chemistry

James Dewar and the Liquefaction of Gases

James Dewar and the Liquefaction of Gases

Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) On September 1842, Scottish chemist and physicist Sir James Dewar was born. He is probably best-known today for his invention of the Dewar flask, which he used in conjunction with extensive research into the liquefaction of gases. James Dewar was born in Kincardine, Fife, Scotland, in 1842, the youngest of six boys. He lost his parents at the age of 15. He was educated at Dollar…
John Dalton and the Atomic Theory

John Dalton and the Atomic Theory

John Dalton (1766-1844) On September 6, 1766, English chemist, meteorologist and physicist John Dalton was born. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness. He also recognised that the aurora borealis was an electrical phenomenon. John Dalton was born into a Quaker family at Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth, Cumberland, England, as son of a handloom weaver. Both he…
Jöns Jacob Berzelius – One of the Founders of Modern Chemistry

Jöns Jacob Berzelius – One of the Founders of Modern Chemistry

Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779 – 1848) On August 20, 1779, Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius was born. Berzelius is considered, along with Robert Boyle, John Dalton, and Antoine Lavoisier, to be one of the founders of modern chemistry. In Sweden, Berzelius Day is celebrated on 20 August in honor of him. Jöns Jacob Berzelius was born in 1779 as the son of a teacher and was educated in Linköping, Sweden. His…
Hazel Bishop and the Long Lasting Lipstick

Hazel Bishop and the Long Lasting Lipstick

Image: Flickr On August 17, 1906, US-American chemist Hazel Gladys Bishop was born. She is best known as the inventor of the first long lasting lipstick in 1949, an invention on which she founded a successful cosmetic company. Hazel Gladys Bishop graduated in 1929, earning a degree in chemistry. It is assumed that originally, Bishop intended to become a doctor, but instead left medical school and started her career in bio-chemistry.…
Stephanie Kwolek and the Bullet-proof Vests

Stephanie Kwolek and the Bullet-proof Vests

Stephanie Kwolek (1923 – 2014) Image: Chemical Heritage Foundation On July 31, 1923, American polymer chemist Stephanie Louise Kwolek was born. She is best known for her invention of poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide – better known as Kevlar. Stephanie Kwolek inherited her love for fabrics and sewing from her mother. Before thinking about chemistry, Kwolek thought, she might become a fashion designer, but her mother warned her she would probably starve in that…
Dorothy Hodgkin and the Structure of Penicilin

Dorothy Hodgkin and the Structure of Penicilin

Dorothy Hodgkin (1910 – 1994) On July 29, 1994, British chemist and Nobel Laureate Dorothy Mary Hodgkin passed away. She advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries are the confirmation of the structure of penicillin. Dorothy Crowfoot’s (late Hodgkin’s) interest in chemistry started around the age of only 10. Her parents were involved in education projects in Egypt…
Rosalind Franklin and the Beauty of the DNA Structure

Rosalind Franklin and the Beauty of the DNA Structure

Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958) On July 25, 1920, British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born. She made the first clear X-ray images of DNA’s structure. Her work was described as the most beautiful X-ray photographs ever taken. Franklin’s ‘Photo 51’ informed Crick and Watson of DNA’s double helix structure for which they were awarded a Nobel Prize. Rosalind Franklin was born in Notting Hill, London, as the second of five…
August Kekulé and the Carbon Ring Structure

August Kekulé and the Carbon Ring Structure

August Kekulé (1829 – 1896) On July 13, 1896, German organic chemist Friedrich August Kekulé passed away. Being one of the world’s leading chemists of his time, he is best known for devising the ring structure of carbon atoms in organic molecules and became the principal founder of the theory of chemical structure. August Kekulé was born on September 7, 1829 in Darmstadt as son of a civil servant. After graduating from…
Ernst Boris Chain and his Research on Antibiotics

Ernst Boris Chain and his Research on Antibiotics

Sir Ernst Boris Chain (1906-1979) On June 19, 1906, German-born British biochemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Ernst Boris Chain was born. He is best known for being one of the founders of chemical and medical research on antibiotics, esp. on Penicillinum. “Science, as long as it limits itself to the descriptive study of the laws of nature, has no moral or ethical quality and this applies to the physical as well as the…
Robert Mulliken and the Molecular Orbitals

Robert Mulliken and the Molecular Orbitals

Historical picture of Arthur Compton, Werner Heisenberg, Monk, Paul Dirac, Eckardt, Gale, Robert Mulliken, Friedrich Hund and Hoyt; Image by Wikimedia User GFHund On June 7, 1896, American physicist, chemist, and Nobel Laureate Robert Sonderson Mulliken was born. He is primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory, i.e. the elaboration of the molecular orbital method of computing the structure of molecules. Robert Mulliken truly followed in his…
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