemistry (or polymer chemistry), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953. Trained as a classical organic chemist, Staudinger interpreted that polymers, such as rubber, cellulose, starches, plastics and proteins, are composed of almost arbitrarily big organic molecules or macromolecules. His theory provoked antipathy among his contemporaries, and the stormy macromolecular debate continued until his views were finally accepted in the chemical community in the 1930s. His extensive research on macromolecules provided the basis for the new discipline of macromolecular chemistry.

Keywords: polymer; macromolecule; polymer chemistry; macromolecular chemistry; ketene; viscosity law

Further Reading

Furukawa Y (1982) Hermann Staudinger and the emergence of macromolecular concept. Historia Scientiarum 22 (1982): 1–18.

Furukawa Y (1998) Inventing Polymer Science: Staudinger, Carothers, and the Emergence of Macromolecular Chemistry. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Morawetz H (1985) Polymers: The Origins and Growth of a Science. New York: Wiley‐Interscience.

Priesner C (1980) H. Staudinger, H. Mark und K. H. Meyer: Thesen zur Grösse und Struktur der Makromoleküle. Weinheim, Deer Beach, FL, and Basel: Verlag Chemie.

Staudinger H (1970) From Organic Chemistry to Macromolecules: A Scientific Autobiography based on My Original Papers. Translated from the German by Fock J and Fried M. New York: Wiley‐Interscience.

Staudinger H (1969–1976) In: Staudinger M, Hopff H and Kern W (eds) Das wissenschatliche Werk von Hermann Staudinger: Gesammelte Arbeiten nach Sachgebieten geordnet, 7 vols. Basel and Heidelberg: Hüthig & Wepf Verlag.

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Furukawa, Yasu(Oct 2015) Staudinger, Hermann. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002919]