Life,  Tech

The Story of Dmitri Mendeleev: How Dreaming of Love Led to the Discovery of the Periodic Table of Elements

   In order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the periodic table of elements, the United Nations announced that 2019 will be designated as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. On September 29, 2023, UNESCO launched the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” at its headquarters in Paris. Dmitry Mendeleev was a famous Russian chemist. He discovered the periodic law of chemical elements and compiled the world’s first periodic table of elements based on the periodic law of elements, including all 63 elements that had been discovered at that time. , giving the elements their own homes. He also predicted unknown elements such as boron, aluminum, and silicon, and reserved vacancies for them in the periodic table. Several years later, these elements were discovered one after another.
  Mendeleev’s academic achievements were getting wider and wider, but his love journey was very bumpy. He once suffered from unrequited love, and later, under the arrangement of his sister, he met a girl named Lesheva. Although their first impression of each other was very good, they had different views. Although they had two children, the marriage existed in name only. The lonely Mendeleev closed his heart until he met Anna, a talented student from the Academy of Fine Arts, at the age of 40. They had a strong chemical reaction. In the face of opposition from their families, they came together and invented the element cycle. Table…
  There is a mistake between yin and yang,
  the diagnosis is fake and the first love is real.
   On February 7, 1834, Mendeleev was born in Tobolsk, Siberia. He has 17 brothers and sisters. He is the youngest son in the family.
   When Mendeleev was a few months old, his father, who was the principal of a middle school, suddenly lost his position due to blindness. The family’s life was in trouble, so the family moved to a small village near Topolsk because the people there Mendeleev’s uncle ran a glass factory, and Mendeleev’s mother, Maria, could help him in exchange for a little remuneration to make ends meet.
   The young Mendeleev often sneaked into the factory to watch how the workers smelted and processed glass. From then on, the seeds of chemistry were sown in his heart.
   Mendeleev loved to study. Every day when his brother read, he would sit and listen. In the autumn of 1841, he and his brother were admitted to Topolsk Middle School. At that time, he was only 7 years old and was called a child prodigy.
   When he was 13 years old, his father died of illness. Three months later, my sister also passed away. A year later, the glass factory that sustained the family’s livelihood was also reduced to ashes in a fire. Mother Maria had no choice but to take the whole family back to the city from the countryside.
   In 1849, Mendeleev graduated from high school. In order for her son to go to college, Maria sold her property and took her children to Moscow. However, no university was willing to accept Mendeleev. So, Maria moved to Petersburg, and it happened that the principal of the Petersburg Teachers College was a classmate of her husband. As a result, Mendeleev was admitted under exceptional circumstances.
   Mendeleev studied in the Department of Physics. After only one year, he became a top student and then transferred to the Department of Chemistry. But at this time, Maria died of overwork, and Mendeleev became even more lonely. After being sad, he devoted all his energy to studying. In 1854, he ranked first in his class and won the Academy’s Gold Medal. However, at this time, Mendeleev suddenly began to cough up blood. When he went to the hospital for a checkup, he actually had tuberculosis.
   At that time, tuberculosis was still an incurable disease, and Mendeleev’s mood was shrouded in a shadow. Due to health concerns, he turned down the opportunity to continue his studies at the Teachers College after his undergraduate degree, planning to move to Odessa, a southern city with a milder climate and a great library.
   However, due to some archival errors, he was accidentally sent to the small city of Simferopol, where he witnessed the Crimean War up close. It was close to the front line of the war, and the hospital was overcrowded, which made him feel even more depressed.
   One morning, he coughed up a lot of blood and rushed to the hospital for examination. There were so many patients in the hospital that he had to wait patiently. When it was his turn, he was actually treated by a young female doctor. Although she was wearing a mask, Mendeleev still saw a bit of childishness in her eyes. He was a little disappointed. His illness was so serious. Did she have any experience?
   Mendeleev wanted to leave the consulting room, but since he was already in, he decided to give it a try. But he never expected that after the examination, the female doctor told him a result that overturned his cognition – he did not actually have tuberculosis.
   He looked at her in surprise, she must have made a mistake. A smile appeared in the corner of the female doctor’s eyes: “Don’t worry, I couldn’t have made a mistake. You were misdiagnosed before.”
