Who Is the Father of Chemistry?

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While “father of chemistry” is, of course, subjective, one individual with a claim to the title is Dimitri Mendeleev. Born in Siberia in 1834, Mendeleev devised a predictive model for chemistry known as the periodic table. This model was validated when it successfully predicted the properties of then-unknown elements.

At the time of Mendeleev’s work on the periodic table, only 56 elements were known to chemists. By observing that many of an element’s properties could be predicted by their atomic weight, Mendeleev was able to organize the known elements by weight and valence. This arrangement left several gaps that Mendeleev predicted would be filled by yet-undiscovered elements. When this proved to be true, the periodic table became central to the scientific theory of chemistry.