Russell J. Donnelly
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PhD Family Tree of Russell Donnelly

Advisors: Lars Onsager (1903-1976), Cecil Taverner Lane. “CT” (1904-).
Onsager did not attend graduate school or study theoretical chemistry or physics. He obtained an undergraduate education in chemical engineering from Trondheim in Norway. It might be said that his mentor would have been Peter Debye.

Lane studied at Munich with Walther Gerlach (1889-1979). Gerlach collaborated with Stern in the celebrated experiment named for them. He headed the German atomic energy project during the war.

Gerlach studied at Tübingen with Louis Carl Heinrich Paschen (1865-1947)., who was celebrated for the Paschen-Back effect (influence of strong magnetic fields on optical spectra).

Paschen in turn studied at Strasbourg under August Adolph Kundt (1839-1894) Kundt worked mainly on optics, acoustics and gas theory, but is remembered mostly for his invention of the Kundt tube for measuring the speed of sound in gases, using standing waves in a tube closed at one end and visualized by lycopodium seeds.

Kundt obtained his doctorate in 1864 at the University of Berlin under Heinrich Gustav Magnus (1802-1870). He discovered “Magnus’ green salt” the first platinum-ammine compound.

Magnus studied at Berlin with Eilhard Mitscherlich (1794-1863). Mitscherlich first studied oriental languages, then medicine and chemistry. From here back in history we have physical-chemist ancestors, and a history more of mentors than thesis advisors. Mitscherlich’s most influential mentor in chemistry was the Swedish Chemist Berzelius, who he met in 1819.

Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848) first became a physician , and only after a number of years did he become interested in chemistry through a wealthy mine owner. Swedish prominence in chemistry began with the work of experienced mining chemists, who discovered many elements Georg Brandt (1694-1768) discovered cobalt in 1730. Axel Fredrik Cronstedt (1722-1765) discovered nickel in 1751 and Johan Gottlieb Gahn (1745-1818) manganese in 1774. Then Karl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) made his brilliant contribution with oxygen, chlorine, tungsten and molybdenum the latter being first isolated in metallic form by Petter Jacob Hjelm, (1746-1813). After him came Anders Gustaf Ekeberg, (1767-1813) in Upsala with tantalum (1802) and the Berzelius school with cerium, selenium, and thorium (these three discovered by Berzelius himself), as well as lithium (Johann Arfvedson, (1792-1841) 1818, vanadium (Nils Gabriel Sefström), 1831), lanthanum, didymium, erbium, and terbium (Carl Gustav Mosander (1797-1858), 1839-1843). This series of discoveries was completed by Lars Fredrik Nilsson (1840-1899) with scandium and by Per Teodor Cleve, (1840-1905) with holmium and thulium in 1879.

C.T. Lane had a policy of “each one teach one”, i.e. a senior graduate student would begin the training of a new graduate student. Donnelly had the good luck to draw David Lee. David did his PhD thesis with Henry Fairbank



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