Monday, January 5, 2015

Chemistry Knowledge History - January

Chemistry History

January 1
Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA, originally Pittsburgh Reduction Company) renamed, 1907
U. S. Atomic Energy Commission took over nuclear oversight from wartime Manhattan Engineer District, 1947. Its successor, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.)
Cigarettes in the US must carry warning label, "Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health," since 1966, mandated by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965. Since then, labeling requirements have evolved, and by late 2012, new labels will again be required.
Harriet Brooks born 1876: radioactivity, particularly radon (element, 86) as an emanation from radium.
Eugène-Anatole Demarçay born 1852: discovered europium (Eu, element 63); spectroscopic evidence of the discovery of radium (Ra, 88)
International Year of Chemistry, an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), began in 2011.
Robert John Kane proposed existence of ethyl radical (ethereum) in 1833.
Merck & Co. founded, 1891.
Harold Urey and co-workers announced discovery of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen (H, element 1), 1932.

January 2
Roger Adams born 1889: organic synthesis. An ACS award in organic synthesis is named for Adams.
Isaac Asimov born 1920: biochemist; author of hundreds of books in science fiction and many non-fiction subjects.
Rudolf Clausius born 1822: fundamental contributions to thermodynamics and kinetic theory of gases; coined the term entropy.
Charles Hatchett born 1765: discovered niobium (Nb, element 41), which he called columbium
Walter Heitler born 1904: quantum-mechanical treatment of molecular hydrogen (Heitler-London approach).
January 3
Henry Bradley, Binghamton, NY, patented oleomargarine (U.S. Patent No. 110,626) in 1871.
Keith James Laidler born 1916: chemical kinetics; history of physical chemistry and of science and technology.
Spirit rover, a NASA geochemistry robot, lands on Mars, 2004, looking for evidence of water.
January 4
Herbert Henry Dow, founder of Dow Chemical, prepared bromine from brine, 1891.
Aristid Victor Grosse born 1905: isolated protactinium (Pa, element 91); 235U fission by slow neutrons
Louis Bernard Guyton de Morveau born 1737: one-time defender of phlogiston theory, chemical affinities, chemical nomenclature. View the 1787 Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique and Guyton's earlier (1782) paper on systematic nomenclature.
Richard Royce Schrock born 1945: high-oxidation-state transition-metal complexes; metathesis reactions and catalysts; Nobel Prize, 2005.
John Edgar Teeple born 1874: industrial chemistry and chemical economics; Perkin medal.
Florence Emeline Wall born 1893: cosmetic chemistry.

January 5

Joseph Erlanger born 1874: electrophysiology of nerves; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1944.
George Washington Carver died 1943 (born c. 1860): food chemistry, particularly known for peanuts and sweet potatoes.

January 6

John Van Nostrand Dorr born 1872: chemical engineer and inventor
Kenneth Sanborn Pitzer born 1914: chemical bonding and quantum mechanics.
Stuart Alan Rice born 1932: statistical mechanics and transport phenomena; phase transitions.

January 7
Eilhard Mitscherlich born 1794: crystal structure, catalysis, benzene and its derivatives; discovered chemical isomorphism
Henry Enfield Roscoe born 1833: chemical action of light; co-inventor of actinometer; first to isolate vanadium (V, element 23). Read his biography of Dalton and his autobiography .
John Ernest Walker born 1941: mechanism of ATP synthesis; Nobel Prize, 1997

January 8
John Allen Veatch found borax in mineral water at Tuscan Springs, CA, 1856.

January 9
Richard Abegg born 1869: valence, especially Abegg's rule that the difference between the maximum positive and negative valence of an element is frequently eight.
John Werner Cahn born 1928: thermodynamics and kinetics of phase transitions and diffusion; interfacial phenomena; periodic and quasi-periodic structures ("quasicrystals").
Alec Jeffreys born 1950: genetic fingerprinting; see US Patent 5,413,908.
Har Gobind Khorana born 1922: first synthesis of an artificial gene; interpretation of genetic code and protein synthesis function; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1968
Søren Sørensen born 1868: indroduced concept of pH as a measure of hydrogen ion concentration; research on proteins, amino acids, and enzymes

January 10
Sune Karl Bergström born 1916: purification and structure of prostaglandins; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1982.
Katharine Burr Blodgett born 1898: thin films (Langmuir-Blodgett films); anti-reflective coatings; gas-surface interactions; Garvan Medal, 1951
Frederick Gardner Cottrell born 1877: nitrogen fixation, liquefaction of gases, recovery of helium; invented electrostatic precipitator (Cottrell precipitator, US patent 895,729) for removing particles from gases

January 11
Frederick Mark Becket born 1875: inventor in electrochemistry and electrometallurgy
Roger Guillemin born 1924: function and synthesis of hypothalamic hormones; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1977.

