Dmitri Mendeleev

Darrius Wilson


Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk, Siberia, on January 27, 1834. He was the youngest child of seventeen children. Young Dmitri was educated in the Tobolsk gymnasium. He didn't like the classics, especially Latin. He was interested in mathematics and physics. His abilities in these areas were so evident that his mother, Marya, was determined that he should have the best education possible.

Interest in Science

Dimitri was educated at the gymnasium in Tobolsk, where he showed great interest in mathematics and physics. He also learned a lot about glass and glass blowing from the family factory. His brother-in-law, Bessargin, was also an influence in that he taught the young Mendeleev current science topics.


When Dmitri was fourteen years old, his father died, and at almost the same time, fire destroyed the glass factory. By this time the older children had left home, and only Dmitri and a sister were living with their mother. Marya decided to seek the help of her wealthy brother in Moscow. The brother at first welcomed them, but when he learned that his nephew wished for a higher education, he refused to help, on the grounds that he himself had not had one, and he saw no need for it. Marya angrily determined to go her own way, and took her children to St. Petersburg. She decided to place Dmitri in the Chief Pedagogical Institute in which his father had been trained. Three months later, his mother died and his sister soon afterwards had tuberculosis, and Dmitri was left alone in St. Petersburg.

Dimitri Mendeleev major experiment or contribution that shaped history.

Mendeleev is best known for his work on the periodic table; arranging the 63 known elements into a Periodic Table based on atomic mass, which he published in Principles of Chemistry in 1869.

His first Periodic Table was compiled on the basis of arranging the elements in ascending order of atomic weight and grouping them by similarity of properties. He predicted the existence and properties of new elements and pointed out accepted atomic weights that were in error.

This organization surpassed attempts at classification by Beguyer de Chancourtois and Newlands and was published a year before the work of Lothar Meyer.


Dmitri Mendeleev received the Copley award in 1905. Mendeleev was awarded this medal for his outstanding research. Mendeleev was awarded a membership of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. For his remembrance and accomplishments in chemistry,
the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology of the Slovak University of Technology built a statue of his face with some of the elements on it.

Lil extra

While writing his textbook, Principles of Chemistry, Mendeleev found that if you arrange the elements in order of increasing atomic mass, their chemical properties demonstrated definite trends. This lead to his periodic table, which is the basis for the current periodic table of the elements. His table had blank spaces where he predicted three unknown elements which turned out to be germanium, gallium and scandium.

Mendeleev is credited for bringing the metric system to Russia and was director of Russia's Bureau of Weights and Measures. Due to a legal technicality, he was considered a bigamist for not waiting the required seven years after a divorce before marrying his second wife. In his later years, he became known for his large beard and long hair. It was said he would only cut his hair and beard once a year. He is just the most influential.