This Week in Chemical History
Week 51: Dec. 17 – 23 (Archive)
- Born in 1778, Humphry Davy discovered potassium (K, 19) and sodium (Na, 11) in 1807, barium (Ba, 56) and strontium (Sr, 38)in 1808; and invented Davy mine safety lamp.
- Michael Farady announced first law of electrolysis: "Chemical power, like magnetic force, is in direct proportion to the absolute quantity of electricity which passes" (1832).
- Born in 1908, Willard F. Libby developed carbon dating; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1960) "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science."
- Allied Chemical and Dye Corp. incorporated (1920).
- Discovery of neutron-induced nuclear fission of uranium (U, 92) by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, Berlin (1938).
- Born in 1856, Joseph J. Thomson discovered the electron (1897); Nobel Prize in Physics (1906) "in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases."
- Born in 1890, Mary L. Caldwell isolated enzymes for individual analyses.
- Born in 1813, Thomas Andrews discovered that every gas has a critical temperature above which it cannot be liquefied.
- Born in 1864, Samuel P. Mulliken, researcher in identification of organic chemicals and dye chemistry; introduced organic qualitative chemistry as course (1896).
- Berkelium (Bk, 97) discovered by ion-exchange chromatography at University of California, Berkeley (1949).
- Born in 1890, Jaroslav Heyrovsky invented polarographic method of analysis; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1959) "for his discovery and development of the polarographic methods of analysis."
- Einsteinium (Es, 99) discovered by ion-exchange chromatography at University of California, Berkeley (1952).
- Born in 1805, Thomas Graham, researcher on absorption of gases, osmosis, diffusion, colloids, and dialysis; discovered laws of diffusion (Graham's law).
- Born in 1890, Hermann J. Muller, researcher on theory of genes; Nobel Prize in Medicine (1946).
- Born in 1870, William L. Evans, authority on chemistry of carbohydrates.
- Born in 1884, St. Elmo Brady, first black man to earn a Ph. D. in chemistry (University of Illinois, 1916).
- Born in 1903, Haldan K. Hartline performed single-fiber analysis of the optic responses of the veterbrate retina; researcher in night vision in humans; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1967) with G. Wald and R. Granit "for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye."
- Born in 1722, Axel F. Cronstedt discovered nickel (Ni, 28) in 1751, and zeolite; made classification system of minerals.
- Born in 1829, Paul Schutzenberger, researcher in physiological chemistry.
- Born in 1912, Anna J. Harrison, first female ACS president in 1978; and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 1983 to 1984.
- First full-scale nuclear power plant in U.S. began operation at Shippingport, PA (1957).