   Mendeleev stared at her steadily, still not convinced. The female doctor simply took off her mask: “Tuberculosis is an infectious disease. You see, I’m not afraid of infection, because you don’t have this disease at all.”
   Mendeleev saw a pretty face. The female doctor’s name was Ma Mansha. Although he is only 29 years old, he is an experienced surgeon.
   Subsequently, Mendeleev started taking medicine according to Mamantha’s treatment plan, and his condition was quickly under control. Mendeleev went for follow-up visits every day, and they became more and more familiar, like a pair of old friends. Mendeleev felt that they were more than just friends, because every time he saw her, he felt his heart beating very fast. He thought he was in love with her.
   Mendeleev went to the clinic every day, but he never dared to express his feelings. He was afraid that his abruptness would disturb her. If he could, he would say nothing and just look at her closely every day. However, his illness slowly recovered and he had to return to St. Petersburg. He decided to confess his love to her and stay here if she wanted to.
   That morning, he went for a follow-up consultation. When he confessed his love with a blushing face, Mamansha smiled and said: “Thank you for your good opinion of me, but that is not love, but a patient’s dependence on the doctor. And, I Much older than you, let me be your sister. You should return to your city to develop, where you can have your own life.” In
   May 1856, Mendeleev followed Mamantha’s advice and returned to St. Petersburg. Started his new life. In October, he completed his master’s defense at St. Petersburg University with an article “On the Structure of Silicon Compounds.” This was Mendeleev’s first published paper on mineral analysis, written in German. Voskresensky, the leader of this research, is a well-known figure in the history of Russian science.
  Voskresensky was a student of Baron von Liebig, a dean of organic chemistry, and was later known as the “Father of Russian Chemistry.” This was the first important moment that chemistry played a major role in Mendeleev’s life.
  Compromising,
  creating a loveless marriage.
   In 1857, Mendeleev became an associate professor at the University of Petersburg. He then went to the University of Heidelberg in Germany for further studies. In 1861, he returned to Petersburg to engage in scientific writing work. In 1863, he became a professor at the Polytechnic Institute. He is getting further and further on the academic road, but he doesn’t care about personal life events.
   In a blink of an eye, Mendeleev was already 28 years old. His sister Basalkina was very anxious, so she tried her best to introduce a girl named Lesheva to him.
   When they first met, Resheva acted quiet and virtuous, which left a deep impression on Mendeleev. When he learned that this girl was the lifelong partner his sister had found for him, he acquiesced.
   Resheva was also moved by this young scientist. In order to deepen their understanding of each other, she secretly attended Mendeleev’s lectures and witnessed the students’ love and admiration for Mendeleev. She was also fascinated by his erudition.
   In this way, they began to interact, but when the initial novelty passed, the incompatibility in their personalities quickly became apparent, and they often got into arguments because of their inconsistent views.
   At that time, fearing the dissatisfaction of the people, the local government issued an order: “As soon as the masses gather, shoot, beat, and stab them immediately.” Mendeleev was not the kind of scholar who only stayed in the ivory tower and ignored the world, so he Very indignant.
   Resheva looked at Mendeleev’s face flushed with excitement, and timidly advised: “Stop saying such extreme things, the police will arrest you at any time.” But Mendeleev was not willing to listen. He expressed his anger by shouting that he wanted to resign.
   Seeing how stubborn he was, Lesheva felt that the man in front of her was too impulsive and unreasonable, and she began to break out hysterically. Mendeleev was even more annoyed. He did not expect that the woman he regarded as his lifelong partner would be so unsupportive and ignorant of him.
   He went to Basalkina disappointedly. After his sister’s persuasion, Mendeleev calmed down. After some reflection, he thought that Lesheva might be worried about his safety from the perspective of a relative, so he forgave her. Lisheva fell in love with her and continued to associate with her.
   However, although this incident passed quickly, it created a big gap in the hearts of the young lovers. One day, Mendeleev told Lesheva about his arduous journey of studying. He couldn’t help but sigh: “The education system should be reformed. There are the most talented people among civilians, so bursaries should be provided to students, so that students from civilian families can The children can study in university.”
