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Outstanding Russian scientists


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Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleev

D.I.Mendeleev. The author Repin I.E.           Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeveev (8.II.1834 – 2.II.1907)
      Russian scientist and encyclopedist, corresponding member of Petersburg Academy of Science.
      Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeveev was born in Tobol’sk. In 1855 he graduated from Main pedagogical institute in Saint-Petersburg. During 1855-1856 he had been working as gymnasium teacher in Odessa. During 1857-1890 he had been teaching in Petersburg University (in 1865 he was honored to professor status), at the same time he had been working as a professor in Technological institute in Petersburg. From 1859 till February of 1861 he was abroad, where he had been working in personal laboratory in Heidelberg. Since 1882 he was a custodian of Depoe of sample measure and weight, which, in 1893, in accordance with his recommendation, was renamed as The Main Weights and Measures Department (he was a director there since 1893).
      The most complete characterization of D.I.Mendeleev was given by L.A.Chugaev: “A chemist of genius, an outstanding physicist, a creative investigator in the fields of hydrodynamics, meteorology, geology, in different branches of chemical technology (explosives, petroleum, fuels and so on) and other disciplines related with chemistry and physics, a keener of chemical industry in general, especially Russian, an unique knower in the area of knowledge of agriculture…”
      Early scientific works was devoted to investigation of isomorphism and specific volumes (1854-1856), where he made a lot of important conclusions.
      He discovered “a temperature of absolute boiling of liquids” (critical point).
      He wrote the first Russian study book of organic chemistry.
      He is an author of a fundamental work “The bases of chemistry”, which had been republished eight times during D.I.Mendeleev’s life (first edition in 1868-1871, eighth edition in 1906). During his working on first edition, he had come to an idea of periodical dependence of properties of chemical elements on their atomic weights.
      In 1869-1871 he declared the bases of the idea about the periodicity, discovered the periodical law and created the periodical system of chemical elements. He was the first who published the periodical table of elements in the form, which is being used today.
      On the bases of his system, he forecast (1870) the existence of some unknown that time chemical elements, which included “eko-aluminum” – gallium (discovered in 1875), “eko – bor” – scandium (1879), “eko – silicon” – germanium (1886). He had been extending the idea of periodicity till his death.
      He carried out a cycle of fundamental works (1865-1887) about investigation of solutions and created the hydrate theory of solutions. He proposed (1873) a new metrical system of measuring the temperature.
      Investigating gases, he found (1874) general equation of ideal gas, improved Klaiperon equation (Mendelev-Klaiperon equation). He proposed a hypothesis about inorganic origin of petroleum from carbides of heavy metals. He offered a principle of fractionation during petroleum distillation.
      He proposed an idea about underground gasification of coals.
      He flew on balloon to investigate the sun eclipse.
      He worked up (1891-1892) the technology of new smokeless powder.
      Working in the Main Weights and Measures Department, he considerably promoted the development of metric dealings in Russia. He also processed a wide program of metrological investigation, in particular, keeping in mind the clarification of main point of weights and gravitation.
      He appeared with innovative idea of chemical understanding of world ether and proposed, by the way, the one of the first reason of the radioactivity.
      He was a member of more than 90 academies of science, scientific communities, universities and institutions worldwide. He was one of the founders of Russian Chemical Society and was its president (1883-1884, 1891, 1892, and 1894). The name of D.I.Mendeleev is beard by chemical element №101, a mineral, the crater on the back side of the moon and underwater mountain spine. The Academy of Science of USSR established the premium of D.I.Mendeleev for the best work in chemistry and chemical technology.
      1.           Outstanding chemists of the world. V.A.Volkov, E.V.Vonskiy, G.I.Kuznetsova. Moscow: publishing house “High School”. 1991. 656 p. In Russian.
      2.           P.M.Zorkiy. The history and methodology of chemistry. Lections on Chemical department of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University.

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