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Inorganic chemists specialize in the research of inorganic compounds. They study the properties, reactivity, and behaviour of all chemical elements that are inorganic in nature. Inorganic compounds are those which are of non-biological origins and do not contain hydrocarbon radicals. Though inorganic chemistry is considered a discipline distinct from organic chemistry, these fields often overlap. Inorganic chemists study the chemical compounds, understand their properties and behaviour and determine how these compounds can be modified and used in industrial applications. Inorganic chemistry deals with the properties of chemicals at the molecular level, and chemists in this field analyze inorganic compounds to determine their physical and chemical properties, structure, compositions and reactivity. Techniques used for research include spectrophotometry, spectroscopy and chromatography. Inorganic chemists have to be highly creative individuals with an ability to think abstractly. They mostly work in the laboratory in active collaboration with physicists, engineers and material scientists to develop, and improvise industrial products. This field of chemistry has applications in all areas of the chemical industry including catalysts, pigments, surfactants, medicine, fuel, and materials science. Inorganic chemists work in government agencies, research institutions, industries, and universities. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous inorganic chemists.
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Birthdate: December 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France
Died: November 15, 1919
Alfred Werner was a Swiss chemist who is credited with developing the fundamental for modern coordination chemistry. In 1913, he became the first inorganic chemist to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he won for proposing the correct configuration of transition metal complexes.
Birthdate: September 28, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: February 20, 1907
Henri Moissan was a French chemist and pharmacist. He is best known for his work in isolating fluorine from its compounds, an achievement that earned him the 1906 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was one of the original members of the International Atomic Weights Committee. He also made significant contributions to the production of artificial diamonds.
Birthdate: January 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Olten, Solothurn, Switzerland
Died: October 12, 1965
Paul Hermann Müller was a Swiss chemist known for his discovery of insecticidal qualities and the use of DDT in the control of vector diseases. He received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work. He began his career as a research chemist and later became the Deputy Director of Scientific Research on Substances for Plant Protection.
(Inorganic and Organic Chemist Who Won Nobel Prize for Studying the Structure of Boranes)
Birthdate: December 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: April 14, 2011
William Lipscomb was an American inorganic and organic chemist. He is best remembered for winning the 1976 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He won the award for studying the structure of boranes, which thew light on the problems of chemical bonding. William Lipscomb is also remembered for his work in theoretical chemistry, nuclear magnetic resonance, biochemistry, and boron chemistry.
(Russian, Latvian and German Chemist Who is Known for his Work in Stereochemistry)
Birthdate: July 26, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: January 22, 1957
Paul Walden was a chemist best remembered for his work in stereochemistry. He is credited with inventing the stereochemical reaction, which came to be known as Walden inversion. Over the course of his illustrious career, Paul Walden was honored with several prestigious awards, including the Gmelin-Beilstein Medal in 1954.