Dobereiner, Johann Wolfgang (1780-1849), a German chemist. He discovered furfural, an oily liquid used in making synthetic rubber, in refining gasoline, and as a bleaching agent. His discovery of the catalytic action of platinum led to his invention of the Dobereiner lamp, a fire-starting device widely used before the invention of matches. It consists of finely divided platinum whose catalytic action ignites a jet of hydrogen gas that is passed over it. Dobereiner also did early work in grouping chemical elements by triads (threes), a step in the development of the Periodic Table. Dbereiner was born in Bavaria. He was professor of chemistry and pharmacy at the University of Jena after 1810.
He is famous for a phrase he never said, for wearing turtlenecks and for hosting the original 'Cosmos' TV series. As enthusiastic about the stars as he was about marijuana, Carl Sagan led a very surprising life. Here are 10 cool facts.
The man immortalized on the left was behind the three laws of motion and the universal law of gravitation. He was also competitive, temperamental and fascinated with alchemy. How well do you know Newton?