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Book Chapter

Clara Haber, née Immerwahr: In and Out of Her Element


Hoffmann,  Dieter
Department Structural Changes in Systems of Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society;

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Friedrich, B., & Hoffmann, D. (2019). Clara Haber, née Immerwahr: In and Out of Her Element. In A. Lykknes, & B. Van Tiggelen (Eds.), Women in Their Element: Selected Women's Contributions to the Periodic System (pp. 185-200). Singapore: World Scientific. doi:10.1142/9789811206290_0012.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-B350-3
When in April 1901 the German Association for Electrochemistry convened in Freiburg for its annual meeting, there was, for he first time, a woman among the participants. This was Clara Immerwahr from Breslau, who had completed her PhD just a few months earlier. She thus ranks among a small, yet significant group of women scientists who entered, at the turn of the 20th century, the then exclusively male domain of scientific research. Clara’s research on the electrochemical properties of cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zink in equilibrium with their salts in solution broadened the empirical basis for the notion of “electroaffinity,” as coined by her PhD advisor, Richard Abegg. Electroaffinity (electronegativity in modern nomenclature) varies characteristically along the rows and columns of the periodic system and complements the organizing principle encapsulated in it.