Chemists

Chemists are the scientists who specialize in the field of chemistry. They investigate the chemical nature of substances and how they behave under different conditions to search for new knowledge. Compounds, both organic and inorganic, are examined to determine their chemical and physical properties, composition, structure, and reactivity. Chemists try to decode the details of the chemical molecules and their component atoms. The knowledge gained through research is used to understand the composition and properties of unknown substances, and is used in practical applications in industries. Since chemicals play a vital role in virtually all types of industries, chemists are employed in various industrial establishments, especially those dealing in plastics, medicines, pharmaceuticals, and chemical industries. They also work in research and in university teaching positions. Newer discoveries and findings in the field of chemistry lead to the development of better products, processes and analytical methods. Chemistry is a vast field divided into several overlapping sub-branches: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, etc. Chemists primarily work in laboratories and use a variety of techniques in their research like spectroscopy, chromatography, and spectrophotometry. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous chemists, through their biographies and timelines, from all over the world.
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 1 Dmitri Mendeleev

Dmitri Mendeleev
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Famous As: Inventor of Periodic Table
Birthdate: February 8, 1834
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 2, 1907
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev created the Periodic Law and his version of the Periodic Table of Elements that revolutionized the field of chemistry. His table was independent of German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer’s version of the table. Mendeleev also assisted in the development of the first oil refinery in Russia.

 2 Marie Curie

Marie Curie
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Famous As: First woman to win a Nobel Prize
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French, Polish
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 3 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur
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Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: French
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 4 Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday
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Famous As: Physicist & Chemist
Birthdate: September 22, 1791
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 25, 1867

Michael Faraday was an English scientist known for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Considered one of the most influential scientists ever, Faraday's inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices established the basis for electric motor technology. His research also helped understand the concept of the electromagnetic field. Ernest Rutherford called him one of the greatest scientific discoverers ever.

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 5 Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: French
Died: March 17, 1956

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

 6 Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel
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Birthdate: October 21, 1833
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Swedish
Died: December 10, 1896

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and inventor. A prolific inventor, he held 355 different patents. Most popular as the inventor of dynamite, he was concerned with how he would be remembered after his death and bequeathed his fortune to the Nobel Prize institution. A wide traveler, he was proficient in several languages.

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 7 Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: April 16, 1958
Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses. 
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 8 Antoine Lavoisier

Antoine Lavoisier
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 26, 1743
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: French
Died: May 8, 1794

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist and nobleman. He played a crucial role during the chemical revolution of the 18th-century. Widely regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier had a major influence on the history of biology as well as the history of chemistry. He also helped build the metric system. 

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 9 Marina Oswald

Marina Oswald
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Famous As: Pharmacist
Birthdate: July 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American, Russian

 10 Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling
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Famous As: Chemist, Biochemist
Birthdate: February 28, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: August 19, 1994
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 11 Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann
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Famous As: The First Person to Synthesize LSD
Birthdate: January 11, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Swiss
Died: April 29, 2008

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was the first known person to synthesize the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Interested in science from a young age, he studied chemistry at the University of Zürich. As a chemist, he conducted several significant studies and authored more than 100 scientific articles and books. He was a recipient of the prestigious Scheele Award.

 12 Jerry Buss

Jerry Buss
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: January 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: February 18, 2013
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 13 Fritz Haber

Fritz Haber
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: January 29, 1934

Fritz Haber was a German chemist who was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry for inventing the Haber-Bosch process. The process is used widely to synthesize ammonia from hydrogen gas and nitrogen gas. For his pioneering work in weaponizing poisonous gases like chlorine during World War I, Haber is referred to as the father of chemical warfare.

 14 Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle
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Famous As: Founder of Modern Chemistry, Boyle's Law
Birthdate: January 25, 1627
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: December 30, 1691

Robert Boyle was an Anglo-Irish chemist, natural philosopher, inventor, and physicist. Regarded as the first modern chemist, Boyle is often counted among the founders of modern chemistry. One of the pioneers of the scientific method, Robert Boyle is also remembered for his books, including The Sceptical Chymist, which is viewed as a keystone book in chemistry.

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 15 Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy
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Famous As: Inventor of Davy Lamp
Birthdate: December 17, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: May 29, 1829

 16 Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley
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Famous As: Discoverer of Oxygen
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 6, 1804

 17 Amedeo Avogadro

Amedeo Avogadro
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Famous As: Chemist and Physicist
Birthdate: August 9, 1776
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Italian
Died: July 9, 1856

Son of a reputed senator and lawyer in Italy, Amedeo Avogadro was himself a qualified lawyer. However, he later delved into research as a mathematical physicist and is best remembered for laying down the Avogadro’s law, contributing to the molecular theory of gases. The Avogadro constant is named after him.

