Famous Foreign Chemists and Their Significant Contributions

Chemistry is something present in each and every aspect of your life. Whether it’s the food you eat, the clothes you wear or the car you drive, from the smallest to the biggest thing of this world can be defined in terms of compounds, chemical reactions, and bonding between different elements.

We have been able to get to the core of each and every thing around us because of the work of several geniuses spread over a time period of centuries. Here we talk about some of the famous foreign chemists who have helped make this world into a more tangible place to live in.

John Dalton- Born in 1766, Sir John Dalton made a great contribution to the field of chemistry with his discovery of atoms, development of John Dalton’s atomic theory, and the findings related to color blindness. He was the one who defined atom as a fundamental unit of matter which can neither be created nor destroyed. He also mentioned that atoms of one element differ from atoms of other elements.

Marie Curie- The name of Marie Curie seems to be synonymous with chemistry and that is not without any reason. Born as a Polish in 1867, she later acquired French citizenship. Curie is renowned for her discoveries in the field of radioactivity. She was the one who discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the same. She had earlier been awarded the Nobel Prize for her work in the field of physics in the year 1903.

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev- No chemistry book is completed with a periodic table as an annexure. A Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev charted the first periodic table, which has since been modified by successive chemists. Mendeleev already knew that there was scope for improvement which is why he designed in a way that there was scope to fit in new or yet-to-be found elements. Originally there were 68 elements in increasing order of the atomic weight and similar properties in the Mendeleev periodic table.

Amedeo Avogadro- Avogardo was born in Italy in the year 1776 and is well known for proposing the Avogadro’s Law stating that “equal volumes of gases contain the equal number of molecules when the given temperature and pressure are same for all the gases.” The number of molecules also called Avogadro’s number is 6.023 x 1023.

Joseph Louis Gay–Lussac- A French chemist and physicist born in 1778, he gave the Gay-Lussacs Law regarding gases which says “At constant mass and pressure values, the volume of a gas increases linearly with temperature.”

Jons Jacob Berzelius- The technique of chemical formula notations which has been helping millions of chemistry students understand the subject easily was given by Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius. He also proposed the law of constant proportions, which was used to prove that inorganic substances are made of elements that are in constant proportion by weight.

Michael Faraday- Students of electrochemistry and electromagnetism would not forget Michael Faraday, an English chemist and physicist born in 1779. He was also instrumental in discovering the aromatic compound benzene.

Henri Louis Le Chatelier- A French chemist born in 1850, he proposed the principle for chemical equilibrium, known as the Le Chatelier’s principle.
Svante Arrhenius- Born in 1859, Svante Arrhenius was the one who proposed the Arrhenius equation. He also proposed that salt dissociates into ions when in a solution even in the absence of an electric current.

Ernest Rutherford- Popular as the father of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford was a British-New Zealand chemist and physicist. He was the one who discovered the concept of half life in radioactive substances. He received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908 for his work. Later, he postulated planetary model or Rutherford model for structure of an atom. He also tried splitting of an atom and its nucleus.

Dorothy Mary Hodgkin- Born in 1910, Dorothy Mary Hodgkin was a British chemist who used X-ray crystallography to define the structures of biomolecules. She won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work in protein crystallography.

These were just a few of the famous foreign chemists who have helped bring clarity into the things and processes around us.