Dmitri Mendeleev: The Chemist Who Created the Periodic Table
In 1869, a Russian chemist named Dmitri Mendeleev changed the way that scientists understood the elements. He developed the first organized list of elements, now known as the Periodic Table. Mendeleev’s work revolutionized the science of chemistry and firmly established him as one of the most influential chemists in history. Read on to discover more about Mendeleev’s life, influences and accomplishments.
Who Was Dmitri Mendeleev?
Dmitri Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk, Siberia on 8 February 1834. He was the 17th child born to his family; however, only 14 of the children survived to adulthood. Mendeleev’s mother, who had been educated in a monastery, played a large role in instilling the importance of academic study in her children.
Mendeleev studied at the Main Pedagogical Institute in Saint Petersburg, and in 1855, he obtained his master’s degree in natural sciences. He then moved to Berlin to continue his studies, returned to Russia in 1864 and began teaching Physical and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Saint Petersburg.
Mendeleev is best known for creating the first organized list of all known elements, now known as the Periodic Table. He believed that the properties of elements were related to the elements’ atomic weights and proposed a table to communicate this relationship.
How the Periodic Table Changed Chemistry
Before the Periodic Table was developed, the properties of the elements were known, but they were not organized and had not been grouped in any sensible order. Mendeleev brought structure to the elements, organizing them by atomic mass and relating their properties to certain groupings. This structure is still used today and is still capable of showing hidden patterns among elements.
Mendeleev was also able to use his table to make predictions about the existence of elements that had yet to be discovered. For example, using his understanding of the structure of the Periodic Table, Mendeleev predicted that an element with properties similar to oxygen and sulfur would be discovered. Not long after, the element germanium was discovered, proving Mendeleev’s prediction correct.
Mendeleev’s Contributions to Chemistry
Dmitri Mendeleev was one of the most influential chemists of all time, and his work permanently changed the science of chemistry. Through his work with the Periodic Table, Mendeleev was able to accurately predict the properties of elements which had yet to be discovered, and he also furthered the understanding of the properties of elements which had already been identified. He also developed formulas for making new compounds and was a pioneer in the science of multi-element compounds. Mendeleev proposed an alcohol meter, which is still used today, and he advocated for a system of measures for alcohol.
Mendeleev’s Impact on Science and Education
As impressive as Mendeleev’s work in chemistry was, his contributions to the field of science went far beyond that. Mendeleev was an advocate for science in Russia and for education in general. He pushed for a radical reorganization of the education system, which culminated in the launch of the long-term Pestov reforms. The reforms he proposed have had a profound and lasting effect on Russia’s pursuit of science.
Mendeleev also founded two scientific journals; one of which is still operating today. In 1897, he was named the Chair of the Russian Chemical Society, where he continued to promote the development of science in his country. In addition to his work in the sciences, Mendeleev was a prolific writer, sometimes writing as many as 16 hours a day.
The Legacy of Dmitri Mendeleev
Dmitri Mendeleev was born a poor man in 1834 and died in 1907, more than 70 years later, as one of the most influential scientists of all time. His contribution to the world of science was of such magnitude that his name lives on in the Periodic Table he created, which millions of researchers and students study and use every day. Even though he is most famous for the Periodic Table, Mendeleev’s vast scientific body of work extends far beyond that. He changed the way that chemists understood the elements and revolutionized the scientific world.
Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist who changed the way that scientists understood the elements. He created the Periodic Table and used it to accurately predict the properties of elements that had yet to be discovered. His scientific accomplishments were recognized by the scientific community, and he became a renowned scientist and educator. Even more than a century after his death, Mendeleev’s legacy in the world of science still lives on.