Johannes Jacobus Van Laar Unappreciated Scientist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Van Laar’s academic and research career was adversely affected by psychological traumas he experienced during his youth. Loss of his parents at a young age, submission to a hard discipline, and lack of a formal university education made van Laar emotionally unstable and gave him many enemies, among them van der Waals. Still, Van Laar’s scientific achievements have resulted in the transformation of mathematical chemistry into the independent subjects known today as chemical thermodynamics and theory of phase equilibria. Discussed here as well is Van Laar’s theory of solutions using the state of thermodynamics at his time and modern thermodynamic concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalThe Chemical Educator
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2000


  • Phase Equilibrium
  • Research Career
  • Scientific Achievement
  • Chemical Thermodynamic
  • psychological trauma


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