Dmitri Mendeleev

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Dmitri Mendeleev

Dmitri Mendeleev in 1897
Born Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev
8 February 1834(1834-02-08)
Verkhnie Aremzyani, Russian Empire
Died 2 February 1907(1907-02-02) (aged 72)
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Nationality Russian
Fields Chemistry, physics and adjacent fields
Alma mater Saint Petersburg University
Notable students Dmitri Petrovich Konovalov, Valery Gemilian, Alexander Baykov
Known for Formulating the Periodic table of chemical elements
Work in progress: one of the early versions
Dmitri Mendeleev
Sculpture in Saint Petersburg

Dimitri Mendeleev (born Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleyev, 8 February (O.S. 27 January) 1834 near Tobolsk – 2 February (O.S. 20 January 20) 1907 in Saint Petersburg) was a Russian chemist. He was the main creator of the periodic table of elements. Many of the predictions made in his periodic table (such as the properties of elements undiscovered at the time) were later proved correct by experiments.

Life[change | edit source]

Mendeleev was born in village of Verkhnie Aremzyani, near Tobolsk, to Ivan Pavlovich Mendeleev and Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleeva (née Kornilieva). His grandfather was Pavel Maximovich Sokolov, a priest of Russian Orthodox Church from the Tver region.[1] Ivan, with his brothers and sisters, got new family names while attending theological seminary.[2] Later in life, he invented the periodic table of elements.

Mendeleev is thought to be the youngest of 14 siblings, but the exact number differs between sources. At the age of 13, after the death of his father and the destruction of his mother's factory by fire, Mendeleev attended the Gymnasium in Tobolsk.

In 1849, the now poor Mendeleev family went to Saint Petersburg, where he entered the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1850. After graduation, tuberculosis caused him to move to the Crimean Peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in 1855. While there he became a science master of the Simferopol gymnasium №1. He returned with fully restored health to Saint Petersburg in 1857.

Periodic Table[change | edit source]

Mendeleev's 1871 periodic table

Others in the 1860s suggested that elements group together. For example, John Newlands, published his Law of Octaves in 1865. The lack of spaces for undiscovered elements and the placing of two elements in one box were criticized and his ideas were not accepted. Another was Lothar Meyer, who published a work in 1864, describing 28 elements. Neither attempted to predict new elements. In 1863 there were 56 known elements with a new element being discovered at a rate of approximately one each year.

Other achievements[change | edit source]

Mendeleev made other important contributions to chemistry. The Russian chemist and science historian L.A. Tchugayev called him "a chemist of genius, first-class physicist, a fruitful researcher in the fields of hydrodynamics, meteorology, geology, certain branches of chemical technology (explosives, petroleum, and fuels, for example) and other disciplines adjacent to chemistry and physics, a thorough expert of chemical industry and industry in general, and an original thinker in the field of economy". Mendeleev was one of the founders, in 1869, of the Russian Chemical Society. He worked on the theory and practice of protectionist trade and on agriculture.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Dmitriy Mendeleev: a short CV, and a story of life, mendcomm.org
  2. Удомельские корни Дмитрия Ивановича Менделеева (1834-1907), starina.library.tver.ru