January 12
Johan August Arfwedson born 1792: discovered lithium (Li, 3) in the mineral petalite.
Ruth Rogan Benerito born 1916: fat emulsions and transport of fat in animals; properties of cellulose (with applications to fabrics, particularly cotton)
Jan Baptista van Helmont born 1579: coined the term gas; experiment investigating whether vegetable life came from a single, element (water). Read three short excerpts from his writings and see the title page of his book on medicine.
Paul Hermann Müller born 1899: discovered the toxic effects of DDT on insects; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1948
Franz von Soxhlet born 1848: invented Soxhlet Extractor; isolated lactose and milk proteins.
Antonio de Ulloa born 1716: discoverer of platinum (Pt, 78).

January 13
Sydney Brenner born 1927: genetics of organ development and cell death; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 2002.
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction signed in Paris by 130 nations, 1993.
Charles Mabery born 1850: early petroleum chemistry; electrolytic aluminum and bromine industries
Pierre-Jean Robiquet born 1780: codiscoverer of asparagine; analysis of opium for codeine
January 14
Armstrong World Industries incorporated as Armstrong Cork Co., 1895.
Ludwig Claisen born 1851: condensation of esters; rearrangement of allyl vinyl ethers
David Wesson born 1861: vegetable oils.

January 15
Henry Cavendish reported quantitative composition of water to Royal Society, 1784.
Pierre Samuel DuPont born 1870: president of DuPont credited with diversifying company from explosives to broad-based chemical company
William Prout born 1785: Prout's hypothesis (suggestion that all atomic weights are multiples of the atomic weight of hydrogen); analysis of biological materials; identified hydrochloric acid in the stomach
Artturi Ilmari Virtanen born 1895: nutrition and development of food resources; nitrogen fixation; preservation of silage; Nobel Prize, 1945
Cyrus More Warren born 1824: fractional distillation of coal tar and petroleum for analytical and industrial applications.
Frank Westheimer born 1912: physical organic chemistry (electrostatic effects, molecular mechanics, photoaffinity labeling)

January 16
Anders Ekeberg born 1767: discovered tantalum (Ta, element 73).
Fermium (Fm, element 100) was first isolated by (left to right) Louise Smith, Sherman Fried, Gary Higgins; (back row) Albert Ghiorso, Rod Spence, Glenn Seaborg, Paul Fields and John Huizenga (using ion-exchange chromatorgraphy) and identified, 1953, at University of California, Berkeley.
Leonor Michaelis born 1875: enzyme kinetics; Michaelis-Menten equation.

January 17
Benjamin Franklin born 1706: scientist, inventor, statesman, printer, philosopher, musician, and economist; described marsh gas to Priestley.
James Hall born 1761: geology: laboratory study of rock formation processes, artificial marble
Robert Hare born 1781: invented oxyhydrogen blowtorch.
Anselme Payen born 1795: discovered cellulose, dextrin (produced in the breakdown of starch), pectin, and the enzyme diastase (1833); developed processes for producing borax from boric acid and for refining beet sugar.

January 18
Edward Frankland born 1825: theory of valency; codiscoverer of helium (He, element 2) in the sun through spectroscopy; sanitation and river pollution; organometalic synthesis and valence
Johann (Hans) Goldschmidt born 1861: invented aluminothermite process (Goldschmidt process).

January 19
Henry Bessemer born 1813: metallurgist, inventor of the Bessemer process and Bessemer converter for making steel (US patent 16,082). Read his autobiography.
Harry Fisher born 1885: inventor in synthetic rubber and rubber technology
Jack Halpern born 1925: mechanisms of the action of vitamins and other biochemicals.
Lucy Weston Pickett born 1904: effects of X-rays on chemical reactions; X-ray crystallography; molecular spectroscopy; Garvan Medal, 1957
Susan Solomon born 1956: atmospheric chemistry of ozone, particularly polar.
James Watt born 1736: best known as an engineer whose version of the steam engine powered the Industrial Revolution, Watt was also one of the first to recognize that water was a compound substance.

