Fritz Feigl

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Fritz Feigl
Born(1891-05-15)15 May 1891
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 23 January 1971(1971-01-23) (aged 79)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality Austrian until 1944
Alma mater University of Vienna
Awards Wilhelm Exner Medal, 1957
Scientific career
Doctoral advisor Wilhelm Schlenk
Doctoral students Erwin Chargaff
Cláudio Costa Neto

Fritz Feigl (15 May 1891 – 23 January 1971) was a Jewish Austrian-born chemist. He taught at the University of Brazil. [1]

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Chemist scientist trained in the study of chemistry

A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms. Chemists carefully measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties. The word 'chemist' is also used to address Pharmacists in Commonwealth English.



Feigl was born and studied in Vienna, but owing to his military service in the First World War he had to interrupt his studies. He received his Ph.D. for work with Wilhelm Schlenk in 1920. After his habilitation in 1928 he became a Professor at the University of Vienna. He was forced to retire after the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Wilhelm Johann Schlenk was a German chemist. He was born in Munich and also studied chemistry there. Schlenk succeeded Emil Fischer at the University of Berlin in 1919.

University of Vienna public university located in Vienna, Austria

The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the largest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, especially in the Humanities. It is associated with 20 Nobel prize winners and has been the academic home to a large number of scholars of historical as well as of academic importance.

Feigl was able to get to Belgium and work there. After the occupation of Belgium he was imprisoned in a concentration camp, but was able to reach Portugal and from there Brazil in 1940.

He worked at the University of Rio de Janeiro and became a Brazilian citizen in 1944.


Fritz Feigl is the creator of "spot analysis" (spot test), [1] [2] a simple and efficient technique where analytic assays are executed in only one, or a few drops, of a chemical solution, preferably in a great piece of filter paper, without using any sophisticated instrumentation. A notable example he developed was a simple test to know if fishes eaten by Amazon population are contaminated by lead. Poor populations by the Amazon rivers were taught to easily use that technique to find out contaminated fishes and discharge them.

Spot analysis, spot test analysis, or spot test is a chemical test, a simple and efficient technique where analytic assays are executed in only one, or a few drops, of a chemical solution, preferably in a great piece of filter paper, without using any sophisticated instrumentation. The development and popularization of the test is credited to Fritz Feigl.

On the occasion of Feigl's 70th birthday the Chemical Society of Midland sponsored a symposium in 1962 [3] , attended by 500 scientists from 24 countries, in which all plenary sessions were related on spot tests. [1]

A less known contribution is the development of "luminol", a substance used by forensic investigators to detect presence of blood, even if the scene is washed and cleaned.[ citation needed ]

Luminol Chemical compound

Luminol (C8H7N3O2) is a chemical that exhibits chemiluminescence, with a blue glow, when mixed with an appropriate oxidizing agent. Luminol is a white-to-pale-yellow crystalline solid that is soluble in most polar organic solvents, but insoluble in water.

Literary works

Decorations and awards

Fritz Feigl Prizes

Related Research Articles


  1. 1 2 3 Espinola, Aida; da Silva Pinto, Mario A.; Costa Neto, Claudio (1995). "Fritz Feigl (1891-1971): The Centennial of a Researcher" (PDF). Bull. Hist. Chem. 17/18: 31–39.
  2. "Spot tests in organic analysis", numerous editions
  3. West, Philip William, Society for Analytical Chemistry, Midlands Section, "Analytical Chemistry, 1962; the proceedings of the international symposium held at Birmingham University (U.K.) April, 1962, in honor of Fritz Feigl, to commemorate his 70th birthday," Amsterdam, NY, Elsevier Publishing Co, 1963.
  4. Honorary Doctorates between the decades of 1950s and 1960s from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  5. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 113. Retrieved 13 February 2013.