January 27, 2014
Lavoisier, Antoine (1743 – 1794)
French chemist who, through a conscious revolution, became the father of modern chemistry. As a student, he stated "I am young and avid for glory." He was educated in a radical tradition, a friend of Condillac and read Maquois's dictionary. He won a prize on lighting the streets of Paris, and designed a new method for preparing saltpeter. He also married a young, beautiful 13-year-old girl named Marie-Anne, who translated from English for him and illustrated his books. Lavoisier demonstrated with careful measurements that transmutation of water to earth was not possible, but that the sediment observed from boiling water came from the container. He burnt phosphorus and sulfur in air, and proved that the products weighed more than he original. Nevertheless, the weight gained was lost from the air. Thus he established the Law of Conservation of Mass. CONTRIBUTIONS
He found and termed both oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783), helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was the first to establish that sulphur was an element (1777) rather than a compound. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.
Mendeleev, Dmitri (1834 – 1907)
Dmitri Mendeleev was born at Tobolsk, Siberia in 1834 and died in 1907. Mendeleev studied science at St. Petersburg and graduated in 1856. In 1863 Mendeleev was appointed to a professorship and in 1866 he succeeded to the Chair in the University. Mendeleev is best known for his work on the periodic table; arranging the 63 known elements into a Periodic Table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869. He predicted the existence and properties of new elements and pointed out accepted atomic weights that were in error. This organization...
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