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.

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.

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  • Johann Rudolf Glauber

    Johann Rudolf Glauber

    Glauber, Johann Rudolf (1604-1668), a German chemist. Glauber was the first to describe clearly the preparation of hydrochloric acid. See more »

  • Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner

    Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner

    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. See more »

  • Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

    Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

    Gay-Lussac, Joseph Louis (1778-1850), a French chemist and physicist. The formulation of Gay-Lussac's Law (1808) was an important step toward the discovery of fundamental properties of gases. See more »

  • Joseph Priestley

    Joseph Priestley

    Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804), an English chemist and clergyman. In 1774 Priestley discovered dephlogisticated air (oxygen). See more »

  • Otto Hahn

    Otto Hahn

    Hahn, Otto (1879–1968), a German physical chemist. In 1938 Hahn and Fritz Strassmann split nuclei of uranium atoms into roughly equal segments. See more »

  • Percy Lavon Julian

    Percy Lavon Julian

    Julian, Percy Lavon (1899–1975), a United States chemist. His research during the 1940's made possible the quantity production of testosterone and progesterone (the male and female hormones) and cortisone from soybeans. See more »

  • Sir William Crookes

    Sir William Crookes

    Crookes, Sir William (1832-1919), an English physicist and chemist. In the 1870's he developed a pump that would create a much greater vacuum than had been possible before. See more »

  • Thomas Graham

    Thomas Graham

    Graham, Thomas (1805–1869), a Scottish chemist. He was a pioneer in the study of the mixtures called solutions, and originated the branch of chemistry that deals with colloidal solutions. See more »

  • William Draper Harkins

    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. See more »

  • William Henry Perkin

    William Henry Perkin

    Perkin, Sir William Henry (1838-1907), an English chemist. In 1856, while working with coal tar chemicals in an attempt to synthesize quinine, Perkin, then only 18, developed the first synthetic dye mauve, or aniline purple. See more »

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