“In the hope of penetrating more deeply into the relations between chemical energy and heat, I have carried out in the last few years together with my students, a number of investigations on reactions at high temperatures in gaseous systems.”
|An 1887 group photo (Ѻ), showing (standing, from the left): Nernst, Heinrich Streintz, Svante Arrhenius, Hiecke, and (sitting, from the left): Aulinger, Albert von Ettingshausen, Ludwig Boltzmann (seated at middle), Ignacij Klemencic, Hausmanninger. See also: epicenter genius.
“Since every chemical process, like every process of nature, can only advance without the introduction of external energy only in the sense in which it can perform work; and since also for a measure of the chemical affinity, we must presuppose the absolute condition, that every process must complete itself in the sense of the affinity—on this basis we me may without suspicion regard the maximal external work of a chemical process (i.e. the change of free energy), as the measure of affinity. Therefore the clearly defined problem of thermo-chemistry is to measure the amounts of the changes of free energy associated with chemical processes, with the greatest accuracy possible … when this problem shall be solved, then it will be possible to predict whether or not a reaction can complete itself under the respective conditions. All reactions advance only in the sense of a diminution of free energy, i.e. only in the sense of the affinity.”
A = -ΔG
|When Nernst visited Yale in 1906 to give the Silliman lecture, he was surprised to discover that there was no tangible memorial for Gibbs, after which he therefore donated his $500 lecture fee to the university to help pay for a suitable monument, which was finally unveiled in 1912 in the form of a bronze bas-relief (above) —with caption: "discoverer and interpreter of the laws of chemical equilibrium"—by sculptor Lee Lawrie, installed in the Sloane Physics Laboratory, now at the entrance to the J. W. Gibbs Laboratories, Yale University. 
A = T∆S – ∆H
“I have already been to heaven. It was quite nice there, but I told them they could have it even better.”— Walther Nernst (1941), “last words”, told to his wife Emma