In thermodynamics schools, van’t Hoff school, or physico-chemical van’t hoff school (2008) or Arrhenius-Ostwald-van’t Hoff school (1938), refers to the work of Dutch physical chemist Jacobus van’t Hoff, and to some extent the work of Svante Arrhenius and Wilhelm Ostwald.

The coining “van’t Hoff school” seems to be a coining of Fielding Garrison as found in his multi-part 1809 article “Josiah Willard Gibbs and his Relation to Modern Science”, who states: [1]

“The contention of the van't Hoff school is that the gas equation and the Arrhenius theory are only true for infinite dilution.”

A few other examples:

“According to the Van't Hoff school the kinetic energy of dissolved molecules obey the laws governing gas pressure.” (1915) [3]

“The van't Hoff school has always assumed that the affinities act from the apices of the tetrahedra and have not taken the consequences of close-packing into account.” (1922) [2]

“The subtle boundary between physico-chemical van 't Hoff school and the organic school of Franchimont was not the only dividing line which separated the early members of NCV from other segments of the Dutch chemical community.” (2008) [4]

Some have said that the van’t Hoff school is a “pre-Gibbsian school”. [5] This, however, is a misnomer being that van’t Hoff’s first published paper to contain his beginning views on chemical thermodynamics was his 1877 “Views on Organic Chemistry”, whereas American engineer Willard Gibbs, as a professor at Yale University, in 1873 had already published his “Graphical Methods in the Thermodynamics of Fluids”, on graphical thermodynamics. [6]

See also
‚óŹ Van’t Hoff equilibrium box

1. Garrison, Fielding H. (1909). “Josiah Willard Gibbs and his Relation to Modern Science. II”, Popular Science Monthly (van’t Hoff school, pg. 560), Jun 74:551-61.
2. Chisholm. (1922). The Encyclopedia Britannica (section: Chemistry, pg. 626). The Encyclopedia Britannica, Co.
3. Anon. (1915). “Article”, The Colorado School of Mines magazine (pg. 11). Vol. 5-6.
4. Nielsen, Anita K and Strbanova, Sona. (2008). Creating Networks in Chemistry: the Founding of Chemical Societies in Europe (pg. 208). Royal Society of Chemistry.
5. Kipnis, Aleksandr I., Iavelov, Boris, E.,, Rowlinson, John S. (1996). Van der Waals and Molecular Science (Gibbsian school, Van’t Hoff school, pg. 278). Oxford University Press.
6. (a) Kirkham, M.B. (2005). Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations (pg. 310). Academic Press.
(b) Van’t Hoff, Jacobus. (1877). “Views on Organic Chemistry” (Ansichten über die organischen Chemie), Publisher/Journal.
(b) Gibbs, J. Willard. (1873). "Graphical Methods in the Thermodynamics of Fluids", Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, I. pp. 309-342, April-May.

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