The periodic table of the elements. It is every chemist's cheat sheet and an indispensable fixture in the life of every school's science lab. Despite its ubiquity, did you ever stop to think about who was behind this scientific endeavor? No? Well, we at the Libraries seek to correct all that by casting the spotlight on the man behind the marvel: Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev.
This year, it would have been the Russian chemist's 175th birthday. His seminal work Grundlagen der Chemie (don't worry, you can also read its English translation, The Principles of Chemistry, which is featured in the Heralds of Science collection, laid out his principles of chemistry that enabled him to classify the elements according to their chemical properties into what would become known as the periodic table. He even had the foresight to leave gaps for elements that were yet to be discovered (such as gallium, scandium, and germanium) and predicted their properties.
Of course, chemistry does not just end with Mendeleyev. Why not take a trip down high school science lab memory with our Instruments of Science trade literature collection? Enjoy the refractometer, the spectroscope, and of course bottles of ferrous sulphate and sulphuric acid.
Just try not to blow anything up!—Brett Lambert