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.
One was a celebrated author, the other a famed physicist. What the two shared was a public exposure of their religious beliefs. Big E had an on-again, off-again relationship with God, while C.S. was an avowed atheist during his early years.
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.