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Merle Randall

Merle Randall (1888-1950) was an American physical chemist famous for his work, over the period of 25 years, in measuring free energy calculations of compounds with Gilbert N. Lewis. Together, their 1923 textbook Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances became a classic work in the field of chemical thermodynamics.


Based on work by J. Willard Gibbs, it was known that chemical reactions proceeded to an equilibrium determined by the free energy of the substances taking part. Using this theory Gilbert Lewis spent 25 years determining free energies of various substances. In 1923 he and Randall published the results of this study and formalizing chemical thermodynamics.

According to the Belgian thermodynamicist Ilya Prigogine, their influential 1923 textbook led to the replacement of the term “affinity” by the term “free energy” in much of the English-speaking world.


Other works by Randall include:

  • Studies in Free Energy (1912)
  • Elementary Physical Chemistry (1942)


  • Lewis, Gilbert Newton; Randall, Merle: Revised by Pitzer, Kenneth S. & Brewer, Leo (1961). Thermodynamics, 2nd Edition, New York, NY USA: McGraw-Hill Book Co.. ISBN 0-07-113809-9. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Merle_Randall". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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