Dmitri Mendeleyev and the Periodic Table
Born in an isolated Siberian village in 1834, Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleyev overcame great odds to become the most brilliant and acclaimed scientist in the field of chemistry in the nineteenth century. His mother s determination overcame the objections of those who believed he was a poor student. She took him the long, hard way across Siberia to Moscow and later St. Petersburg where finally Mendeleyev was admitted to a teachers college. Despite his mother s death and his own serious illness, he was awarded the gold medal for best student of the year in 1855. As a young chemistry teacher during the progressive educational reforms of Czar Alexander II, Mendeleyev was sent to study in Europe in order to bring the latest developments in science back to Russia. He did so well that the chemistry textbooks he wrote became standard texts all over the world, and his Periodic Table of the Elements formed the foundation for all the advances in chemistry from his time until the present.