(February 8, 1834 – February 2, 1907)

Although previous attempts were made at sequencing and classifying elements, Dmitri Mendeleev conceived the most elaborate and the most accurate of them all. He is therefore credited with one of the most important scientific innovations of the 19th century. His publication (in 1869) was praised for its insightful inclusions. Chief among these were the periodic trends of all the known elements, the relationships of those residing in the same groups, and the possibility of predicting the properties of many undiscovered ones. The impacts of Mendeleev’s works on Chemistry and Physics were enormous. With them, it became easier to anticipate the characteristics, behaviors and nature of not only elements, but their compounds and mixtures as well. Even today, any student who understands the periodic table will have little or no problem in comprehending other aspects of chemistry. As straightforward as it may seem now, its significance cannot be overemphasized. It was after publishing his Periodic Law that Mendeleev collaborated with Lothar Meyer and Robert Bunsen in improving the periodic table. He also made important (but lesser-known) contributions to the fields of geology, meteorology and hydrodynamics. Another of his accomplishments pertained to the invention of pyrocollodion, which he achieved while experimenting on nitrocellulose. Apart from introducing the metric system of measurements to Russia, Mendeleev helped to establish the Russian Chemical Society. In fact, he presented his periodic table to the society’s assembly on March 6, 1869. The lunar crater Mendeleev is named after him; and so is the radioactive transuranic element called mendelevium.


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