Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff, Jr. who died on this day in 1911. He was a Dutch physical and organic chemist and in 1091, the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is best known for his discoveries in chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, osmotic pressure, and stereochemistry. With such a wide range of work, Van ‘t Hoff’s helped found the discipline of physical chemistry.
Archer John Porter Martin, FRS was born on this date in 1910. He was an English chemist who shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention of partition chromatography with Richard Synge. His father was a GP. Martin was educated at Bedford School and Cambridge University. Working first in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory, he moved to the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, and in 1938 moved to Wool Industries Research Institution in Leeds. He was head of the Biochemistry Division of Boots Pure Drug Company from 1946 to 1948 when he joined the Medical Research Council. There, he was appointed Head of the Physical Chemistry Division of the National Institute for Medical Research in 1952 and was Chemical Consultant from 1956 to 1959. He specialised in Biochemistry, in some aspects of Vitamins E and B2, and in techniques that laid the foundation for chromatography. He developed partition chromatography whilst working on the separation of amino acids, and later developed gas-liquid chromatography. Amongst many other honours, he received his Nobel Prize in 1952. He published far fewer papers than the typical Nobel winners—only 70 in all—but his 9th paper won the Nobel. The University of Houston dropped him from its chemistry faculty in 1979 (when he was 69 years old) because he was not publishing enough.