chemistry

Russian Polymath Mikhail Lomonosow

Russian Polymath Mikhail Lomonosow

On November 19, 1711, Russian polymath, scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov was born. Lomonosov made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries were the atmosphere of Venus and the Law of Mass Conservation in chemical reactions. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art, philology, optical devices and others. Lomonosov was also a poet and influenced the formation of the modern Russian literary language.…
George B. Kistiakowsky and the Manhattan Project

George B. Kistiakowsky and the Manhattan Project

On November 18, 1900, Ukrainian-American physical chemist Kistiakowsky was born. Kistiakowsky worked on developing the first atomic bomb but later advocated banning nuclear weapons. In the Manhattan project, he was in charge of X Division, which was responsible for the development of the explosive lenses necessary for an implosion-type nuclear weapon. In his youth, George Bogdanovich Kistiakowsky joined the anti-Communist White Army and escaped from Russia in a french ship.…
Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

On November 14, 1807, French chemist Auguste Laurent was born. Laurent developed organic chemistry as a distinct science. For a while, he assisted Jean Dumas, and extended his work, understanding organic compounds as derivatives of hydrocarbon molecules. He devised a systematic nomenclature for organic chemistry based on structural grouping of atoms within molecules to determine how the molecules combine in organic reactions. Auguste Laurent was born in the district of…
John A. Pople and Computational Methods in Quantum Chemistry

John A. Pople and Computational Methods in Quantum Chemistry

On October 31, 1925, British theoretical chemist and Nobel laureate Sir John Anthony Pople was born. Pople was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Walter Kohn in 1998 for his work on computational methodology to study the quantum mechanics of molecules, their properties and how they act together in chemical reactions. John A. Pople was born in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, UK, to his father Herbert Keith Pople, who, when he…
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…
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.…
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