International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Need ideas to celebrate a science anniversary in 2011?

Idea by Fabienne Meyers   |   added on Dec 14, 2010 05:04PM Suggestion Suggestion
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Here is just a few key events from Timetables of Science:

25th anniversary of: [in 1986]

·         Dudley R. Herschback and Yuan T. Lee, inventors of the crossed-beam molecular technique, and John C. Polyani, inventor of chemiluminescence as a way of studying chemical reactions and bonds, win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry

·         K. Alex Müller and J. Georg Bednorz discover an oxide combination that is superconducting at 30 degrees Kelvin, the highest known temperature for superconductivity

·         Heinrich Rohrer and Gerd Binnig and Ernst Ruska share the Nobel Prize for Physics, Ruska for designing the first electron microscope and Rohrer and Binnig for designing the scanning tunneling microscope


50th anniversary of: [in 1961]

·         Melvin Calvin wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the chemistry of photosynthesis

·         The artificial element 103, lawrencium, is produced by a team led by Albert Ghiorso

·         Marshall Warren Nirenberg works out the first “letter” of the genetic code

·         Robert Hofstadter discovers that protons and neutrons have a structure


75th anniversary of: [in 1936]

·         Catalytic cracking is developed for refining petroleum

·         Peter J.W. Debye wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his study of dipolar moments

·         Robert R. Williams synthesis vitamin B1 (thiamine)

·         Erwin Wilhelm Mueller develops the field-emission microscope

·         introduction of fluorescent lighting


100th anniversary of:  [in 1911]

·         Thomas Hunt Morgan begins to map the positions of genes on chromosomes of the fruit fly

·         Alfred Henry Sturtevant produces first chromosome map showing five sex-linked genes

·         William Burton introduces thermal cracking of refining petroleum

·         Chaim Weizmann discovers how to obtain acetone from bacteria involved in fermenting grain

·         Niels Henrik Bohr makes his first attempt to link atomic structure to Planck’s constant

·         Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovers superconductivity in mercury cooled close to absolute zero

·         Ernest Rutherford presents his theory of the atom, consisting of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negative electrons

·         Federick Soddy observes that whenever an atom emits an alpha particle, it changes to an element two places down in the list of atomic masses

·         Marie Curie wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her discovery of radium and polonium

·         Wilhelm Wien wins the Nobel Prize for Physics for determining the laws of radiation of black bodies

·         The first Solvay conference is held, bringing together many of the physicists involved in the new study of the atom


150th anniversary of: [in 1861]

·         William Crookes discovers thallium as a bright green line in the spectrum of a selenium ore he is investigating; thalliu means “green twig”

·         Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen discover a bright red line in a spectrum that represents a new element, which they name rubidium for “red”

·         Ernest Solvay discovers a process for making sodium bicarbonate from salt water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide, which is much more economical than preceding processes


200th anniversary of: [in 1811]

·         Amedo Avogadro, comte de Quarenga, proposes that equal volumes of any gas at any given temperature and pressure always contain an equal numbers of molecules (Avogadro’s law)

·         Jöns Jakob Berzelius introduces a system of chemical symbols that forms the basis the system used today

·         Bernard Courtois discovers the element iodine in seaweed, but does not recognize it as a new element; it is so recognized by Humphry Davy in 1814

·         Gottlieb Sigismund Constantin Kirchhoff prepares glucose by heating starch with sulfuric acid

·         Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin discovers uric acid in the excrement of birds

·         Samuel Hahnemann publishes a catalog of homeopathic drugs

·         François Arago discovers optical activity of quartz

·         Simeon-Denis Poisson develops a mathematical theory of heat based on the work of Jean-Baptiste Fourier


250th anniversary of: [in 1761]

·          Joseph Black discovers latent heat


350th anniversary of: [in 1661]

·         Publication of Boyle’s The sceptical chymist introduces the modern concepts of element, alkali, and acid and refutes many of the ideas of Aristotle and Paracelsus on the chemical composition of matter


400th anniversary of:

·         Johannes Kepler’s A new year’s gift, or On the six-cornered snowflake is the first published description of the hexagonal nature of snowflakes in the West, although this characteristic was known earlier in China.

·         Marco de Dominis publishes a scientific explanation of the rainbow


Reference: The Timetables of Science – A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Science, by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan H. Bunch, 1988, published by Simon and Schuster (ISBN 067162130-0)

Topic: history of chemistry Audience: iyc enthusiasts, teachers


Fabienne Meyers
Mar 31, 2011 02:35PM

One missing above is Robert Bunsen, and today marks the 200th anniversary of his birth ... read more about Bunsen on the RSC website. No cake today for Robert but a Google Doogle! (check the collection and look for March 31, 2011) - take a look here on YouTube

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