Chemists have changed the way that science looks at the world. By breaking substances down to the atomic level, chemists have greatly expanded our knowledge of the world. Click here to find articles about the greatest chemists in history.

William Draper Harkins

Harkins, William Draper (1873–1951), a United States physical chemist. In 1915 he suggested the theory of thermonuclear fusion—that great amounts of energy are liberated by the fusion of four hydrogen atoms to form a helium atom.

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  • Amedeo Avogadro

    Amedeo Avogadro

    Avogadro, Amedeo (1776-1856), an Italian physicist and chemist. His research in molecular structure was one of the early steps leading to modern atomic theory. See more »

  • Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier

    Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier

    Lavoisier, Antoine-Laurent (1743-1794), a French chemist. By 1777 Lavoisier had concluded that combustion, or burning, is the chemical union of the burning substance with a gas that he named oxygen. See more »

  • Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach

    Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach

    Welsbach, Baron Carl Auer von (1858-1929), an Austrian chemist. During the 1880's in the laboratory of Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, inventor of the Bunsen burner, he did research on rare-earth elements and their compounds. See more »

  • Baron Jons Jakob Berzelius

    Baron Jons Jakob Berzelius

    Berzelius, Jons Jakob, Baron (1779-1848), the Swedish chemist who devised the system of chemical symbols and formulas. See more »

  • Charles Martin Hall

    Charles Martin Hall

    Hall, Charles Martin (1863–1914), a United States chemist and industrialist. He invented the modern commercial method of producing aluminum. See more »

  • Friedrich Wohler

    Friedrich Wohler

    Wohler, Friedrich (1800-1882), a German chemist. He was the first to create an organic substance from inorganic chemicals; in 1828 he heated ammonium cyanate, an inorganic compound, and created urea, a compound found in animal urine. See more »

  • Gertrude B. Elion

    Gertrude B. Elion

    Elion, Gertrude B. (1918-1999), a United States biochemist and pharmacologist. She shared with George Hitchings one half of the 1988 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine, awarded for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment. See more »

  • Haber, Fritz

    Haber, Fritz

    Haber, Fritz (1868-1934) was a German physical chemist most renowned for synthesizing ammonia from its essential elements, nitrogen and hydrogen, for which he won the 1918 Nobel Prize in chemistry. See more »

  • Harvey Washington Wiley

    Harvey Washington Wiley

    Wiley, Harvey Washington (1844-1930), a United States chemist. His campaign against adulterated food resulted in the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906. See more »

  • James Bryant Conant

    James Bryant Conant

    Conant, James Bryant (1893-1978), a United States chemist, educator, and diplomat. See more »

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