Scientists who specialize in the area of chemistry are called chemists. There have been many famous chemists throughout history who have made discoveries and breakthroughs that have changed the world. Here are just a few of them:
Amedeo Avogadro (1776 – 1856)
Amedeo Avogadro was an Italian scientist who came up with Avogadro’s law which states that equal volumes of all gases contain the same number of molecules when under the same conditions of pressure and temperature. The Avogadro constant was named after him.
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Jons Jacob Berzelius (1779 – 1848)
Jons Jacob Berzelius was a Swedish famous chemists who is most famous for helping to develop the notation for writing chemical formulas. He also played a role in discovering and isolating many elements including silicon, thorium, cerium, and selenium. Many chemical terms are credited to Berzelius such as “allotrope” and “catalysis.” He is called the father of Swedish chemistry.
Robert Boyle (1627 – 1691)
Robert Boyle is often considered the first modern chemist and one of the founders of chemical science. He also pioneered the scientific method. He developed Boyle’s Law which states that, under a closed system with constant pressure, the pressure and volume of a gas are inversely proportional.
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Cure was a Polish chemist who coined the term radioactivity. She also discovered the elements polonium and radium. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and won the award twice, once for physics in 1903 and again for chemistry in 1911. The unit for measuring radioactivity, the Curie, is named after her and her husband Pierre.
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John Dalton (1766 – 1844)
John Dalton was an English famous chemists who helped to develop the atomic theory about atoms and elements. In 1803 he presented the first list of atomic weights for a number of substances. Dalton is also known for his work researching color blindness.
Sir Humphry Davy (1778 – 1829)
Sir Humphry Davy is best known for using electrolysis to isolate and discover many elements. He is credited with isolating or discovering sodium, calcium, boron, barium, magnesium, iodine, chlorine, and potassium. He also invented a safety lamp for miners called the Davy lamp.
Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958)
Rosalind Franklin was an English chemist and physicist who contributed to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Her X-ray diffraction image of DNA played an important role in its discovery. She also performed important research into polio and TMV viruses.
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Antoine Lavoisier (1743 – 1794)
Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist who is sometimes referred to as the “father of modern chemistry”. He developed the “law of conservation of mass” which states that for any closed system, the mass of the system must remain constant over time.He also proved that sulfur was an element and named the elements oxygen and hydrogen.
Dmitri Mendeleyev (1834 – 1907)
Dmitri Mendeleyev was a Russian chemist who came up with the first periodic table of the elements which he published in 1865. He was able to predict the discovery of many more elements using the table.
Alfred Nobel (1833 – 1896)
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and inventor who invented dynamite. He was a prolific inventor and held 350 patents. He is perhaps most famous for starting the Nobel Prize. The element nobelium is named after Alfred Noble.