chemistry

Madame Lafarge – The first “Victim” of the Marsh Test

Madame Lafarge – The first “Victim” of the Marsh Test

Marie Lafarge (1816 – 1852) On September 19, 1840, Marie-Fortunée Lafarge was convicted of murdering her husband by arsenic poisoning. Her case has become notable because she was the first person convicted largely on direct forensic toxicological evidence. Marie Lafarge grew up with her maternal aunt and was sent to only the best schools throughout her youth. Wealth has always been an important issue of her life. Coming from a rather poor…
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John Dee and his World of Science and Magic

John Dee and his World of Science and Magic

John Dee (ca. 1527 – 1608) On July 13, 1527, Welsh mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I, John Dee was born. He is considered one of the most learned men of his age. Besides being an ardent promoter of mathematics and a respected astronomer, in his later years he immersed himself in the worlds of magic, astrology and Hermetic philosophy. One of his aims was attempting…
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Justus von Liebig and the Agricultural Revolution

Justus von Liebig and the Agricultural Revolution

On May 12, 1803, German chemist Justus Freiherr von Liebig was born, who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry. He is probably best known as the “father of the fertilizer industry” for his discovery of nitrogen as an essential plant nutrient. Justus Liebig’s father was also a chemist and he began his experiments with his father’s equipment in very early childhood years. Even though Justus Liebig was a curious student,…
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Humphry Davy and the Electrolysis

Humphry Davy and the Electrolysis

Sir Humphry Davy (1778 – 1829) Painting by Thomas Phillips On November 19, 1807, British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy reported to the Royal Society about the isolation of potassium and sodium from different salts by electrolysis. Davy was one of the pioneers in the field of electrolysis using the newly invented voltaic pile to split up common compounds and thus prepare many new elements. Humphry Davy was born in 1778 in…
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Marie Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

Marie Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

On November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was born, French-Polish physicist, chemist, pioneer in research of radioactivity and double nobel laureate. “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” Marie Curie, Letter to her brother (1894) Family Background and Youth Mary Skłodowska was the youngest of five children of the teacher couple Bronisława and Władysław Skłodowski, who both came from the lower Polish land nobility, the…
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A Life of Discoveries –  the great Michael Faraday

A Life of Discoveries – the great Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) in his laboratory Painting by Harriet Moore On September 22, 1791, the famous chemist and physicist Michael Faraday  was born. He is responsible for the discovery of the electromagnetic induction, the laws of electrolysis and best known for his inventions, which laid the foundations to the electrical industry. But, to understand the person and the scientist Michael Faraday, we have to look a little bit into his…
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