The Role of Chemistry in History

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Ozone History

April 23rd, 2008 · No Comments ·


Ozone History | Ozone in the Troposphere | Ozone in the Stratosphere | History Effects Ozone | Ozone’s Other Uses

 After a lightening strike, there is a peculiar odor that man has been aware of for centuries.  It has been mentioned works such as The Illiad and The Odyssey.  In 1785 Martin van Marum studied the passing of an electrical spark through diatomic oxygen and noticed a sweet smell.  He attributed the smell to the electricity, calling it the “electrical odor.”  It was not until Christian Schöbein studied the odor that he realized it did not come from the electricity, but was a different molecule.  He named it ozone after the Greek word ozein, which means to smell. Schöbein is also the founder of guncotton, when he wiped nitric acid with a cotton cloth in his kitchen.  The actual structure was not determined until T. Sterry Hunt hypothesized it was three oxygen atoms.  The fact that ozone is so widespread was not realized until 1850.  Gordon Dobson made the first tool to measure ozone and surface measurements began in the 1860s.  The discovery of the ozone layer in the stratosphere did not come until the early Twentieth century.



Tags: Ozone