January 20
Adolph Frank born 1834: made calcium cyanamide from calcium carbide and nitrogen.
Marie Anne Paulze Lavoisier born 1758: research assistant, collaborator, illustrator, editor, publisher, and spouse of Antoine Lavoisier; later spouse (but not collaborator) of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford
Horace Wells born 1815: first to use a gas (nitrous oxide) as an anesthetic.

January 21
Dow Chemical produced the first ingot of any metal to be extracted from seawater (magnesium; Mg, element 12), 1941.
Edward Mallinckrodt born 1845: founder of Mallinckrodt Chemical Works
Konrad Bloch born 1912: cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism; Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1964.
Eduard Zintl [auf Deutsch] born 1898: intermetallic compounds; industrial chemistry.

January 22
André-Marie Ampère born 1775: best known for Ampère's law relating magnetic field and electrical current, Ampère also made a hypothesis about gases much like Avogadro's.
Francis Bacon born 1561: inductive scientific method; Novum Organum. Bacon applied his inductive method to the nature of heat.
Alan Heeger born 1936: conducting polymers; Nobel Prize, 2000.
King James I charters the first English organization of pharmacists ("Master, Wardens and Society of the Art and Mystery of the Apothecaries of the City of London"), 1617.

January 23
The nomination of Marie Curie to the French Academy of Sciences was rejected, 1911.
Otto Diels born 1876: codeveloper of diene synthesis (with Kurt Alder); practical method for synthesis of ring compounds from chain compounds (Diels-Alder reaction); Nobel Prize, 1950 (with Alder)
Gertrude Belle Elion born 1918: pharmaceutical chemist; leukemia-fighting drug (US patent 2,884,667); Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1988.
Karl Karlovich Klaus born 1796: discoverer of ruthenium (Ru, element 44); early platinum chemistry
Paul Langevin born 1872: X-rays and magnetism
John Charles Polanyi born 1929: used infrared chemiluminescence to follow excited reaction products; Nobel Prize, 1986.

January 24
Burris Bell Cunningham and coworkers first reported absorption spectrum of einsteinium compound (Es, element 99) at University of California, Berkeley, 1966.
Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill, California, 1848, causing '49er gold rush.
Joseph-Achille Le Bel born 1847: structural organic chemistry (tetrahedral carbon).
Opportunity rover, a NASA geochemistry robot, lands on Mars, 2004, looking for evidence of water.
Patent for microwave oven (US patent 2,495,429) issued to Percy Spencer, 1950.
Dan Shechtman born 1941: quasicrystals; Nobel Prize, 2011.
Morris William Travers born 1872: codiscoverer of krypton (Kr, element 36), neon (Ne, 10), and xenon (Xe, 54); low temperature chemistry

January 25

Robert Boyle born 1627: defined element; discovered proportionality of gas pressure and volume (Boyle's law); experiments in vacuo (for example, trying to support combustion in a vacuum); author of The Sceptical Chymist and New experiments physico-mechanicall, touching the spring of the air and its effects; suggested use of alcohol as biological preservative
Arvid Carlsson born 1923: dopamine, Parkinson's disease, and L-dopa (levodopa); Nobel Prize (Medicine), 2000.
Fluoridation of drinking water begins in Grand Rapids, MI (first municipal water fluoridation in US).
William Horne born 1865: refining and manufacture of sugar
Csaba Horvath born 1930: concept of early HPLC (high-pressure liquid chromatography) instruments.
Martin Klaproth reported to Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1798 the 1782 discovery by Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein of a new element and named it tellurium (Te, element 52).
Ilya Prigogine born 1917: thermodynamics of irreversible processes; "dissipative" structures; Nobel Prize, 1977.

January 26
Niels Bohr reported the discovery of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, and its interpretation by Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch, to the Fifth Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics, 1939.
Claude Silbert Hudson born 1881: sugar chemistry; an ACS Award in Carbohydrate chemistry is named after him.
Polycarp Kusch born 1911: magnetic moment of the electron; Nobel Prize (physics), 1955.

