Svante Arrhenius (19 February 1859 – 2 October 1927) was a Swedish scientist. In 1903, he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on electrolytic dissociation.

Life and Career

He was born on 19 February 1859, in Sweden, Norway. He attended Uppsala Cathedral School and then studied at Uppsala University, where he got his bachelor’s degree (1878) and doctorate (1884).

In 1884 he was named a docent at Uppsala University, and in 1886 he got a travel stipend from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Arrhenius proposed the theory of electrolytic dissociation in 1884, which explained how salts, acids, and bases dissolved in water to form ions. This theory helped to establish the concept of pH, which is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.

He also formulated the Arrhenius equation, which describes the relationship between the rate of a chemical reaction and the temperature at which it occurs.

He was appointed a physics lecturer at Stockholm University in 1891. Then four years later, he got promoted to professor.

He was also interested in the effect of carbon dioxide on the Earth’s climate. In 1896, he published a paper in which he predicted that increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels could lead to a rise in global temperature. This was one of the earliest predictions of what is now known as the greenhouse effect.

In addition to his scientific contributions, Arrhenius was also a member of the Swedish parliament and was active in promoting the use of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power.

He became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1910.

Svante Arrhenius died on 2 October 1927, in Stockholm, Sweden.


In 1902, the Royal Society of London awarded Arrhenius the ‘Davy Medal’ for his pioneering research on dissociation.

In 1903, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on electrolytic dissociation and, he is the first Swedish Nobel laureate.

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