   After hearing this, Lesheva muttered in a low voice: “It’s a fantasy, how can there be so much money for children from ordinary families?” This time, they were arguing again. After several months of dating, Mendeleev became more and more disappointed with Resheva. He felt that the two of them were from two different worlds and could not blend in.
   He once again told Basalkina about his difficulties, thinking that his sister would help him find a way to get the best of both worlds. Unexpectedly, his sister said fiercely: “Recall what Goethe said, the greatest sin is to deceive a girl. You and her You are engaged and become her fiancé. If you reject her again, what situation will she be in?”
   Mendeleev knew in his heart that this would be an unfortunate marriage, but his sister’s words made him change his mind. De relented: “If I break off the engagement, Resheva will be laughed at. What will she do then?”
   In the end, Mendeleev decided to give up his own happiness for Resheva’s reputation. In 1862, they held a simple wedding. Mendeleev was not as happy as the groom when the wedding came, and he did not even dare to imagine his future family life.
   After marriage, the two had a daughter Olga and a son Vladimir. But Mendeleev often felt lonely in his marriage, because every time his thoughts and opinions were not understood and supported by his other half. Over time, he gradually closed the door to his heart and no longer sought his wife’s care and comfort.
   Later, Mendeleev simply went out early and came back late. The two of them were like two parallel lines, with no way to connect. The misfortune of his marriage made Mendeleev devote all his time and enthusiasm to his work. He even joked to himself that it was Lesheva who made his career reach a higher level.
  In 1865, Mendeleev made rapid progress in his career. After passing the professor qualification examination, he became a professor of technical chemistry at St. Petersburg University and moved into the university apartment in the fall of the same year. There he would draw the first version of the periodic table.
  In 1867, Mendeleev began to
  write
   a general chemistry textbook “Principles of Chemistry” in order to systematically teach inorganic chemistry courses. In the process of writing the book, he encountered a problem, which was how to organize the 63 elements known at that time in a logical way.
   Every night, Mendeleev thought hard. He prepared many cards similar to playing cards. He wrote the names of 63 chemical elements and their atomic weights, oxides, physical properties, chemical properties, etc. on the cards respectively, and then used different words to describe them. method to lay out those cards to conduct element classification experiments.
   Initially, he classified the elements into groups of three, but the results were less than ideal. He also placed the non-metallic elements and the metallic elements together so that they were divided into two rows, but still failed. As the days passed, he played with the cards in various ways, but failed to achieve the best classification.
   Mendeleev spent several years studying and collecting elemental data, and wrote each element on a piece of paper, and wrote the atomic weight and related information on the card, thus creating a deck of 63 cards. Playing Cards”.
   Day after day, year after year, he kept playing with his “playing cards.” Once, he fiddled with it for three days and even ignored old friends who came to visit. At this time, Lesheva was too lazy to care about him anymore. They lived under the same roof, but they were like strangers.
   One day, Mendeleev went to the Academy of Fine Arts to give lectures and accidentally met Anna, a beautiful and talented student. Anna had light blue eyes, blond hair, and a graceful figure, which made Mendeleev’s heart suddenly move. Over the years, he had given up any hope in love. Unexpectedly, when he saw Anna for the first time, the excitement he felt when he met Mamantha suddenly emerged again. Perhaps in his heart, love has never died, but he has never met the person who understands him best.
   At this time, Mendeleev was flourishing in his career, and the maturity of the man also deeply attracted the 19-year-old Anna. They fell in love at first sight and soon fell in love.
   However, Anna’s parents did not agree with their daughter marrying this married man with children. To avoid trouble, they forcibly sent their daughter to study in Rome.
   In the lonely night, Mendeleev’s chest was burning with the raging fire of love. He forced himself to close his eyes, but all he saw was Anna’s figure. In a daze, he fell asleep in Anna’s shadow.
   This night, Mendeleev experienced a dream that will go down in history: 63 chemical elements fell into the corresponding grids to form a table. They are arranged according to atomic mass, showing regular changes as the mass increases.
