Tominaga KeiiIn human thermodynamics, Tominaga Keii (1920-2009) was a Japanese chemical engineer noted for his short 2004 critique of German polymath Johann Goethe’s 1809 Elective Affinities, within which are found Goethe’s human chemical affinity theories, in the context of modern chemical thermodynamics. As to the scientific impact of the novel, curiously, Keii summarizes that: [1]

Goethe's [Elective Affinities] did not add any scientific knowledge.”

This statement, however, is hugely erroneous, in that Goethe's novel founded the science of human chemistry. [2] In any event, Keii goes on to explain, paradoxically, that the only result that the publication had was to make the concept of ‘affinities’, which before that time was a technical term solely used in chemistry, popular to the public at large. Keii gives this presentation in a section, entitled “Chemical Affinity in 1806” (which, to note, is a date typo), to his chapter on the thermodynamics of chemical reactions, where he discusses Goethe’s theory of human affinities, quoting verbatim an entire page of Goethe's famous chapter four, in the context of the chemical affinity theories of Jacob Berzelius (1811), Jacobus van’t Hoff (1884), Willard Gibbs (1876), and Théophile de Donder (1922).

In 1964, Keii was with the department of chemical engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. [3] Keii was the founder of the Japanese Institute for Science and Technology. [4]

See also
Gibbs and Goethe

1. Keii, Tominaga. (2004). Heterogeneous Kinetics: Theory of Ziegler-Natta-Kaminsky (ch. 2: Thermodynamics of Chemical Reactions, pgs. 11-20; section: Chemical Affinity in 1806, pgs. 16-17). Springer.
2. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (preview), (Google books). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two), (preview), (ch. 10: "Goethe's Affinities", pgs. 371-422). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
3. Keii, Tominaga. (1965). “Frequency Factor of Natta’s Propylene Polymerization.” Nature, 202: 1331, Jun 27.
4. Anon. (1997). “Newsletter: Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics” (Spanish → English). University of Chile. Nov 28.

Further reading
● Sukekatsu, Ushioda. (2009). “In Memory of Professor Tominaga Keii”, The Physical Society of Japan, 63: 3. Mar 05.

External links
Keii, Tominaga (1920-) – WorldCat Identities.

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