by Maria Zhuldybina
Mendeleev was born in the village of Verkhnie Aremzyani, in Siberia, to Ivan Pavlovich Mendeleev and Maria Dmitrievna Mendeleeva. Mendeleev was raised as an Orthodox Christian. He studied in Saint Petersburg State University. His dissertation was about "On the Combinations of Water with Alcohol".
In 1863 there were 56 known elements with a new element being discovered at a rate of approximately one per year. Other scientists had previously identified periodicity of elements.
After becoming a teacher, Mendeleev wrote the definitive textbook of his time: Principles of Chemistry. As he attempted to classify the elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns that led him to postulate his periodic table; he claimed to have envisioned the complete arrangement of the elements in a dream:
Since Mendeleev's discovery in 1869, the periodic table has figured as the ultimate paper tool in chemical research. It has proved to be a vital research instrument in the arsenal of the chemical community, and for over a hundred years, chemists have placed their faith in this magnificent compass which has guided them through unknown oceans, always pointing to some mysterious new phenomena. As Dennis Rouvray poetically said: "Chemistry without the periodic table is as hard to imagine as sailing without a compass." No lecture theatre or scientific laboratory is complete without a copy of the periodic table decorating its walls, and Mendeleev's polychromatic icon is found in chemistry textbooks from all over the world. Without a doubt, Mendeleev's table has become the undisputed cornerstone of chemistry since 1869.