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Hans Goldschmidt : biography

18 January 1861 - 21 May 1923

Johannes Wilhelm "Hans" Goldschmidt (January 18, 1861 – May 21, 1923) was a German chemist.

Born in Berlin, he was a student of Robert Bunsen. His father, Theodor Goldschmidt, was the founder of the chemical company Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt which eventually became part of the modern company Degussa, and Hans and his brother Karl managed this company for many years. History of the "Th. Goldschmidt AG" company: http://history.evonik.com/sites/geschichte/en/chemicals/history/goldschmidt/pages/default.aspx .

He is principally noted as the inventor of thermite and co-inventor of sodium amalgam. The thermite (or aluminothermic) reaction is one in which aluminum metal is oxidized by an oxide of another metal, usually iron oxide, producing great heat in the process. Goldschmidt was originally interested in producing very pure metals by avoiding the use of carbon in smelting, but he soon realized the value in welding, a process known as thermic welding. It is also used in incendiary devices. This process is sometimes called the "Goldschmidt reaction" or "Goldschmidt process", because he invented it in 1893 and patented it in 1895H. Goldschmidt, "Verfahren zur Herstellung von Metallen oder Metalloiden oder Legierungen derselben" (Process for the production of metals or metalloids or alloys of the same), Deutsche Reichs Patent no. 96317 (13 March 1895). and published an extensive paper in 1898.Goldschmidt, H., "Über ein neues Verfahren zur Erzeugung von hohen Temperaturen und zur Darstellung von schwer schmelzbaren kohlefreien Metallen" (On a new method for the production of high temperatures and for the preparation of refractory carbon-free metals), Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie, vol. 4, pages 494–499 (1898)Goldschmidt, H., "Verfahren zur Erzeugung hoher Temperaturen" (Method for the production of high temperatures), Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie, vol. 6, pages 53–57 (1899).

His grave is preserved in the Protestant Friedhof I der Jerusalems- und Neuen Kirchengemeinde (Cemetery No. I of the congregations of Jerusalem's Church and New Church) in Berlin-Kreuzberg, south of Hallesches Tor.

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