chemistry

Frank Spedding and the Rare Earth Elements

Frank Spedding and the Rare Earth Elements

On October 22, 1902, Canadian American chemist Frank Spedding was born. Spedding was a renowned expert on rare earth elements, and on extraction of metals from minerals. His uranium extraction process helped make it possible for the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bombs. Frank Spedding attended the University of Michigan and earned his Master of Science degree specializing in analytical chemistry later on. In 1929, he earned his…
Cyril Ponnamperuma and the Origins of Life

Cyril Ponnamperuma and the Origins of Life

On October 16, 1923, Ceylonese-American chemist and exobiologist Cyril Ponnamperuma was born. Cyril Ponnamperuma was a leading authority on the chemical origins of life. He built on the work of Miller and Clayton Urey studying chemical reactions in “primordial soup” experiments. Ponnamperuma focused on producing compounds related to the nucleic acids and offered a convincing theory about series of chemical reactions that gave rise to precursors of life on earth. Cyril…
Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

On October 8, 1850, French chemist Henry Louis Le Chatelier was born. Le Châtelier is most famous for devising Le Chatelier’s principle, with the help of his partner Jasper Rossi, used by chemists to predict the effect a changing condition has on a system in chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier was born in Paris, France, the first of six children [1] of French materials engineer Louis Le Chatelier, an influential figure who…
Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

On October 6, 1897, American biochemist Florence Barbara Seibert was born. Seibert is best known for identifying the active agent in the antigen tuberculin as a protein, and subsequently for isolating a pure form of tuberculin, purified protein derivative (PPD), enabling the development and use of a reliable TB test. Seibert was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA, the second of three children of George Peter Seibert, a rug manufacturer and…
Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

On October 2, 1907, British chemist and Nobel laureate Alexander Robertus Todd, Baron Todd was born. Todd‘s esearch on the structure and synthesis of nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Alexander R. Todd was born near Glasgow, Scotland, the elder son of Alexander Todd, a business man of that city, and his wife Jean Lowrie. In 1918 Todd gained admission to the Allan Glen’s…
Harrison Brown and the Isolation of Plutonium

Harrison Brown and the Isolation of Plutonium

On September 26, 1916, American nuclear chemist and geochemist Harrison Scott Brown was born. Brown is generally known for his role in isolating plutonium for its use in the first atomic bombs and for his studies regarding meteorites and the Earth’s origin. He also was a political activist, who lectured and wrote on the issues of arms limitation, natural resources and world hunger. Harrison Brown was born in Sheridan, Wyoming,…
Albert Szent-Györgyi and Vitamin C

Albert Szent-Györgyi and Vitamin C

On September 1893, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi was born. Albert Szent-Györgyi is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle. “Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.” Attributed to Szent-Györgyi in: IEEE (1985) Bridging the present and the future: IEEE Professional Communication Society conference record, Williamsburg, Virginia, October 16-18, 1985. p. 14.…
Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

On September 6, 1906, Argentine physicist and biochemist Luis Federico Leloir was born. Leloir received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the metabolic pathways in lactose, becoming only the third Argentine to receive the prestigious honor in any field. His research has led to significant progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the congenital disease galactosemia. Leloir’s parents, Federico Leloir and Hortensia Aguirre de Leloir, both from an…
Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

On August 30, 1852, Dutch physical chemist Jacobus Henricus Van ‘t Hoff was born. Van ‘t Hoff was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His pioneering work helped found the modern theory of chemical affinity, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and chemical thermodynamics. He formulated the theory of the tetrahedral carbon atom and laid the foundations of stereochemistry and predicted the correct structures of allenes and cumulenes as well…
Sir Henry Tizard – Octane Rating and Radar Technology

Sir Henry Tizard – Octane Rating and Radar Technology

On August 23, 1885, English chemist and inventor Sir Henry Thomas Tizard was born. Tizard developed the modern “octane rating” used to classify petrol, helped to develop radar in World War II, and led the first serious studies of UFOs. Henry Tizard was born in Gillingham, Kent, the only son of Thomas Henry Tizard (1839–1924), naval officer and hydrographer, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Churchward. His ambition to join the…
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