Dimitri Mendeleev

Here we listed out important facts about famous scientist Dimitri Mendeleev, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 8 February 1834, Tobolsk, Russia
Died: 2 February 1907, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Full name: Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev
Awards: Copley Medal, Demidov Prize
Children: Lyubov Dmitrievna Mendeleeva, Vasily Mendeleev, more
Education: Saint Petersburg State University (1855–1856), Saint Petersburg State University (1850–1855), Heidelberg University
Nationality: Russian
Fields: Chemistry, physics
Notable students: Dmitri Petrovich Konovalov, Valery Gemilian, Alexander Baykov[citation needed]
Known for: Formulating the Periodic table of chemical elements
Notable awards: Davy Medal (1882), ForMemRS (1892)

  • Born in Siberia, the last of at least 14 children, Dimitri Mendeleev revolutionized our understanding of the properties of atoms and created a table that probably adorns every chemistry classroom in the world.
  • After his father went  blind and could no longer support the family, Mendeleev’s mother started a glass factory to help make ends meet.
  • But just as Mendeleev was finishing high school, his father died the glass factory burned down.
  • With most of her other children now out on their own, his mother took her son to St. Petersburg, working  tirelessly and successfully to get him into college.
  • In the late 1860’s,  Mandeleev began working on his great achievement-the periodic table of the elements.
  • By arranging all of the 63 elements then  known by their atomic weights, he managed to organize them into groups possessing similar properties.  Where a gap existed in the table, he predicted  a new element would one day be found and deduced its properties.
  • And he was right.  Three of those elements were found during his lifetime-gallium, scandium and germanium.
  • In 1849, with nothing left for the family at Aremziansk, Maria loaded up the family’s belongings and headed for Moscow.
  • In Moscow, they entered a climate of considerable political unrest, which made the university reluctant to admit anyone from outside of Moscow.
  • Mendleev rejected.  Maria did not give up, however, and the family headed for St. Petersburg.
  • He entered the university in the fall of 1850.  Maria and shortly after Dmitri’s acceptance at St. Petersburg , followed a few, short months later by Elizabeth; both died from tuberculosis.
  • Mendeleev  was left alone to face his work at the university, but was to later eulogize his mother in his book on Solutions.
  • Dmitri fell right into his work at St. Petersburg.  His studies progressed rapidly unitil his third year.  At that point he was struck with illness that caused him to be bedridden for the next year.
  • He continued his studies, however, with professors and fellow students visiting him to give assignments, etc.
  • Mandeleev graduated on time and was awarded the medal of excellence for being first in his class.
  • Dmitri’s illness did not improve.  His doctor suggested that he had tuberculosis and that, at most, he had two years to live providing he moved to a more suitable climate.
  • Mandeleev  already had his life’s ambitions in mind and, hoping to extend his life as long as possible, he moved to Simferopol in the Crimean Peninsula near the Black Sea in 1855 as chief science master of the gymnasium.
  • He was 21 years old.  At this point in his life he was driven by “the vision of the Russian people whom he knew he could aid through science”.
  • He progressively regained his  strength to the point where the doctors found no sign of tuberculosis in his system.
  • In 1856, Mendeleev returned to St. Petersburg and defended his master’s thesis’ “Research and Theories on Expansion of Substances due to Heat.”  Following his masters program, Dimitri focused his life on his career of teaching and research.
  • The first led to his books and the periodic table, while the latter gave rise to his studies of chemical technology and the organization  of Russia’s industries, agriculture, transport meterology and metrology.
  • In 1859, he was assigned by the Minister of Public Instruction to go abroad to study and develop scientific and technological innovations.
  • Between 1859 and 1861 he studied the densities of gases with Regnault in Paris and the workings of the spectroscope with Kirchoff in Heidelberg.
  • He also pursued studies of capillarity and surface tension that led to his theory of “absolute boiling point,” later known as critical temperature.
  • While in Heindelberg he made the acquaintance of A.P. Borodin, a chemist who was to achieve greater reknown as a composer.
  • In 1860 at the Chemical Congress at Karlsruhe, Mendeleev had the opportunity to hear Cannizzaro discuss his work on atomic weights.
  • These people greatly influenced the work which Mendeleev would pursue the rest of his like.
  • Following his trip abroad, the Russian chemist returned to his homeland where he settled down to a life of teaching and research in St. Petersburg.
  • In 1863 he was named Professor of Chemistry at the Technological Institute and, in the University and was made Doctor of Science for his dissertation “On the Combinations of Water with Alcohol”.
  • Mandeleev not only taught in the university classrooms but anywhere he travelled.  Many excerpts discuss his journeys by train where he would travel third class with the mouzhiks (peasants).
  • On the trains the mouzhiks would all gather round to see and talk with the man.  The university students also adored him.  Crowds of students would fill lecture halls to hear him speak of chemistry.
  • For Mendeleev, science was always the most important subject, but in that time period of unrest, just as today, science could be expanded to the realms of politics and social inequality.
  • In 1863, with the heavy influence of his sister Olga, Dmitri married Feozva Nikitcchna Lascheva.
  • They had two children, a boy named Volodya, and a daughter named Olga.
  • In January, 1882, he divorced Feozva so he could marry his niece’s best friend, Anna Ivanova Popova.  According to the Orthodox Church, Mendeleev was officially  a bigamist;
  • Anna was considerably younger than Dmitri but the two loved each other very much and were together until his death.
  • They had four children-Liubov, Ivan, and twins Vassili and Maria.  Anna also had considerable influence over Mendeleev’s views on art, and he was elected to the Academy of Arts for both his insightful criticism and his painting.
  • Dmitri would only cut his hair and beard once a year.  He would not even cut it by request of the tsar.
  • His most famous publications  include Organic Chemistry, which was published in 1861 when he was 27 years old.
  • This book won the Domidov Prize and put Mendeleev on the forefront  of Russian chemical education.
  • The first edition of Principles of Chemistry was printed in 1868.  Both of these books are classroom texts.  Again, Mendeleev never lost sight of the importance of education.
  • Dmitri was also one of the founding members of the Russian Chemical Society in 1868, and helped open the lines of communication between scientists in Europe and the United States.
  • Mandeleev also pursued studies on the properties and behavior of gases at high and low pressures, which led to his development of a very accurate differential barometer and further studies in meteorology.
  • Mandeleev was one of the first modern-day scientists in that he did not rely solely on his own work but rather was in correspondence with scientists around the world in order to receive data that they had collected.  He then used their data along with his own data to arrange the elements according to their properties.
  • In 1866, Newlands published a relationship of the elements entitled the “Law of Octaves”.  Mendeleev’s ideas were similar to those of Newlands but Dmitri had more data and felt that Newslands had not gone for enough in his research.
  • By 1869, the Russian chemist had assembled detailed descriptions  of more than 60 elements and , on March 6, 1869 a formal mentation was made to the Russian Chemical Society entitled.

Dmitri Mendeleev

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