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Wilder Dwight Bancroft


Wilder Dwight Bancroft (Middletown, Rhode Island on 1 October 1867 - 7 February 1953) was an American physical chemist.

He received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1888, a Ph.D. from University of Leipzig in 1892, and honorary SCDs from Lafayette College (in 1919) and Cambridge University (in 1923).

He was an assistant chemistry instructor at Harvard University from 1888-1889 and 1893-1894, then a full instructor from 1894-1895. He then became an assistant professor at Cornell University in 1895, then a full professor (at Cornell) in 1903.

Bancroft was trained by Wilhelm Ostwald and Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, and introduced a number of thermodynamic and colloid-chemical concepts into American physicochemistry. He is known for the Bancroft rule: a predominantly hydrophilic emulsifier stabilises an oil-in-water emulsion, whereas a predominantly hydrophobic emulsifier stabilises a water-in oil emulsion.

The lunar crater Bancroft is named in his honor.

Selected writings

  • W. D. Bancroft (1913), Theory of emulsification, Journal of Physical Chemistry 17, 501 – 519.
  • Obituary (by A. Findlay, J. Chem. Soc., 1954, 2506 – 2514; pdf copy)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wilder_Dwight_Bancroft". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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