Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and Periodic System of Elements
Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was a Russian chemist, academician and scientist who compiled the most sophisticated classification system in natural sciences, periodic system of elements. He is known as one of the two scientists who created the Periodic System of Elements; which was an important link of science in the Second Industrial Revolution. Unlike other creators, Mendeleev predicted that many elements will still be revealed. Its principle served as the key to detecting almost all radioactive elements, with a large number of isotopes, and is the most advanced classification system in natural science. In several cases, his disagreement with accepted atomic masses was known, he said that they did not agree with the Periodic Law, and that proved to be true.
Youth and education
Dmitri Mendelaev was born on February 8, 1834 in Tobolsk, Russia. His parents, Ivan Pavlovich Mendeleev and Maria Dmitriyevna, had seventeen children. Dmitri was the youngest. His father died in 1847. After his death, the family was very poor. The mother worked in the glass factory to feed the children. When the factory burnt down in 1848, the family moved to St. Petersburg. Dmitri studied pedagogy here. He graduated in 1855. He continued with studies abroad. In Paris, he studied gases and perfected the spectrum with Gustav Robert Kirchhoff at Heidelberg University.
After completing his studies, Mendeleev returned to Russia in 1863 and became a chemistry professor at the Institute of Technology and the University of St. Petersburg. He became a Doctor of Science in 1865. Having found out that there are not enough high-quality books on chemistry for college, he decided to write the Principles of Chemistry book. While writing this book, he came to the discovery that was his greatest achievement. He noticed a particular pattern that was repeated between different groups of elements, and he could sort them using existing knowledge about the composition of elements and their physical properties.
His idea was presented to the Russian Chemistry Society on March 6, 1869. His project was called “Dependence between the properties of relative atomic mass and elements,” and he explained that if elements are classified by atomic mass, they give one order in periods. Following this system, he could have predicted the features of yet unknown elements.
At first, his system had very few supporters in an international scientific society. In time, he was accepted after discovering three new elements that had the qualities he foresaw. Mendeleyev presented his scientific work in London in 1889. The lecture was called “Periodic System of Chemical Elements”. His diagram is still used today.
Mendeleev was married twice. In 1862, he married Feozova Nikticka Leśeva. He later divorced her. In 1881 he asked Anne Ivanov Popov to marry him and threatened with suicide if she refuses him. She agreed and married in 1882.
In addition to working in the field of chemistry, Dmitri was also known for his more practical work on improving the national economy. He was involved in research on oil production in Russia, the coal industry and advanced agricultural methods. Thanks to his work on oil, the first refinery in Russia was established. In later years he patented a standard for Russian vodka.
Mendeleev passed away on February 2, 1907 in St. Petersburg.
A radioactive element with an atomic number 101 is called a mendelevium in his honor.