Williamson , Alexander William
(1824–1904) British chemist
Williamson's father was a clerk in the East India Company in London. After his retirement in 1840 the family lived on the Continent, where Williamson was educated. He studied at Heidelberg and at Giessen (under Justus von Liebig), where he received his PhD in 1846. He also studied mathematics in Paris. In 1849 he took up the chair of chemistry at London University, a post he occupied until 1887.
Between 1850 and 1856 Williamson showed that alcohol and ether both belong to the water type. Type theory, developed by Charles Gerhardt and Auguste Laurent, was based on the idea that organic compounds are produced by replacing one or more hydrogen atoms of inorganic compounds (which form the types) by radicals. Using the correct formula for alcohol (which he had recently established) Williamson represented the water type as: H2O (water); C2H5OH (alcohol); C2H5OC2H5 (ether), where the H of water is progressively replaced by C2H5.
A further contribution to chemical theory was his demonstration (in 1850) of reversible reactions: two substances, A and B, react to form the products X and Y, which in turn react to produce the original A and B. Under certain conditions the system could be in dynamic equilibrium, when the amount of A and B reacting to form X and Y is equal to the amount of A and B produced by X and Y. He is remembered for what is now known as Williamson's synthesis, a method of making ethers by reacting a sodium alcoholate with a haloalkane.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Williamson, Alexander William — ▪ British chemist born May 1, 1824, London died May 6, 1904, Hindhead, Surrey, Eng.       English chemist whose research on alcohols and ethers clarified organic molecular structure.       From 1849 to 1887 Williamson served on the faculty of… …   Universalium

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  • Alexander William Williamson — Alexander William Williamson. Alexander William Williamson (* 1. Mai 1824 in Wandsworth; † 6. Mai 1904 in Haslemere) war ein britischer Chemiker des 19. Jahrhunderts, der vor allem durch die nach ihm benannte Ethersynthese bekannt wurde …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander William Williamson — Nacimiento 1 de mayo de 1824 Wandsworth, Gran Londres, Inglaterra Fallecimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alexander William Williamson — Infobox Scientist name = Alexander William Williamson box width = image width =200px caption =Alexander William Williamson birth date = May 1, 1824 birth place = London death date = May 6, 1904 death place = Surrey residence = citizenship =… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Williamson — There have been several persons named Alexander Williamson.* Alexander William Williamson (1824 1904) was a chemist who discovered the Williamson ether synthesis reaction. * Alexander Williamson (tutor) was hired by Mary Todd Lincoln to teach her …   Wikipedia

  • Williamson-Ether-Synthese — Die Williamson Synthese (siehe auch Ethersynthese) dient der Herstellung von symmetrischen und unsymmetrischen Ethern. Sie wurde bereits im 19. Jahrhundert durch ihren Namensgeber Alexander William Williamson entwickelt. Die Williamson Synthese… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Williamson — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alison Williamson (* 1971), britische Sportbogenschützin Alexander William Williamson (1824−1904), britischer Chemiker Audrey Williamson (1926−2010), britische Leichtathlethin Ben M. Williamson (1864−1941) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Williamson —   [ wɪljəmsn],    1) Alexander William, britischer Chemiker, * Wandsworth (heute zu London) 1. 5. 1824, ✝ High Pitfold (bei Haslemere, County Surrey) 6. 5. 1904; Professor in London (1849 87). Williamson arbeitete v. a. über die Darstellung von… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Williamson (surname) — Family name name = Williamson imagesize= caption= pronunciation = meaning = son of William region = English speaking countries origin = William, Old Germanic related names = Willams, Willson, Wilson footnotes = Williamson is a common English… …   Wikipedia

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