Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mr. Bunsen

His burner was mentioned in the previous post, so it will not be a surprise that this post is about:

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (1811-1899)

The book 'Creations of fire' says about Bunsen (1811-1899):'....inventing for instance a gas burner, which is still standard laboratory equipment' (chapter 12, radical theory). Yes it is, but we do not have one. A decent lab however should have a Bunsen-burner (see previous post).

Bunsen and his friend Henry Enfield Roscoe described this Burner in the article : Photochemische Untersuchungen (Ann. Chem. Phys., 1857, 100, 43)

Bunsen and Roscoe needed a soot-free and virtually colorless burner for their photochemical measurements. The pre-mixing of gas and air in their burner was not the innovation but their design did not need a wire screen in order to prevent flashback of the flame, so they eliminated possible coloring because of contamination of the wire screen.Without the wire screen they were able to produce a more steady and hotter flame as well.

With the burner they were able to do a lot of measurements that were not possible before, and they published more than one 'Photochemische Untersuchungen'.

You will not find this kind of representations in a journal nowadays.

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