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Théophile de Donder | |
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Théophile Ernest de Donder (1872 – 1957) at the 1927 Solvay Conference. Appearing in front of de Donder is Paul Dirac. | |

Born | Brussels, Belgium | 19 August 1872

Died | 11 May 1957 84) Brussels, Belgium | (aged

Residence | Belgium |

Nationality | Belgian |

Alma mater | Université Libre de Bruxelles |

Known for | Being the father of irreversible thermodynamics |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Physicist and mathematician |

Institutions | Université Libre de Bruxelles |

Academic advisors | Henri Poincaré |

Doctoral students | Ilya Prigogine Jules Géhéniau Léon Van Hove Raymond Coutrez Théophile Lepage |

Influences | Albert Einstein |

**Théophile Ernest de Donder** (French: [də dɔ̃dɛʁ] ; 19 August 1872 – 11 May 1957) was a Belgian mathematician and physicist famous for his work (published in 1923) in developing correlations between the Newtonian concept of chemical affinity and the Gibbsian concept of free energy.

In chemical physics and physical chemistry, **chemical affinity** is the electronic property by which dissimilar chemical species are capable of forming chemical compounds. Chemical affinity can also refer to the tendency of an atom or compound to combine by chemical reaction with atoms or compounds of unlike composition.

In thermodynamics, the **Gibbs free energy** is a thermodynamic potential that can be used to calculate the maximum of reversible work that may be performed by a thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. The Gibbs free energy is the *maximum* amount of non-expansion work that can be extracted from a thermodynamically closed system ; this maximum can be attained only in a completely reversible process. When a system transforms reversibly from an initial state to a final state, the decrease in Gibbs free energy equals the work done by the system to its surroundings, minus the work of the pressure forces.

He received his doctorate in physics and mathematics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1899, for a thesis entitled *Sur la Théorie des Invariants Intégraux* (*On the Theory of Integral Invariants*).^{ [1] }

He was professor between 1911 and 1942, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Initially he continued the work of Henri Poincaré and Élie Cartan. From 1914 on, he was influenced by the work of Albert Einstein and was an enthusiastic proponent of the theory of relativity. He gained significant reputation in 1923, when he developed his definition of chemical affinity. He pointed out a connection between the chemical affinity and the Gibbs free energy.

**Jules Henri Poincaré** was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and philosopher of science. He is often described as a polymath, and in mathematics as "The Last Universalist," since he excelled in all fields of the discipline as it existed during his lifetime.

**Élie Joseph Cartan,** ForMemRS was an influential French mathematician who did fundamental work in the theory of Lie groups, differential systems, and differential geometry. He also made significant contributions to general relativity and indirectly to quantum mechanics. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century.

**Albert Einstein** was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula *E* = *mc*^{2}, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

He is considered the father of thermodynamics of irreversible processes.^{ [2] } De Donder’s work was later developed further by Ilya Prigogine. De Donder was an associate and friend of Albert Einstein.

**Thermodynamics** is the branch of physics that has to do with heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work. The behavior of these quantities is governed by the four laws of thermodynamics, irrespective of the composition or specific properties of the material or system in question. The laws of thermodynamics are explained in terms of microscopic constituents by statistical mechanics. Thermodynamics applies to a wide variety of topics in science and engineering, especially physical chemistry, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Viscount **Ilya Romanovich Prigogine** was a physical chemist and Nobel laureate noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility.

*Thermodynamic Theory of Affinity: A Book of Principles.*Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (1936)*The Mathematical Theory of Relativity.*Cambridge, MA: MIT (1927)^{ [3] }*Sur la théorie des invariants intégraux*(thesis) (1899).*Théorie du champ électromagnétique de Maxwell-Lorentz et du champ gravifique d'Einstein*(1917)*La gravifique Einsteinienne*(1921)*Introduction à la gravifique einsteinienne*(1925)^{ [4] }*Théorie mathématique de l'électricité*(1925)^{ [5] }*Théorie des champs gravifiques*(1926)^{ [6] }*Application de la gravifique einsteinienne*(1930)*Théorie invariantive du calcul des variations*(1931)^{ [7] }

**Chemical thermodynamics** is the study of the interrelation of heat and work with chemical reactions or with physical changes of state within the confines of the laws of thermodynamics. Chemical thermodynamics involves not only laboratory measurements of various thermodynamic properties, but also the application of mathematical methods to the study of chemical questions and the *spontaneity* of processes.

The **harmonic coordinate condition** is one of several coordinate conditions in general relativity, which make it possible to solve the Einstein field equations. A coordinate system is said to satisfy the harmonic coordinate condition if each of the coordinate functions *x*^{α} satisfies d'Alembert's equation. The parallel notion of a harmonic coordinate system in Riemannian geometry is a coordinate system whose coordinate functions satisfy Laplace's equation. Since d'Alembert's equation is the generalization of Laplace's equation to space-time, its solutions are also called "harmonic".

In mathematical physics, the **De Donder–Weyl theory** is a generalization of the Hamiltonian formalism in the calculus of variations and classical field theory over spacetime which treats the space and time coordinates on equal footing. In this framework, the Hamiltonian formalism in mechanics is generalized to field theory in the way that a field is represented as a system that varies both in space and in time. This generalization is different from the canonical Hamiltonian formalism in field theory which treats space and time variables differently and describes classical fields as infinite-dimensional systems evolving in time.

