His father was a teacher of politics, philosophy, and fine arts. Unfortunately for the familys well being, his father became blind and lost his teaching position. His mother was forced to work and she restarted her familys abandoned glass factory. At the age of 13, after the passing of his father and the destruction of his mothers factory by fire, Mendeleev attended the Gymnasium in Tobolsk. In 1849, the Mendeleev family relocated to Saint Petersburg, where Mendeleev entered the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1850. Sometime after Mendeleev graduated, he contracted tuberculosis, causing him to move to the Crimean Peninsula on the northern coast by the Black Sea in 1855.
While he was there he became a science master of the Simferopol gymnasium. Later he returned with fully restored health to Saint Petersburg in 1857. Between 1859 and 1861, he worked on the capillarity of liquids and the workings of the spectroscope in Heidelberg. In late August 1861 he wrote his first book on the spectroscope. In April of 1862 Mendeleev became engaged to Feozva Nikitichna Leshcheva, and they married on 27 April 1862 at Nikolaev Engineering Institutes church in Saint Petersburg. Mendeleev became a professor at the Saint Petersburg Technological Institute and Saint Petersburg State University in 1864 and 1865. After becoming a teacher, Mendeleev wrote the textbook, Principles of Chemistry. As he attempted to classify the elements according to their chemical properties, he too noticed patterns that led him to postulate his periodic table. Mendeleev was also unaware of the earlier work on periodic tables going on.
In 1863 there were 56 known elements with a new element being discovered at a rate of approximately one per year. Mendeleev made the following table, and by adding additional elements following this pattern, developed his extended version of the periodic table. In 1865 he became Doctor of Science for his dissertation on the combinations of water with alcohol. He achieved tenure in 1867, and a few years later by 1871 Mendeleev had transformed Saint Petersburg into an internationally recognized center for chemistry research. Later on in 1876, Mendeleev had become obsessed with Anna Ivanova Popova and began obsessed with her. In 1881 he proposed to her and threatened suicide if she refused to marry him. His divorce from Feozva Nikitichna Leshcheva was finalized one month after he had married Anna in early 1882. Even after the divorce, Mendeleev was technically a bigamist.
His divorce and the surrounding controversy contributed to his failure to be admitted to the Russian Academy of Sciences. Mendeleev was widely honored by scientific organizations all over Europe, including the Copley Medal from the Royal Society of London; he resigned from Saint Petersburg University in August of 1890. In 1893, he was appointed Director of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. It was in this role that he was directed to formulate new state standards for the production of vodka. As a result of his work, new standards for vodka were introduced into Russian law and all vodka had to be produced at 40% alcohol by volume. Mendeleev also investigated the composition of petroleum, and helped to found the first oil refinery in Russia. In 1907, Mendeleev died at the age of 72 in Saint Petersburg from influenza. The crater Mendeleev on the Moon, as well as element number 101, the radioactive mendelevium, are named after him.
E.Babaev. February 20, 2012. http://www.chem.msu.su/eng/misc/mendeleev/welcome.html http://www.biography.com/people/dmitri-mendeleyev-9405465
I decided to write about Dmitri Mendeleev because I thought he sounded the most interesting. I also wanted to learn more about him and his life. Chemistry is very entertaining to me and Mendeleev basically wrote the periodic table.