 18 Owsley Stanley

Owsley Stanley
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Famous As: Chemist, Engineer, Audio engineer
Birthdate: January 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: March 12, 2011
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 19 William Henry Perkin

William Henry Perkin
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 12, 1838
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 14, 1907

 20 Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou
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Famous As: chemist, pharmacologist, inventor, university teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Chinese

 21 Alexander Shulgin

Alexander Shulgin
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: June 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: June 2, 2014

 22 Henry Cavendish

Henry Cavendish
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 10, 1731
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: February 24, 1810
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 23 Charles Macintosh

Charles Macintosh
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Famous As: Chemist, Inventor
Birthdate: December 29, 1766
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: July 25, 1843

 24 Joachim Sauer

Joachim Sauer
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Famous As: Chemist, University teacher
Birthdate: April 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
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 25 Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: February 8, 1794
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: March 25, 1867

 26 Hans Christian Ørsted

Hans Christian Ørsted
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 14, 1777
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Danish
Died: March 9, 1851

Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish chemist and physicist. He was the first person to discover that electric currents can be used to create magnetic fields. His discovery was the first relationship found between magnetism and electricity. Oersted, the unit of the auxiliary magnetic field H, is named in his honor.

 27 Percy Lavon Julian

Percy Lavon Julian
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: April 19, 1975

 28 Ahmed Zewail

Ahmed Zewail
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: February 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Egyptian
Died: August 2, 2016
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 29 Otto Hahn

Otto Hahn
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: July 28, 1968
Nobel Prize-winning German chemist Otto Hahn is remembered for revolutionary discovery of nuclear fission, along with Fritz Strassmann. Born to a glazier, he was pushed to study architecture but chose chemistry instead. He spent his final years grieving the death of his only son in a car accident.

 30 C. N. R. Rao

C.N.R. Rao
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: June 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian
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 31 Jabir Ibn Hayyan

Jabir Ibn Hayyan
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Famous As: Alchemist
Birthdate: 0721 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0815 AD

Eighth-century alchemist and physician Jabir Ibn Hayyan has been credited with too many written works. Experts believe his vast works may not have been written by a single person. The Jabirian corpus, a collection of his works, is known for its "method of the balance" and its focus on chemistry.

 32 Chaim Weizmann

Chaim Weizmann
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Famous As: Former President of Israel
Birthdate: November 27, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: November 9, 1952

 33 Helen Sharman

Helen Sharman
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: May 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 34 Frederick Sanger

Frederick Sanger
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: November 19, 2013

 35 Svante Arrhenius

Svante Arrhenius
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: February 19, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Swedish
Died: October 2, 1927

Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish scientist who became the first Swedish person to win a Nobel Prize when he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903. Although he was originally a physicist, Arrhenius is widely accepted as a chemist and is best remembered for co-founding physical chemistry. Stockholm University houses the Arrhenius Labs, which is named in his honor.

 36 John Pemberton

John Pemberton
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Famous As: Pharmacist, Inventor, Chemist
Birthdate: July 8, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: August 16, 1888

 37 Aleksandr Borodin

Aleksandr Borodin
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Famous As: Composer, Chemist
Birthdate: November 12, 1833
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 27, 1887

Aleksandr Borodin was a Russian musical composer. He was one of the popular 19th-century group of musicians known as The Five, who worked together to create a national style of classical music. A chemist and doctor by profession, Borodin also made important contributions to organic chemistry. His best known work as a chemist is his work pertaining to organic synthesis.

 38 Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin
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Famous As: Composer, Chemist
Birthdate: November 12, 1833
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 27, 1887

 39 Glenn T. Seaborg

Glen T. Seaborg
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 19, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: February 25, 1999

 40 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: September 27, 1944

 41 Prafulla Chandra Ray

Prafulla Chandra Ray
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Indian
Died: June 16, 1944

 42 Charles Goodyear

Charles Goodyear
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Famous As: Inventor, Chemist, Engineer
Birthdate: December 29, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: July 1, 1860

 43 Elio Di Rupo

Elio Di Rupo
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Belgian

 44 James Lovelock

James Lovelock
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Famous As: Biologist, Chemist, University teacher, Mythographer
Birthdate: July 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 45 Thomas Midgley, Jr.

Thomas Midgley, Jr.
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Birthdate: May 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: November 2, 1944

 46 Joseph Swan

Joseph Swan
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Famous As: Chemist, Physicist, Inventor
Birthdate: October 31, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: May 27, 1914

 47 Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: May 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: July 29, 1994

 48 Gerolamo Cardano

Gerolamo Cardano
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 21, 1576

 49 John Kendrew

John Kendrew
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Famous As: Biochemist and Crystallographer
Birthdate: March 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: August 23, 1997

 50 John Herschel

John Herschel
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 11, 1871
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