January 27
John Carew Eccles born 1903: neurochemistry; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1963.
Thomas Alva Edison receives US Patent 233,898 for incandescent light bulb, 1880. See a list of patents.
Victor Moritz Goldschmidt born 1888: mineralogy, geochemistry, distribution and abundance of elements and isotopes
Louis Kahlenberg born 1870: American physical chemist and electrochemist.
August Kekule presented his structure of benzene to the Société Chimique, Paris, 1865.

January 28
Edith Flanigen born 1929: molecular seives and petroleum refining catalysts.
Herbert Max Finlay Freundlich born 1880: colloids (stabilization by electrolytes) and surfaces (Freundlich adsorption isotherm).
Robert William Holley born 1922: structure and function of transfer-RNA; Nobel Prize (Medicine), 1968.
Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale born 1903: X-ray crystallography; determination of benzene structure by X-ray crystallography. Read reminiscences by Lonsdale from Fifty Years of X-Ray Diffraction, edited by P. P. Ewald.

January 29
Henry Carrington Bolton born 1843: author and bibliographer in the history of chemistry. Read his Select Bibliography of Chemistry, 1492-1892 and Catalogue of Scientific and Technical Periodicals.
Linda Buck born 1947: research on olfaction, one of the "chemical senses;" Nobel Prize (Medicine), 2004.
Sydney Chapman born 1888: geophysicist; diffusion in kinetic theory of gases; oxygen reactions for stratospheric ozone
Edward Morley born 1838: ether drift experiments (Michelson-Morley experiment: read a modern description and the original paper); painstakingly precise determination of the combining weights of hydrogen and oxygen
Lewis Frederick Urry born 1927: inventor; alkaline batteries and lithium batteries.

January 30
Peter Agre born 1949: water channels in cell membranes; Nobel Prize, 2003.
Harold Simmons Booth born 1891: inorganic chemistry; fluoride gases
Alexandre-Émile Beguyer de Chancourtois born 1820: geologist whose arrangement of elements and other substances by atomic weight exhibited chemical periodicity in 1862. (See paper and Vis Tellurique figure.)
George Gerald Henderson born 1862: catalysis

January 31
Irving Langmuir born 1881: surface chemistry (Langmuir adsorption isotherm, Langmuir-Blodgett films); inventor of gas-filled tungsten lamp (US patent 1,180,159), use of atomic hydrogen blowpipe for welding, condensation pump for high vacuum; atomic structure and valence (see two examples: 1 and 2); Nobel Prize, 1932
Theodore William Richards born 1868: atomic weights, electrochemistry, and thermodynamics; discovered that lead from uranium and from thorium had different atomic weights (before isotope concept was introduced); Nobel Prize, 1914.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chemistry Concepts Recall P to T


Phosphorous, Polonium, Potassium,



Radium, Reaction, Reactant, Roasting,


Sodium, Sulphur


Titanium, Tritration, Tungsten,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Chemistry Concepts Recall U to Z




Valence, Valence bond approach. VSEPR Model





Zerothlaw of thermodynamics

Chemistry Concepts Recall K to O


Kossel - Lewis approach to bonding


Liquid state


Magnesium, Manganese,Mercury, Molybdenum,




Organic Chemistry, Oxidation, Oxygen,

Chemistry Concepts Recall F to J


Fission of a covalent bond, Fundamental particles, Fusion,


Gaseous state, Gibbs energy, Graham's law of diffusion or effusion,


Hydrogcarbons, Hydrogen


Ionization potential


IIT JEE Revision - Electrophilic Addition Reactions of Alkenes with X2, HX, HOX and H2O (X=halogen)

Reaction mechanism

Reaction takes place in two steps.

Step 1. Attacking molecule gets partially polarised and as it becomes closer to the pi bond of the double bond, the electron cloud of the pi bond repels the electron cloud of the attacking molecule further. As a result, the nearer end of the attacking molecule acquires partial positive charge. At the same time, electromeric effect comes into operation in the double bond and the pi electron pair shifts to one of the carbon atoms making it negatively charged. Thus the partially positively charged atom of the attacking molecule attacks the negatively charged carbon of the alkenes and a new bond is formed. This leaves the other carbon atom with positive charge and also the other atom of the attacking molecule with negative charge.

Step 2: The negatively charged atom of the attacking molecule reacts with positively charged carbon of the alkene to complete the formation of addition product.

