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Life & Career Of Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev

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This is Anna Popova, and I am very sad to announce that my husband has passed and is no longer with us. May his soul rest forever in heaven. Below is his obituary, as written by a local newspaper. Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev has sadly passed away as of this past Saturday. He died after a long battle with Tuberculosis on February 2nd, 1907.

During his long career, he managed to become one of the most important, influential, and intuitive chemists the world has ever seen. Dmitri Mendeleev was born February 8th, 1834 in Tobolsk, Siberia, Imperial Russia, the youngest of 14 siblings. His Father, Ivan Pavlovich Mendeleev, died when Dmitri was only 13 years old. Shortly after his father’s death, Dmitri’s mother, Mariya Dmitriyevna Kornileva moved Dmitri to St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia. Whilst in St. Petersburg, a young Dmitri enrolled in the Main Pedagogical Institute, (Now St. Petersburg State University). He graduated in 1856 with a master’s degree in science.

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After Studying abroad in Germany for a number of years, Dmitri returned to St. Petersburg, where he taught Chemistry at the St. Petersburg Technological Institute. He continued teaching there until 1865 when he became a professor of general chemistry at the University of St. Petersburg. During his professorships, he wrote many textbooks on chemical science. His most famous book, “Osnovy Khimii” (The Principles of Chemistry) would become the foundation for his knowledge of the periodic law.

While studying the properties of known elements, such as Chlorine, (A Halogen), and Sodium, (An Alkali Metal), he noticed similarities between the atomic weights of several elements. With this Information, he theorized that elements could be sorted in groups due to their common physical and chemical properties, such as atomic mass shared by the elements. This allowed him to create the first Periodic Table, and became the foundation for periodic law. He organized the 70 known elements (at that time) into groups, which resemble today’s periodic table. He was so confident in his new theory that he predicted the locations and properties of several undiscovered elements.

While at first, his theory was not regarded as accurate, after Gallium, Germanium, and Scandium were discovered, (3 elements which he correctly predicted the properties of years before they were discovered), the theory of periodic law was widely recognized by the scientific community. After finishing his most notable work, Dmitri continued to study Atomic Theory and came up with many more important scientific theories. During his long career, he met and worked with many other great chemists and scientists, some of which include Robert Bunsen, August Kekulé, Emil Erlenmeyer, Stanislao Cannizzaro, Svante Arrhenius, and Alexander Butlerov. Today, he is remembered as one of the greatest chemists to ever live, and his work is renowned and praised all over the world. Rest In Peace, Dmitri Mendeleev, 1834-1907.


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