Overview and role of physical techniques in chemistry and catalysis ** ZBIGNIEW SOJKA 1,2 and MICHEL CHE 1,3,, 1 Laboratoire de R›233 de Surface, UMR 7609 CNRS, Universit› Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France 2 Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland 3 Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France Received 9 May 2003; accepted 18 August 2003 In the past, when science was not yet regarded as essential for the economy of a country, only few people were interested in research. Some were financed by Universities or special Institutions, while some others were rich enough to make research their favourite hobby. The latter applied to Antoine- Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), who was a tax collector at the time of the French Revolution in 1789. With only a few tools, notably the balance, he revolutionized chemistry and changed it from an art, alchemy, to a science. In his book A Short History of Chemistry (Dover, New York, NY (1989)), J. R. Partington devoted an entire chapter to Lavoisier's work, entitled Lavoisier and the Foundation of Modern Chemistry. Nowadays, research is no longer a hobby but has become a major activity which, particularly when it comes to experimental measurements, requires very sophisticated tools. Because of the ever-growing cost of modern research and also of the increasing number of physical techniques, the problems of introducing the latter in the university curriculum and of making the right choices before purchasing new equipment have become real challenges. This paper will focus on possible ways to introduce physical techniques to students and researchers in chemistry and also on the impact of those techniques in chemistry in general and in catalysis in particular, which may help make the right choices and take the right decisions. *To whom correspondence should be addressed at the Laboratoire de R›233 de Surface. Phone: (33-1) 4427-6001. Fax: (33-1)4427-6033. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org **The complete article will be published in an upcoming issue of Research on Chemical Intermediates.
Research on Chemical Intermediates – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 8, 2009
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