This Week in Chemical History
Week 34: Aug. 20 – 26 (Archive)
- Jöns Jakob Berzelius, born 1779; in 1817, discovered selenium (Se, 34); in 1824, discovered silicon (Si, 14); in 1828, discovered thorium (Th, 90); introduced term "halogen"; represented elements by their initial letter(s); introduced allotropy, catalytic action, and isomerism; composed first accurate table of atomic weights.
- B. B. Cunningham and L. B. Werner isolated first macroscopic amount of plutonium (Pu, 94) at the wartime Metallurgical Laboratory, University of Chicago, in 1942.
- Jean S. Stas, born 1813; in the 1960s, developed methods for determining atomic weights more accurately than J. Berzelius.
- Charles F. Gerhardt, born 1816, researched theories of homologous series.
- Warren K. Lewis, born 1882, chemical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; conducted research on thermal properties of materials and colloids.
- Willis R. Whitney, born 1868, director of GE research laboratories
- Bradley Dewey, born 1887, known as the "czar" of synthetic rubber production during World War II.
- Robert F. Curl, Jr., born 1933, conducted research in microwave and infrared spectroscopy; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1996).
- Morris S. Kharasch, born 1895, developed synthetic applications of free radical chemistry.
- PPG Industries incorporated in 1883.
- Nicolai N. Zinin, born 1812, discovered reduction of aromatic nitro compounds to amines; founded and first president of Russian Chemical Society (1868-1877).
- Hans A. Krebs, born 1900, discovered urea cycle (1932), the citric acid or Krebs cycle (1937), and glyoxylate cycle (1957); Nobel Prize in Medicine (1953)
- Frederick C. Robbins, born 1916, conducted research on growth of viruses in tissue cultures; Nobel Prize in Medicine (1954).
- Antoine L. Lavoisier, born 1743, known as "founder of modern chemistry."; stated law of conservation of matter; determined composition of nitric and sulfuric acids; made "water-gas"; invented gasometer; introduced new chemical nomenclature.
- Texaco incorporated as the Texas Corporation in 1926.