Electrophilic Addition Reactions of Alkenes with X2, HX, HOX and H2O (X=halogen)

Halogens (particularly chlorine and bromine) react with alkenes in the presence of an inert solvent (e.g. CCl4) to form dihalogen derivatives:

The reaction with flourine is explosive whereas iodine reacts very slowly.

Alkenes react with halogen acids (HCL, HBr, or HI) to form alkyl halides.

In these reactions one part of the molecule attaches itself to one carbon atom of the double bond whereas the other part to the second carbon atom of the double bond.

However,if the alkene is unsymmetrical, then two products are possible depending upon the carbon atom to which the halogen atom is attached.

Markovnikov rule: during the addition across unsymmetrical multiple bond, the negative part of the attacking reagent joins with the carbon atom which carries smaller number of hydrogen atoms while the positive part goes to the carbon atom with more hydrogen atoms.

Due to fact that the reaction proceeds according to Markow(v)nikov's explanation, addition of HBr to Propene gives 2-Bromopropene as the major product up to 90%.

Exception to Markovnikov rule - Kharasch effect - Peroxide effect: During the addition of HBr to an unsymmetrical alkene in the presence of organic peroxids (e.g., benzoyl peroxide), Br atom will join to the carbon carrying more hydrogen atoms while H atom will go to the other carbon atom.

Only HBr shows peroxide effect. HF, HCl and HI do not exhibit peroxide effect.

Alkenes react with hypohalous acids (HOX) or halogen Cl2 or Br2 in the presence of H2O to give halohydrins. In this reactin, markonikov;s rule is followed and halogen is the positive aprtg and OH is the negative part.

Water adds to alkenes in the presence of mineral acids (catalytic hydration of alkenes). Addition occurs in accordance with Markownikov's rule and we get alcohols from this addition.

Ethene gives ethanol
Propene gives Propan-2-ol as the major product.

21 December - Chemistry Knowledge History

John Mayow baptized 1641 (birth date uncertain): discovered that air contained two gases, one of which ("spiritus nitro-aerous") supported life and combustion.

Hermann Joseph Muller born 1890: theory of genes; mutation by X-rays; Nobel Prize (medicine), 1946.

December - Chemistry Knowledge History

John Mayow's Scientific Work

Mayow published at Oxford in 1668 two tracts, on respiration and rickets,

Accepting Boyle's experiments and theory that air is necessary for combustion, Mayow showed that fire is supported not by the air as a whole but by a more active and subtle part of it. This part he called "spiritus igneo-aereus," or sometimes "nitro-aereus", In combustion the nitro-aereae  supplied by the air combined with the material burnt.  Mayow observed  that antimony, strongly heated with a burning glass, undergoes an increase of weight  and he attributed it  to nothing else but these particles.

Mayow argued that the same particles are consumed in respiration, because he found that when a small animal and a lighted candle were placed in a closed vessel full of air the candle first went out and soon afterwards the animal died. However, if there was no candle present the animal lived twice as long. He concluded that this constituent of the air is absolutely necessary for life, and supposed that the lungs separate it from the atmosphere and pass it into the blood. Mayow also came out with the idea that muscles work or contract due to combination of nitro aereus  with other combustible (salino-sulphureous) particles in the body; hence the heart, being a muscle, ceases to beat when respiration is stopped. Heat in animals is due to the union of nitro-aerial particles, breathed in from the air, with the combustible particles in the blood, and it occurs in muscles during violent exertions.

In effect, therefore, Mayow gave a remarkably correct anatomical description of the mechanism of respiration and argued for the existence of oxygen, under the guise of his "spiritus nitro-aereus," as a separate entity distinct from the general mass of the air. Mayow perceived the part "spiritus nitro-aereus" plays in combustion and in increasing the weight of the calces (oxides) of metals as compared with metals themselves. Mayow described inspiration a mechanism for introducing oxygen into the body, where it is consumed for the production of heat and muscular activity. He even vaguely conceived of expiration as an excretory process. Using bell-jars over water Mayow showed that the active substance - nitro-aereus that we today call oxygen constitutes about a fifth part of the air.

Mutation of genes

Genes mutate due to thermal agitations. One gene may mutate but others around may remain stable.
Therefore high energy radiation can produe gene mutations.

Read Muller's Nobel Lecture on Mutation of Genes

December Month Chemistry Knowledge History