• Addison Ault

    Addison Ault

    Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Academic History

B.A., Amherst College (1955); Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi

Ph.D., Harvard University (1960)



  • Ault, A., Problems in Organic Structure Determination, McGraw-Hill, 1967
  • Japanese language edition of Problems in Organic Structure Determination, Tokyo Kagaku Dojin Sha, Ltd., 1970
  • Ault, A., Techniques and Experiments for Organic Chemistry, Holbrook Press, 1973; second edition, 1976; third edition, Allyn and Bacon, 1979; fourth edition, 1983; fifth edition, 1987; sixth edition, University Science Books, 1998.
  • Ault, A., and Dudek, G. O., An Introduction to Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Holden-Day, 1976
  • Ault, A., and Dudek, G. O., Protonen-Kernresonanz-Spectroskopie. Ein Einfuhring, Steinkopff Verlag, Darmstadt, 1978 (German language edition of the preceding book.)
  • Ault, A., and Ault, Margaret R., A Handy and Systematic Catalog of NMR Spectra, University Science Books, 1980
  • Ault, A., and Loudon, G. Marc, Solutions Guide to Accompany Organic Chemistry, Addison-Wesley, 1984


  • Ault, A., Fractionating Column Efficiency, J. Chem. Educ. 41, 432 (1964)
  • Lemal, D., Gosselink, E. P., and Ault, A., Norbornadienone Ketals, Tetrahedron Letters 579 (1964)
  • Ault, A., A Three-Step Synthesis: 2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine from Benzene, J. Chem. Educ. 42 267 (l964)
  • Ault, A., Resolution of D,L-α-Phenylethylamine, J. Chem. Educ. 42 269 (1965)
  • Ault, A., An Inexpensive Immersion Heater for an Oil Bath, J. Chem. Educ. 42 603 (l965)
  • Ault, A., and Kraig, R., 1-Bromo-3-chloro-5-iodobenzene: An Eight-Step Synthesis from Benzene, J. Chem. Educ. 43 312 (1966).
  • Ault, A., Activating Effect of Fluorine in Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution, J. Chem. Educ. 43 329 (1966)
  • Yates, P., and Ault, A., Dimethylmangostin Hydrochloride, Tetrahedron 23 3307 (1967)
  • Ault, A., and Kopet, R., Preparation of Adamantane, J. Chem. Educ. 46 612 (1969)
  • Ault, A., and Kraig, R., Isotopic Dilution Analyses, J. Chem. Educ. 46 767 (1969)
  • Ault, A., (R)-(+)- and (S)-(-)-α-Phenylethylamine, in Organic Syntheses, Vol. 49, K. B. Wiberg, editor, Wiley, New York (1969), p. 93
  • Ault, A., and Kopet, R., Die Syntheses von Adamantan, Chemie in Unsere Zeit, 4 170 (1969)
  • Ault, A., Classification of Spin Systems in NMR Spectroscopy, J. Chem. Educ. 47 812 (1970)
  • Ault, A., Kopet, R., and Serianz, A., Two Thermochromic Compounds, J. Chem. Educ. 48 410 (1971)
  • McKelvey, D. R., Kraig, R. P., Zimmerman, K., Ault, A., and Perfetti, R., The Nature of Solvent Participation in the Restriction of Rotation about Single Bonds.  II, J. Org. Chem. 38 3610 (1973)
  • Ault, A., An Introduction to Enzyme Kinetics, J. Chem. Educ. 51 381 (1974)
  • Ault, A., and Kouba, C., A Photochromic Compound, J. Chem. Educ. 51 395 (1974)
  • Ault, A., Tests for Chemical Shift Equivalence and Magnetic Equivalence in NMR Spectroscopy, J. Chem. Educ. 51 729 (1974)
  • Ault, A., and Wright, B., 2,2-Dichlorobicyclo[4.1.0]-heptane from Cyclohexene and Dichlorocarbene by Phase-Transfer Catalysis, J. Chem. Educ. 53 489 (1976)
  • Ault, A., Selectivity and Specificity in Organic Reactions, J. Chem. Educ. 54 614 (1977)
  • Ault, A., Magnetic Nonequivalence in Proton NMR, J. Chem. Educ., 75 803 (1998)
  • Ault, A., Do pH in Your Head, J. Chem. Educ., 76 936 (1999)
  • Ault, A., Keep Going with Cyclooctatetraene, J. Chem. Educ., 77 55 (2000)
  • Ault, A., Cornell College Students Achieve the Highly Improbable, J. Chem. Educ., 77 1346 (2000)
  • Ault, A., The Acid-Base Chemistry of Nicotine. Extensions, Analogies, and a, Generalization, J. Chem. Educ., 78 500 (2001)
  • Ault, A., The Bullvalene Story: The Conception of Bullvalene, a Molecule That Has No Permanent Structure, J. Chem. Educ., 78 924 (2001)
  • Ault, A., An Application of the Sugar-Potassium Chlorate Reaction, J. Chem. Educ., 78 1020 (2001); letter to the editor
  • Ault, A., How to Say How Much: Amounts and Stoichiometry, J. Chem. Educ., 78 1345 (2001)
  • Ault, A., The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2001, J. Chem. Educ., 79 572 (2002)
  • Ault, A., Color Changes in Indicator Solutions, J. Chem. Educ., 79 1070 (2002); letter to the editor
  • Ault, A., What’s Wrong With Cookbooks?, J.  Chem. Educ., 79 1177 (2002); letter to the editor
  • Ault, A. In the Zone, Education in Chemistry, May, 2002, page 67; letter to the editor
  • Ault, A.,  “Chiral Acetate”: The Preparation, Analysis, and Applications of Chiral Acetic Acid, J. Chem. Educ., 80 333 (2003)
  • Ault, A., On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee, J.  Chem. Educ. 80 880 (2003); book review
  • Ault, A., The pH as the First Equivalence Point in the Titration of a Diprotic Acid, J. Chem. Educ. 80 1382 (2003); letter to the editor
  • Ault, A., The Monosodium Glutamate Story: The Commercial Production of MSG and Other Amino Acids, J. Chem. Educ. 81 347-355 (2004)
  • Ault, A., The Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution of Fluorobenzene. Chem. Educ. 81 664 (2004); letter
  • Ault, A., What’s Wrong With Cookbooks? -- Author reply. Chem. Educ. 81 1569 (2004); letter.
  • Ault, A., A Simple Demonstration of Hemihedral faces. J. Chem. Educ. 81 1605-1606 (2004)
  • Ault, A., Molecular Chirality -- Pasteur’s great contribution. Education in Chemistry, May, 2005
  • Ault, A., Mole City: A Stoichiometric Analogy; J. Chem. Educ. 83 1587 (2006)
  • Ault, A. General Acid and General Base Catalysis; J. Chem. Educ. 84 30-39 (2007)
  • Ault, A., Beer: Tap Into the Art and Science of Brewing, second edition, by Charles Bamforth (book review); J. Chem. Educ. 84 1609 (2007)
  • Ault, A., The Meaning of Meso; J. Chem. Educ. 85 441-443 (2008)
  • Ault, A., Frank Westheimer’s Early Demonstration of Enzymatic  Specificity; J. Chem. Educ. 85 1346-1249 (2008)
  • Ault, A., Representing Fractional Distributions in Chemistry; J. Chem. Educ. 85 1432-1434 (2008)
  • Ault, A., Percy Julian, Robert Robinson, and the Identity of Eserethole; J. Chem. Educ. 85 1524-1530 (2008)
  • Ault, A., Enzyme Catalysis and the Gibbs Energy; J. Chem. Educ. 86 1069-1071 (2009)
  • Ault, A., Telling It like It Is: Teaching Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry; J. Chem. Educ. 87 937-941 (2010)
  • Ault, A., An Introduction to Enzyme Kinetics, Part Deux; J. Chem. Educ. 88 63-66 (2011)
  • Ault, A., Review of Molecular Driving Forces: Statistical Thermodynamics in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Nanoscience, 2nd edition; J. Chem. Educ. 88 1459-1460 (2011)



