Sunday, March 9, 2014

Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)

Dmitri Mendeleev was born in Siberia in 1834, the youngest of 15 children.

His father was principal of the gymnasium at high school at Tobolsk but went blind when Dmitri was young, and his mother worked hard to bring up the family.

His mother did succeed in enrolling him in a teacher training college, thus giving him Mendeleev a lasting interest in science education. He showed particular talent in mathematics, physics and geography.

After completing a doctorate, Mendeleev headed to Germany for a post-doctoral fellowship.

Later became a professor at St Petersburg University; he wrote a famous textbook and was a brilliant teacher. He found there was no suitable textbook of general chemistry, so he began to write The Principles of Chemistry (1868-70).

As he attempted to explain the relationships between the properties of elements, he decided to see if he could devise a system of classifying them. He started by collecting it as much information as he could about all of them.

When he drew up his periodic table, he found that there were gaps in it. He decided that these must correspond to missing elements that had yet been discovered, He released he could use his Periodic Table to make predictions about these missing elements. Element no. 101 is named mendelevium for him.

More correctly, the periodic system was developed by Mendeleev, as well as five other scientists, over a period of about 10 years, after the Italian chemist Cannizzaro had published a consistent set of atomic weights in 1860.
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)

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