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Friedrich Woehler

Friedrich Wöhler (July 31, 1800, in Eschersheim[?] near Frankfurt am Main - September 23, 1882, in Göttingen) was a German chemist.

In 1823 Wöhler finished his study of medicine in Heidelberg at the laboratory of Leopold Gmelin[?], who arranged for him to work under Jöns Jakob Berzelius in Stockholm. Between 1825 and 1831, Wöhler taught and worked in Berlin.

Wöhler is regarded as a pioneer in organic chemistry as a result of his (accidential) synthesizing urea in 1828. Urea synthesis was integral for biochemistry because it showed that a compound known to be produced only by biological organisms could be produced in a laboratory, under controlled conditions, from inanimate matter. This in vitro synthesis of organic matter disproved a common theory (vitalism) about vis vitalis[?], a transcendent "life force" needed for producing organic compounds. In the year of urea synthesis, Wöhler became professor at the age of 28.

Wöhler was also a co-discoverer of Beryllium and Silicon, as well as the synthesis of Calciumcarbide[?], among others.



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