   Mendeleev suddenly woke up. He was surprised to find that all known elements had been arranged in order of increasing atomic weight, and similar elements appeared at certain intervals. He was so excited that he didn’t expect that the knot he had been studying for so long but could not untie would come true in his dream. He immediately drew the same pattern on paper, making only one necessary modification.
   He found that this cyclical change was very similar to the ups and downs of trigonometric functions, so he borrowed the concept of function period and named this table – the periodic table of elements. This was the first periodic table of chemical elements in human history.
   Looking at this form, Mendeleev became even more convinced that Anna was the one he had been waiting for in his life and he must not miss it. Later, for the sake of happiness, he resolutely went abroad to find Anna.
   Under the blue Italian sky, Anna was also quietly listening to her own voice: “Is the other person the one she loves? How will the two of them face the huge age difference?” Maybe girls are emotional, and Anna faces Mendeleev suddenly had a strange feeling: “What I am facing is a huge and beautiful emotion, and it would be a sin to miss it.” So, she decided to accept Mendeleev.
   Mendeleev hugged Anna tightly, but next, he had to face the issue of divorce. According to religion, he should be punished and not have the right to remarry for 7 years. Mendeleev thought hard and finally found a way out in religious law. If the wedding was held in a church, the church could not dissolve the marriage because the marriage was unbreakable.
   So Mendeleev found a priest and asked him to fulfill his wish. But the priest did not want to violate his principles, and no matter how hard Mendeleev begged, he would not let go. In desperation, Mendeleev walked outside the church and leaned against the wall, sighing. He did not expect that he would meet the person he fell in love with in this life, but he still had no chance to be together. At that moment, he beat the wall and even contemplated suicide.
   This scene happened to be seen by the priest. He was moved by Mendeleev’s sincerity and finally agreed to hold a religious wedding for the “new couple” in violation of canonical rules.
   Two days later, the priest was dismissed from the priesthood, and Mendeleev’s religious wedding had been held, and everything was fine. From then on, Mendeleev and Anna lived a happy life.
   February 17, 1869, was the birth date of Mendeleev’s version of the periodic table of chemical elements. A month later, the Russian Chemical Society received the periodic law of chemical elements written by Mendeleev. The discovery was eventually published in the first volume of the Proceedings of the Russian Chemical Society.
   Mendeleev’s periodic table was arranged according to the atomic weight of the elements from light to heavy, and their properties changed periodically. Mendeleev’s brilliance lies in the fact that he reserved “rooms” for unknown elements in the “Empire Building of Elements”. Based on the laws of elements, he predicted the existence and properties of three new elements, namely gallium, scandium and germanium, and gave them temporary names: eka-aluminium, eka-boron and eka-silicon.
   With Anna by his side, Mendeleev began to make rapid progress in his research. He not only discovered the periodic law of elements, but also studied meteorology, agricultural chemistry, smokeless explosives, icebreakers, etc. He made considerable achievements in the above fields and became the “King of Crossovers”.
   After writing “Organic Chemistry”, Mendeleev took over the proofreading work of translating the German “Technical Encyclopedia” and wrote several chapters on a whim, gaining an astonishing reputation in the publishing industry.
   In 1871, Mendeleev drew his second periodic table of elements in his paper “Periodic Dependence of Chemical Elements”. This table changes the vertical rows in the original table to horizontal rows, so that elements of the same family are in the same vertical row, which further highlights the periodic law of elemental properties.
   The discovery of the periodic law of elements was like a bright beacon, illuminating the entire world of chemical elements. The United Nations designated 2019 as the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” and commented: “The periodic table of elements is one of the most outstanding discoveries in the history of science. It depicts not only the essence of chemistry, but also the essence of physics and biology. .”
   The colorful table attached to the back of almost every chemistry textbook has naturally undergone many changes and improvements compared to the version that Mendeleev copied from his dream 150 years ago. However, the original intention 150 years ago has been carried out. The periodic table of elements is the most precious legacy left to the world by Mendeleev, and it is also the light of chemistry that people will always admire.
   Mendeleev passed away due to myocardial infarction on February 2, 1907. Many people may think that he discovered the periodicity of elements by accident, but this accident actually came from his thousands of studies of elements. Just like the meeting between him and Anna, the long-awaited love is accidental and inevitable.

error: Content is protected !!