  • Non-Nuclear Energy  - A brief description of some of the more common forms of energy. pdf; 15 pages
  • Nuclear Energy  - An introduction to nuclear energy and nuclear reactors. pdf; 14 pages
  • Interconversion of forms of Energy  - An introduction to devices that interconvert forms of energy. pdf; 7 pages
  • Efficiency of Heat Engines  - An explanation of why it is that heat (thermal energy) cannot be entirely converted to any other form of energy. pdf; 19 pages
  • Hydrogen  - An introduction to some of the properties of elemental hydrogen. pdf; 18 pages
  • Hydrogen: The Improbable Dream  - My view of why there will not be a "Hydrogen Economy". pdf; 24 pages


  • The Same But Not The Same  - A review of the history and the concepts of isomerism, the existence of different molecular forms made up of the same parts. pdf; 24 pages.
  • Do pH in Your Head  - You can estimate pH just by thinking about it. pdf; 9 pages
  • Isoelectric Points On the Back of the Envelope - (or "Do pI in Your  Head, almost")

    The isoelectric “point” is a point on the pH scale. It is the pH at which the average charge of an amino acid or peptide is zero under the conditions of the experiment. pdf; 10 pages

  • The Partition Function  - If That's What It Is, Why Don't They Say So. A way of counting molecules. pdf; 7 pages

Entropy and the Second Law

  • Understanding The Second Law   - The business of science is the discovery of the “rules of nature”. Two of the most important of these rules are the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The first law states that only those changes can occur in which energy is conserved. The second law states that only those changes will occur in which entropy increases. pdf; 43 pages
  • The Gibbs Approach to Statistical Thermodynamics - There are at least two ways to think about statistical thermodynamics. The first way is usually attributed to the German physicist Ludvig Boltzmann (1844-1906), and a second way has been attributed to the American chemist J. Willard Gibbs. (1839-1903). My purpose here is to present Schrödinger’s introduction to Gibbs’ method. pdf; 11 pages.
  • The Carnot Cycle: from Classical Thermo to Stat Thermo - The Carnot cycle is usually described in terms of classical thermodynamics, and the requirement that heat be dumped to the “cold”reservoir is presented as the requirement that the cyclic process not involve a decrease in entropy. In this supplement I review the classical thermodynamic explanation and then present a parallel explanation from statistical mechanics in which the requirement that heat be dumped to the “cold” reservoir is presented as the requirement that the cyclic process not involve a decrease in multiplicity. pdf; 12 pages