**Jacques Salomon Hadamard** ForMemRS was a French mathematician who made major contributions in number theory, complex function theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations.

**Claude Chevalley** was a French mathematician who made important contributions to number theory, algebraic geometry, class field theory, finite group theory, and the theory of algebraic groups. He was a founding member of the Bourbaki group.

**Oswald Veblen** was an American mathematician, geometer and topologist, whose work found application in atomic physics and the theory of relativity. He proved the Jordan curve theorem in 1905; while this was long considered the first rigorous proof, many now also consider Camille Jordan's original proof rigorous.

**Jean Alexandre Eugène Dieudonné** was a French mathematician, notable for research in abstract algebra, algebraic geometry, and functional analysis, for close involvement with the Nicolas Bourbaki pseudonymous group and the *Éléments de géométrie algébrique* project of Alexander Grothendieck, and as a historian of mathematics, particularly in the fields of functional analysis and algebraic topology. His work on the classical groups, and on formal groups, introducing what now are called Dieudonné modules, had a major effect on those fields.

**Szolem Mandelbrojt** was a Polish-French mathematician who specialized in mathematical analysis. He was a Professor at the Collège de France from 1938 to 1972, where he held the Chair of Analytical Mechanics and Celestial Mechanics.

**Max Abraham** was a German physicist. Abraham was born in Danzig, Imperial Germany to a family of Jewish merchants. His father was Moritz Abraham and his mother was Selma Moritzsohn. Attending the University of Berlin, he studied under Max Planck. He graduated in 1897. For the next three years, Abraham worked as Planck's assistant..

**Adolf Kneser** was a German mathematician.

**Arnaud Denjoy** was a French mathematician.

**Luther Pfahler Eisenhart** was an American mathematician, best known today for his contributions to semi-Riemannian geometry.

**James P. Pierpont** was a Connecticut-born American mathematician. His father Cornelius Pierpont was a wealthy New Haven businessman. He did undergraduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, initially in mechanical engineering, but turned to mathematics. He went to Europe after graduating in 1886. He studied in Berlin, and later in Vienna. He prepared his PhD at the University of Vienna under Leopold Gegenbauer and Gustav Ritter von Escherich. His thesis, defended in 1894, is entitled *Zur Geschichte der Gleichung fünften Grades bis zum Jahre 1858*. After his defense, he returned to New Haven and was appointed as a lecturer at Yale University, where he spent most of his career. In 1898, he became professor.

**Friedrich Engel** was a German mathematician.

**Lucien Godeaux** (1887–1975) was a prolific Belgian mathematician. His total of more than 1000 papers and books, 669 of which are found in Mathematical Reviews, made him one of the most published mathematicians. He was the sole author of all but one of his papers.

**Dominique Foata** is a mathematician who works in enumerative combinatorics. With Pierre Cartier and Marcel-Paul Schützenberger he pioneered the modern approach to classical combinatorics, that lead, in part, to the current blossoming of algebraic combinatorics. His pioneering work on permutation statistics, and his combinatorial approach to special functions, are especially notable.

**Georg Scheffers** was a German mathematician specializing in differential geometry. He was born on November 21, 1866 in the village of Altendorf near Holzminden. Scheffers began his university career at the University of Leipzig where he studied with Felix Klein and Sophus Lie. Scheffers was a coauthor with Lie for three of the earliest expressions of Lie theory:

**Georges Louis Bouligand** was a French mathematician who introduced paratingent cones and contingent cones.

**Léon Lecornu** was a French engineer and physicist.

**Gustave Juvet** was a Swiss mathematician.

**Benjamin Abram Bernstein** was an American mathematician, specializing in mathematical logic.

**Louis-Gustave du Pasquier** was a Swiss mathematician and historian of mathematics and mathematical sciences.

- ↑ Acad. Roy. Belg., Bull. Cl. Sc., page 169, 1968.
- ↑ Perrot, Pierre (1998).
*A to Z of Thermodynamics*. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-856556-9. - ↑ Struik, D. J. (1930). "Review:
*The Mathematical Theory of Relativity*, by Th. de Donder" (PDF).*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc*.**36**(1): 34. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1930-04878-8. - ↑ Reynolds Jr., C. N. (1926). "Review:
*Introduction à la Gravifique einsteinienne*, by Th. de Donder" (PDF).*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc*.**32**(5): 563. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1926-04273-7. - ↑ Page, Leigh (1926). "Review:
*Théorie Mathématique de l'Électricité*, by Th. de Donder" (PDF).*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc*.**32**(2): 174. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1926-04191-4. - ↑ Reynolds Jr., C. N. (1929). "Review:
*Théorie des Champs Gravifiques*, by Th. de Donder" (PDF).*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc*.**35**(6): 884. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1929-04828-6. - ↑ Busemann, Herbert (1937). "Review:
*Théorie Invariantive du Calcul des Variations*, by Th. de Donder" (PDF).*Bull. Amer. Math. Soc*.**43**(9): 598–599. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1937-06582-7.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Théophile de Donder |

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