February 8 marks the yearly day of Russian science, when past achievements are celebrated to inspire new generations for the future.
The list of Soviet and Russian specialists who have made crucial contributions to physics, chemistry, medicine and biology amongst others is too long to outline, but their work is used every day around the world.
The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, a basic tool used by scientists to explore matter and foresee the existence of new elements, was created by Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev in 1869.
In 2019, the UN celebrated The International Year of the Periodic Table, to mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery it called a window on the universe.
Humanity has known about several chemical elements since ancient times. In the 17th century, German alchemist Hennig Brand accidentally discovered a new element – phosphorus – and triggered a wave of scientific experiments.
Mendeleev was only 35 years old when he made the greatest discovery of his life.
He had suspected a relationship between the elements since he was a student, and over the years, this idea became an obsession. The anticipation of the imminent resolution of a question that tormented me put me in an excited state, he recalled.
For several weeks I slept fitfully, trying to find that magical principle. And then one fine morning, after spending a sleepless night. I lay down on the sofa in the office and fell asleep.
And in a dream, a table appeared to me quite clearly. Mendeleev arranged the elements by atomic weight and noted periodicity of properties. Then, he grouped the elements with similar properties below each other.
This system allowed Mendeleev to predict the existence of further elements. In the middle of the 19th century, only about 63 elements were known whereas now 118 elements currently populate the periodic table.
The latest addition, oganesson, is named after Russian nuclear scientist Yuri Oganesyan, who assisted in the discovery of several super heavy elements, now added to the table.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point Discovery Blog News 2023.