SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev, Russian chemist, born Tobol'sk, Siberia on February 7, 1834, died St Petersburg (Leningrad), February 2, 1907. In 1869, whilst professor of chemistry at the University of St Petersburg, Mendeleyev proposed a classification of the chemical elements which is still in use today - the Periodic Table. He grouped the 62 elements he knew of into a number of families, leaving gaps corresponding to elements that should exist but which had not yet been discovered. The subsequent discovery of such 'new' elements as gallium and germanium was a vindication of Mendeleyev's system.
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