Greatest Discoveries in Chemistry

  • Discovery of Oxygen

    Discovery of Oxygen
    Oxygen was discovered by Joseph Priestly. He was a clergy man and part time chemist. He heated mercuric calcium melting it and discovered oxygen from the reaction.
  • Atomic Theory

    Atomic Theory
    The atomic theory was first started by Democritus. He believed that the world was made of small, indivisible things. John Dalton made this theory a fact. He found the atomic weights of the atoms of many elements. His atomic theory also explained the relationship between atoms and elements.
  • Electricity in Chemistry

    Electricity in Chemistry
    Humphry Davy was a self taught chemist. While experimenting with batteries, he found that electrical currents can have an effect chemicals causing reactions to occur. He discovered that pure potassium is in pot ash due to his experimentation with electricity.
  • Colors of the Atoms

    Colors of the Atoms
    Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff found that each individual element had a signature color. They created the spectroscope to find this as well as two new elements. The spectroscope is still used today for space exploration.
  • Chemical Structure of Compounds

    Chemical Structure of Compounds
    Compounds can be made up of multiple elements. August Kekulé helped form a system to visualize the form of a molecule. It showed how elements would combine together to form compounds. This helped future chemist form a multitude of compounds.
  • The Table of Elements

    The Table of Elements
    Dmitri Mendeleev a Russian chemist, who wanted to help his student learn about the elements, arrange the elements on individual note cards. He noticed that there was a pattern. This was the first iteration of the Periodic Table. He also left open spots for future elements. His table was also revamped to the more modern one now.
  • The Electron

    The Electron
    Joseph Thompson was the first person to find the sub particles within an atom. He was able to weigh the mass and find the electric charge of the electron. He used a crookes tube to find that there was a negative charge within atoms.
  • Radioactivity

    X-rays was discovered in 1890s. Ernest Rutherford found that radioactive atoms have a natural decay. He also discovered the that radioactivity had alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. He found out that radioactive waves can go through matter. Marie-Curry was also a huge contributor to radioactive discovery. She found the elements polonium and radium. Unfortunately, the hazards of radioactivity was not known and affected her death until she died.
  • Plastics

    Plastic is a polymer. A polymer is a long chain molecule. This gives plastic moldability, pretty decent tensile strength, and it is stronger than natural fibers. It is one of the most important building blocks in modern civilization.
  • Atoms and Their Electrons

    Atoms and Their Electrons
    Gilbert Lewis discovered that electrons within atoms move in patterns. He believed that there were rings around the nucleus that contained the electrons. Only electrons on the outer most ring could move or add new electrons when combining to make new compounds. He created the Lewis structure which is still used today.