inorganic chemist who prepared many of the hydrides of boron (called boranes).
He introduced sensitive tests for mercury and devised improved laboratory
techniques for dealing with the metal to minimize the risk of poisoning.
Stock was born in Danzig (now Gdask, Poland) and studied at Berlin. He was director of the Chemistry Department at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe 1926-36. By 1923 he was suffering from chronic mercury poisoning.
Stock began studying the boron hydrides - general formula BxHy - in 1909 at Breslau. In 1912 devised a high-vacuum method for separating mixtures of them. In the 1960s boron hydrides found their first practical use as additives to rocket fuel.
In 1921, Stock prepared beryllium (scarcely known before in the metallic state) by electrolysing a fused mixture of sodium and beryllium fluorides. This method made beryllium available for industrial use, as in special alloys and glasses and for making windows in X-ray tubes.