Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, Jr. was a Dutch physical and organic chemist and the first winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. He is best known for his discoveries in chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, osmotic pressure, and stereochemistry...
in 1884; five years later in 1889, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius
Svante August Arrhenius was a Swedish scientist, originally a physicist, but often referred to as a chemist, and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry...
provided a physical justification and interpretation for it.