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Dmitri Mendeleev: Creator of the Periodic Table of Elements

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Read on to learn about Dmitri Mendeleev and the development of the Periodic Table.

Read on to learn about Dmitri Mendeleev and the development of the Periodic Table.

Who Was Dmitri Mendeleev?

Dmitri Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk, Siberia, in 1834. He was the youngest of 17 children born to Ivan Pavlovich Mendeleev, a teacher, and Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleeva, the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest. Mendeleev's family was of modest means, and his parents struggled to provide for their large family.

Despite these challenges, Mendeleev excelled in his studies and was determined to pursue a career in science. He received his undergraduate education at the University of St. Petersburg and went on to study at the St. Petersburg Technological Institute. After completing his studies, he began teaching chemistry and conducting research on the properties of the elements.

Mendeleev's Main Discoveries

Dmitri Mendeleev wanted a good chemistry textbook for his lessons but found it difficult to find something suitable. Instead, he decided to write his own. While he was writing the textbook entitled Principles of Chemistry, he noticed that when arranging the atomic elements in order of atomic mass, starting from the lowest to the highest, the elements had obvious trends with periodic properties. This led to the discovery of the Periodic Table. Incidentally, Mendeleev's textbook actually became the standard textbook for chemistry students of its time.

Mendeleev is best known for developing the Periodic Table, a chart that organizes the elements according to their properties. This was his most significant discovery, and it had a major impact on the field of chemistry.

In addition to his work on the periodic table, Mendeleev also made several other important contributions to the field of chemistry. He developed the concept of atomic weight, a measure of the relative atomic masses of the elements. He also proposed the existence of several undiscovered elements, including eka-aluminum and eka-silicon, which were later discovered and confirmed his predictions.

Mendeleev also researched the properties of organic compounds, and he made important contributions to the development of the field of industrial chemistry. He worked on developing new industrial processes and improving existing ones, and he made important contributions to the development of the petrochemical industry.

Mendeleev's Notes

Mendeleev's Notes

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table is a chart that organizes the elements according to their properties and is an important tool in chemistry.

As Mendeleev studied the elements, he noticed that certain elements had similar properties and that these properties seemed to repeat themselves in a regular pattern. He arranged the elements according to their properties in a chart, which became the first version of the Periodic Table.

Mendeleev's Periodic Table was a major breakthrough, as it provided a way to organize the elements and predict their properties based on their position in the table. It also helped shed light on the underlying patterns and relationships among the elements, and it provided a framework for understanding the chemical behaviour of the elements.

The most remarkable aspect of the Periodic Table was that Mendeleev had left blank spaces for three elements, which at that time were unknown. Modern scientists discovered these unknown elements (Germanium, Gallium and Scandium). These slotted into the blank spaces left by Mendeleev. Even more remarkable was that Mendeleev was able to predict the properties of a total of eight elements, which had not been discovered at that time.

Mendeleev's Periodic Table was a major breakthrough in the field of chemistry, as it provided a way to organize the elements and predict their properties based on their position in the table. It is still in use today, with some minor modifications, and it is an essential tool for chemists worldwide.

The Periodic Table is still in use today and in almost the same format. The only significant difference is that Mendeleev's table was in order of atomic weight, but the modern Periodic Table is ordered by atomic number.

Publications

Mendeleev published many articles and papers throughout his career, and some of his most notable publications include the following:

  • The Principles of Chemistry (1869) – This was Mendeleev's most famous work, and it was a comprehensive textbook on chemistry that included his Periodic Table of Elements.
  • Organic Chemistry (1870) – This was a textbook on organic chemistry that was based on Mendeleev's work on the properties of the elements.
  • Elements of Agricultural Chemistry (1877) – This was a textbook on agricultural chemistry that was based on Mendeleev's research on the use of fertilizers and other chemicals in agriculture.
  • "The Compressibility of Liquids" (1878) – This was a paper in which Mendeleev presented his theory on the compressibility of liquids and the relationship between pressure and volume.
  • "The Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements" (1890) – This was a paper in which Mendeleev presented his revised version of the periodic table and discussed the properties of the elements and their relationship to one another.

Awards

In spite of developing the Periodic Table, Mendeleev was not awarded a Nobel Prize. He was, however, awarded the highly coveted Davy Medal in 1882.

Mendeleev's work on the Periodic Table of Elements was recognised globally as the greatest tool for understanding chemistry.

Mendeleev's Personal Life

Mendeleev was married twice. His first wife was Feozva Nikitichna Leshcheva, whom he married in 1862. They had seven children together, but Feozva died in 1878. Mendeleev remarried in 1882 to Anna Ivanova Popova, a student of his. They had two children together.

Mendeleev was a well-respected scientist and a member of many scientific societies, including the Russian Chemical Society and the Russian Physical and Chemical Society. He received many accolades for his work, including the Davy Medal from the Royal Society in 1882. He died in 1907 at the age of 73.

At Mendeleev's funeral in St. Petersburg, a large version of his Periodic Table was carried by his students as a tribute to the ground-breaking work and the huge achievement that it was for all future generations.

The Periodic Table of Elements

The Periodic Table of Elements

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Mr Singh