George Fleck

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Contact & Office Hours


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

B.S., Yale College


George Fleck is a physical chemist and a historian of chemistry. Throughout his career, he has explored many interdisciplinary relationships among chemistry, mathematics and the arts. His experimental research has focused on aqueous chemical systems, and the applicability of simple mathematical models to describe and investigate these systems. As early as the 1960s, his models involved digital computers.

Selected Publications


George M. Fleck, Equilibria in Solution, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. Spanish edition, Equilibrios en disolución, Madrid: Editorial Alhambra, 1967. Japanese edition, Y¯oeki Nai No Kagaku Heik¯o, Tokyo: Maruzen, 1966. Answers to the Problems, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968. 

George M. Fleck, Computer Programs for Teaching Solution Equilibria, “A preliminary edition of instructional material written to accompany the textbook Equilibria in Solution,” Northampton, MA: Smith College, 1971. 

George M. Fleck, Chemical Reaction Mechanisms, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Teaching Guide to Accompany Chemical Reaction Mechanisms, July 1970; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971; Northampton, MA: Smith College, 1976.

Eugene G. Rochow, George Fleck, and Thomas R. Blackburn, Chemistry: Molecules That Matter, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1974. Instructor’s Manual for Chemistry: Molecules That Matter, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1974.

Marjorie Senechal and George Fleck, editors and contributors, Patterns of Symmetry, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1977; paperback edition, 1981; Russian edition, УЗОРЬІ СИММЕТРИИ (Uzori Symmetrii), with supplementary articles, Moscow: MIR, 1980. 

Marjorie Senechal and George Fleck, A Workbook of Common Geometry, Northampton, MA: Smith College, 1988. Prepared under National Science Foundation Grant DPE 84-00339.

George Fleck, Proton-Transfer Equilibria in Solution: Laboratory Experiments in College Chemistry, Northampton, MA: Smith College, 1988. Evaluated module prepared under National Science Foundation Grant SER 76-15794.

Marjorie Senechal and George Fleck, editors and contributors. Shaping Space: A Polyhedral Approach, New York: Birkhäuser-Boston, 1988.

Carolyn Jevelian and George Fleck, editors. Morrison Homestead: Salamonie Township, Huntington County, Indiana, Northampton, MA: Impress, Inc., 2011.

Marjorie Senechal with George Fleck and Stan Sherer, editors and contributors. Shaping Space: Exploring Polyhedra in Nature, Art, and the Geometrical Imagination, New York: Springer Science+Business Media, 2013.

George Fleck, Parallel Lives: Two Hoosier Chemists from Peru, Williamsburg, MA: The Impress Group, 2016.

Papers and Articles

George M. Fleck and Robert A. Alberty, “Kinetics of the Reaction of Pyridoxal and Alanine,” Journal of Physical Chemistry, vol. 66, pp. 1678–1682 (1962).

George M. Fleck, “Atomism in Late Nineteenth-Century Physical Chemistry,” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 24, pp. 106–114 (1963). 

George M. Fleck, “A Critical Analysis of the Statistical Effect in Metal-Complex Formation,” Analytica Chimica Acta, vol. 33, pp. 160–163 (1965).

George M. Fleck, “Student Research Experiment with Multiple Equilibria,” Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 42, pp. 106–108 (1965); reprinted in H. A. Neidig and W. F. Kieffer, eds, Modern Experiments for Introductory College Chemistry, Easton, PA:  Journal of Chemical Education, 1989, pp. 75–77 (1967). 

George M. Fleck, “Confrontation of Chemical Theory and Student Data: Use of an IBM Computer in Integrating Lab and Classroom in Introductory Chemistry,” Proceedings of the University of Iowa Conference on Computers in the Undergraduate Curricula, Iowa City: University of Iowa, pp. 10.9–10.11 (1970). 

George M. Fleck, “The Use of Experimental Data and Performance Objectives in General Chemistry,” Chemistry in the Two-Year College, no. 1, pp. 2–3 (1972). 

George M. Fleck, “On the Generality of First-order Rates in Isotopic Tracer Kinetics,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 34 (Part 3), pp. 509–514 (1972).

Marjorie Senechal and George Fleck, “Two-Dimensional Math in a Three Dimensional World,” Education Week, Commentary page, February 6, 1985 (vol. IV, no. 20, p. 40); reprinted in Education Digest, vol. 51, pp. 50–52 (1985). 

Richard E. Morel and George Fleck, “Onsager’s Principle: A Unifying Bio theme,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 136, pp. 171–175 (1989).

Paula Fitzmaurice, George Fleck, Fred Hradek, Elaine Rath, Jane Rhoades and Marjorie Senechal, “Interdisciplinary Geometry Course Blends Geometry, Art, and Technology,” Discovering Geometry Newsletter, vol. 4, no. 1, Spring 1993, pp. 1 and 5.

In Rose K. Rose and Miriam H. Rafailovich, eds, Women in Chemistry and Physics: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993). George Fleck, “Gladys Amelia Anslow (1892–1969),” pp. 9–17. George Fleck, “Lucy Weston Pickett (1904– ),” pp. 495–501. George Fleck, “Mary Lura Sherrill (1888–1968),” pp. 530–537. 

In Laylin K. James, ed., Nobel Laureates in Chemistry: 1901–1992 (Washington: American Chemical Society, and Philadelphia: Chemical Heritage Foundation, 1993). George Fleck, “Jacobus van ’t Hoff, 1852–1911,” pp. 1–7. George Fleck, “Svante Arrhenius, 1859–1927,” pp. 15–22. George Fleck, “Wilhelm Ostwald, 1853–1932,” pp. 61–68. George Fleck, “Theodore William Richards, 1868–1928,” pp. 100–107. George Fleck, “Richard Zsigmondy, 1865–1929,” pp. 151–157. George Fleck, “Peter Debye, 1884–1966,” pp. 228–235. George Fleck, “Lars Onsager, 1803–1976,” pp. 500–506.

Richard E. Morel and George Fleck, “SETI: A New Optimism from Thermodynamics,” The Chemical Intelligencer, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 27–28, 59 (1995). 

In American National Biography, American Council of Learned Societies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). George Fleck, “Anslow, Gladys Amelia,” vol. 1, pp. 537–538. George Fleck, “Blakeslee, Albert Francis,” vol. 2, pp. 932–933. George Fleck, “Kirkwood, John Gamble,” vol. 12, pp. 769–770.

George Fleck, “Zsigmondy, Richard Adolf: Austrian Chemist, 1865–1929.” In J. J. Lagowski, Editor-in-Chief, Chemistry: Foundations and Applications (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), vol. 4, pp. 293–294. 

R. E. Morel and George Fleck, “A Fourth Law of Thermodynamics,” Khimiya, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 305–310 (2006).

Richard Morel and George Fleck, “Transcendental Thermodynamics,” November 2011. DSpace: Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Institute Working Papers. Available on Dspace. May 2012.