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Making Ammonia: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Nature of Scientific Discovery

Making Ammonia: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Nature of Scientific Discovery ambix, 2023, 1–2 Book Review Making Ammonia: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Nature of Scientific Discovery.By BENJAMIN JOHNSON. Pp. 278, illus., index. Springer Nature: Cham. 2022. £39.99 (paperback); open access (ebook). ISBN: 978-3-030-85534-5 (paperback); ISBN: 978-3-030-85532-1 (ebook) Is scientific discovery a singular or protracted event? Starting from this premise, Benjamin Johnson’s book attempts to unravel the nature of discoveries by examining the case of ammonia synthesis. Over one hundred years have elapsed since Fritz Haber’s Nobel Prize, and the journey of ammonia production encompasses decreasing guano supplies, the need to feed an ever-growing populace, and the production of ammunition. In an obitu- ary, Haber was exalted for making “bread from air” (Brot aus Luft). Indeed, Johnson’s de- tailed account presents ammonia synthesis from the elements as one of the most consequential discoveries known to mankind. While the period between the years 1903 and 1909 is earmarked as the genesis of the so-called “Haber-Bosch process” of ammonia production, Johnson emphasises the back story of the push towards solving a complex reac- tion for obtaining ammonia. He describes Liebig’s prior work on the nitrogen cycle, agricul- tural chemistry, and advances in organic catalysis, as well as developments in obtaining ammonia http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ambix Taylor & Francis

Making Ammonia: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Nature of Scientific Discovery

Ambix , Volume 70 (4): 2 – Oct 2, 2023
2 pages

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2023 Payal B. Joshi
ISSN
1745-8234
eISSN
0002-6980
DOI
10.1080/00026980.2023.2222587
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ambix, 2023, 1–2 Book Review Making Ammonia: Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and the Nature of Scientific Discovery.By BENJAMIN JOHNSON. Pp. 278, illus., index. Springer Nature: Cham. 2022. £39.99 (paperback); open access (ebook). ISBN: 978-3-030-85534-5 (paperback); ISBN: 978-3-030-85532-1 (ebook) Is scientific discovery a singular or protracted event? Starting from this premise, Benjamin Johnson’s book attempts to unravel the nature of discoveries by examining the case of ammonia synthesis. Over one hundred years have elapsed since Fritz Haber’s Nobel Prize, and the journey of ammonia production encompasses decreasing guano supplies, the need to feed an ever-growing populace, and the production of ammunition. In an obitu- ary, Haber was exalted for making “bread from air” (Brot aus Luft). Indeed, Johnson’s de- tailed account presents ammonia synthesis from the elements as one of the most consequential discoveries known to mankind. While the period between the years 1903 and 1909 is earmarked as the genesis of the so-called “Haber-Bosch process” of ammonia production, Johnson emphasises the back story of the push towards solving a complex reac- tion for obtaining ammonia. He describes Liebig’s prior work on the nitrogen cycle, agricul- tural chemistry, and advances in organic catalysis, as well as developments in obtaining ammonia

Journal

AmbixTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 2, 2023

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