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Robert Bunsen

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eggshaped
62964.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:18 am Reply with quote

A few GI quickies,

QUESTION: What piece of equipment did Robert Bunsen
Invent?

FORFEIT: The Bunsen Burner

ANSWER: The Grease-spot Thermometer, The Bunsen
Battery, The Filter Pump and The Vapour Calorimeter

NOTES:
Robert Bunsen was a great chemist, and a gifted
teacher, he also devised or improved the design of a
number of pieces of laboratory equipment in use today.
However, his most famous invention, and the one which
bears his name was not designed by Bunsen, but rather
a technician at the University of Heidelberg, Peter
Desaga.

Bunsen had come up with a theory of how oxygen could
be mixed with gas before combustion in order to make a
high intensity manageable flame. Previously the oxygen
was added at the point of combustion, which led to
smoky and flickery heat-sources. He took this idea to
Desaga, who came up with the innovative design which
every schoolchild knows and loves. In 1855 the first
gas-burner - soon to be known as a Bunsen burner was
built - by the forgotten Peter Desaga.

http://www1.umn.edu/ships/updates/shadows.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Desaga
[/b]

 
JumpingJack
63331.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:10 pm Reply with quote

Top man, James!

 
Frederick The Monk
64280.  Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:46 am Reply with quote

Bunsen's theory on how to make a maneagable flame was in turn just an improvment of an idea by Michael Faraday.

Desaga might be unknown but he got the rights off Bunsen to sell the device which his family did for several generations so they made a few quid at least.

 
Frederick The Monk
64281.  Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:49 am Reply with quote

The Bunsen burner was an essential part of the development of the spectroscope (invented by Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff), a device which enabled Mr B to discover 2 elements - caesium and rubidium.

 
Flash
64306.  Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:53 pm Reply with quote

The scientist in the Muppets was Dr Bunsen Honeydew. In 2004 he beat out Mister Spock and Doctors Who, Frankenstein and Strangelove in a BBC poll for top screen scientist, taking a third of the 43,000 votes cast.

Quote:
Come now, Beaker - this won't hurt a bit.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/scientists/

 
Menocchio
64340.  Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:57 pm Reply with quote

I guess no one remembers Heinz Wolf now. The man whose bowtie and crazy hair lit the bunsen burner in the hearts of millions of eager young scientists.

 
MatC
64363.  Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:44 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The scientist in the Muppets was Dr Bunsen Honeydew. In 2004 he beat out Mister Spock and Doctors Who, Frankenstein and Strangelove in a BBC poll for top screen scientist, taking a third of the 43,000 votes cast.


I’m not familiar with this expression, “beat out.” Is it something to do with extinguishing flames, such as what are caused by leaning over a non-Bunsen burner whilst wearing a school scarf?

 
eggshaped
71541.  Fri May 26, 2006 10:31 am Reply with quote

A slightly more full piece on Bunsen, posted for posterity:

Question: What piece of equipment did Robert Bunsen invent?

a) The Grease-spot Photometer
b) The Bunsen Battery
c) The Ice Calorimeter
d) The Spectroscope
e) The Bunsen Burner

Answer: All of the above, except e).

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen was a great chemist and a gifted teacher; he also devised or improved the design of a number of pieces of laboratory equipment in use today. However, the item he is most famous for, and the one which bears his name was not designed by Bunsen, but rather a technician at the University of Heidelberg, Peter Desaga.

Born in Göttingen, Germany in 1811, Bunsen first became renowned in the scientific community due to his work on arsenic compounds. He discovered an antidote for the poison, but during the course of this work lost sight in one eye and almost died of arsenic poisoning.

At the age of 30, Bunsen invented the battery which bears his name by replacing expensive platinum electrodes with carbon; later improvements would enable him to produce metals such as magnesium, aluminium, sodium and calcium by electrolysis. Amongst his other inventions is the grease-spot photometer, which is a simple set-up of two lights and a piece of brown paper with a spot of grease upon it; it was used to compare the intensity of two light sources. He also significantly improved the design of the ice calorimeter, a device which measures the heat of chemical reactions by observing melting ice.

Perhaps Bunsen’s greatest legacy was in the field of spectroscopy, in which matter is studied by the emission or absorption of radiation. With Gustav Kirchhoff, he invented the Bunsen-Kirchhoff spectroscope, a device which helped him to co-discover the elements caesium and rubidium, however his work depended on a reliable source of heat, and a new style of burner was required.

Bunsen had come up with a theory of how oxygen could be mixed with gas before combustion in order to make a high intensity manageable flame, an improvement on the original burner invented by Michael Faraday. Previously the oxygen was added at the point of combustion, which led to smoky and flickery heat-sources. He took this idea to Desaga, who came up with the innovative design which every schoolchild knows and loves. In 1855 the first gas-burner - soon to be known as a Bunsen burner was built - by the forgotten Peter Desaga. Desaga was not without reward though, he managed to get the rights off Bunsen to sell the device, which his family did for several generations.

 

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