Ernst Otto Beckmann

Ernst Otto Beckmann

German chemist.
Date of Birth: 04.07.1853
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Ernst Otto Beckmann
  2. Education and Early Career
  3. Academic Achievements
  4. Contributions to Chemistry
  5. Legacy

Biography of Ernst Otto Beckmann

Ernst Otto Beckmann was a German chemist known for his significant contributions to the fields of organic and physical chemistry. He was born on July 4, 1853, in Leipzig, Germany.

Education and Early Career

Beckmann pursued his studies in chemistry and pharmacy at Leipzig University from 1875 to 1878. After completing his education, he worked at the Technical University of Braunschweig from 1879 to 1883.

Academic Achievements

In 1883, Beckmann became a privatdozent (unsalaried lecturer) at Leipzig University, and in 1890, he was promoted to become an extraordinary professor. He then held professorial positions at the Universities of Gießen (1891) and Erlangen (1892-1897).

In 1897, Beckmann became an ordinary professor and the director of the Laboratory of Applied Chemistry at Leipzig University. His expertise in the field led to his appointment as the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Applied and Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Berlin in 1912.

Contributions to Chemistry

Beckmann's most significant works focused on organic and physical chemistry. In 1886, he discovered the rearrangement of oximes into amides under the influence of acidic agents, a reaction now known as the Beckmann rearrangement.

Between 1888 and 1889, Beckmann developed cryoscopic (based on the depression of freezing point) and ebullioscopic (based on the elevation of boiling point) methods for determining the molecular masses of dissolved substances. He also invented the Beckmann differential thermometer, which accurately measures temperatures near freezing or boiling points.


Ernst Otto Beckmann's contributions to chemistry have had a lasting impact on the scientific community. His discoveries and inventions have advanced the understanding of organic and physical chemistry, and his methodologies are still widely used today.

Beckmann passed away on July 13, 1923, leaving behind a rich legacy of scientific achievements and a lasting influence on the field of chemistry.