Today the scientific world celebrate the 182nd birthday of Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist who perfected and invented the modern periodic table along with predicting 8 elements in advance. Born on 8th February, 1934 in Siberia, Dmitri attended college in Saint Petersburg. He continued his research as he was appointed as professor in Saint Petersburg State University and Saint Petersburg Technical Institute. Dmitri was awarded many accolades including the Davy Medal and the Copley Medal from Royal Society of London. Dmitri’s research into petroleum led to the first ever oil refinery in Russia. Despite being nominated for Nobel Prize in 1906 and 1907, Mendeleev was not elected due to oppositions from Svante Arrhenius and Peter Klasson.
Dmitri’s greatest scientific achievement is the construction of modern periodic table. Working with the already discovered 56 elements in 1863 and the ‘Law of Octaves’ described by John Newlands, Dmitri presented a paper in 1869 describing the periodicity of the elements based on their atomic weights and also their valencies. He noticed that elements that are similar in properties tend to have similar or periodically increasing atomic weight. he also predicted 8 new elements in terms of his understanding of the table which were found later. Two of them, Germanium and Gallium were found in his lifetime proving his predictions correct.
Dmitri claimed to have found the periodic table arrangement in his dream, “I saw in a dream a table where all elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper, only in one place did a correction later seem necessary.” Despite not getting the Nobel Award, the scientific community remembered and honored him by naming crater on Moon after him and naming the 101st element “Mendelevium” This brilliant chemist and inventor breathed his last on 2nd February, 1907 in Saint Petersburg.