Cato Maximilian Guldberg (11 August 1836 – 14 January 1902) was a Norwegian mathematician and chemist. Guldberg is best known as a pioneer in physical chemistry.
Guldberg was born in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway. He was the eldest son of Carl August Guldberg (1812–92) and Hanna Sophie Theresia Bull (1810–54). He was the brother of nurse and educator Cathinka Guldberg. He attended Aug. Holths private latinskole in Christiania. Guldberg studied mathematics and physics at the University of Christiania and took his diploma in 1859. That same year he received the Crown Prince’s gold medal (Kronprinsens gullmedalje) for a dissertation in pure mathematics. He received a travel and education scholarship in 1861, studying applied mathematics and machine learning in (Germany), Switzerland and France.
Guldberg first taught at Hartvig Nissens skole in Christiania. Gulberg worked at the Royal Frederick University becoming a college fellow in 1867 and received a professorship in applied mathematics in 1869. Together with his brother-in-law, Peter Waage, he proposed the law of mass action. This law attracted little attention until, in 1877, Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff arrived at a similar relationship and experimentally demonstrated its validity.
From 1866 to 1868, 1869 to 1872 and 1874 to 1875 he was the chairman of the Norwegian Polytechnic Society.
- Denmark: Knight of the Dannebrog, 30 August 1872