Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1869. 1st Edition. FIRST GERMAN EDITION OF MENDELÉEV’S DOCTORAL DISSERTATION "O soedineni spirta s vodoyu" from 1865. On the basis of his successful defense of his study of the interaction between alcohol and water and the densities of their combination, Mendeleev achieved tenure at St. Petersburg University in 1867 and became a full professor of technical chemistry. Two years later, Mendeleev formulated the periodic table of elements. He was the first chemist to understand that all elements are related members of a single ordered system. He converted what had hitherto been a highly fragmented and speculative branch of chemistry into a true, logical science.
Working during the early 1860s, Mendeleev began to further develop concepts he had been considering since the mid 1850s, concepts ultimately expressed in his thesis. As he furthered his study of solutions, Mendeleev “gave the term ‘indefinite compounds’ to substances that had constant physical properties, but varied composition, such as solutions, alloys, isomorphous mixtures, and silicates… Underlying this interest was Mendeleev’s concern that the formation or composition of indefinite compounds was difficult to explain in terms of atomic theory, which was based on the concept of definite proportions… Such compounds had been little studied, and Mendeleev himself could not explain their formation properly. [He emphasized, however] the following points: [these compounds] are not simple physical mixtures; some chemical energy must be involved in their formation; and they show some properties similar to those of definite compounds” (Scerri, Mendeleev to Organesson, 223).
Mendeleev followed this line of research for his 1865 doctoral dissertation in which “he first developed the characteristic view that solutions are chemical compounds and that dissolving one substance into another is not to be distinguished from other forms of chemical combination. In this thesis, he also adhered to the principles of chemical atomism."(Dictionary of Scientific Biography).
Just five years later in 1869, Mendeleev would state that “the properties of the elements, as well as those of their compounds, are periodic functions of their atomic weights (relative atomic masses). [Mendeleev argued] that 'the elements arranged according to the magnitude of atomic weights show a periodic change of properties’… Mendeleev compiled the first true periodic table, listing all 63 elements then known… Also, in order to make the table work [he left] gaps, [predicting] that further elements would eventually be discovered to fit these predictions provided the strongest endorsement of the periodic law" (Hutchinson, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, pp. 475-76).
“Mendeleev’s genius lay in recognizing that just as it was the element in the abstract sense that survived intact in the course of compound formation, so atomic weight was the only quantity that survived in measurable amounts. He therefore took the step of associating these two features: an element was to be characterized by its atomic weight. In a sense an abstract element had acquired a single measurable attribute that would remain unchanged in all its chemical combinations. Here, then, was a profound justification for using atomic weight as the basis for the classification of the elements” (Scerri, Selected Papers on the Periodic Table, 114).
Also included are papers by Kohlrausch, Fizeau, Zöllner etc. and Julius Thomsen's "Thermochemische Untersuchungen".
Note that we offer other Mendeleev papers separately. Item #1148
CONDITION & DETAILS: Leipzig, Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1869. Illustrated throughout. 6 plates. Ex-libris with a single stamp on the title page and two paper labels on the spine pages; slightly toned preliminaries. Tightly bound in maroon cloth over marbled boards; minor scuffing at the edge tips. Very good condition.