Gilbert Newton Lewis ForMemRS (October 23, 1875 – March 23, 1946) was an American physical chemist known for the discovery of the covalent bond and his concept of electron pairs; his Lewis dot structures and other contributions to valence bond theory have shaped modern theories of chemical bonding. Lewis successfully contributed to thermodynamics, photochemistry, and isotope separation, and is also known for his concept of acids and bases.
G. N. Lewis was born in 1875 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Lewis received his primary education at home from his parents, Frank Wesley Lewis, a lawyer of independent character, and Mary Burr White Lewis.
After receiving his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University and studying abroad in Germany and the Philippines, Lewis moved to California to teach chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Several years later, he became the Dean of the college of Chemistry at Berkeley, where he spent the rest of his life. As a professor, he incorporated thermodynamic principles into the chemistry curriculum and reformed chemical thermodynamics in a mathematically rigorous manner accessible to ordinary chemists. He began measuring the free energy values related to several chemical processes, both organic and inorganic.
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