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Dmitri Mendeleev

Born: 8 February 1834

Died: 2 February 1907

Nationality: Russia

Dmitri Mendeleev was born at Tobolsk, Siberia in 1834 and died in 1907. Mendeleev studied science at St. Petersburg and graduated in 1856. In 1863, Mendeleev was appointed to a professorship and in 1866 he became Chair of the University.

Mendeleev is best known for his work on the periodic table; arranging the 63 known elements into a Periodic Table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869. His first Periodic Table was compiled on the basis of arranging the elements in ascending order of atomic weight and grouping them by similarity of properties. He predicted the existence and properties of new elements and pointed out accepted atomic weights that were in error. This organisation surpassed attempts at classification by Beguyer de Chancourtois and Newlands and was published a year before the work of Lothar Meyer.

Mendeleev accounted for variance from strict atomic weight order, left space for new elements and predicted three yet-to-be-discovered elements including eke-silicon and eke-boron. However, his table did not include any of the Noble Gases as they had not yet been discovered. Thus, the original table has been modified and corrected several times, notably by Moseley, but it did accommodate the discovery of isotopes, rare gases, etc.

Mendeleev was considered one of the greatest teachers of his time. In 1890, he resigned his professorship and in 1893 became director of the bureau of weights and measures in St. Petersburg, where he remained until his death in 1907.

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