Early Russian Organic Chemists and Their Legacy by David E Lewis

By David E Lewis

The natural chemists of Russia in the course of the pre-revolutionary interval incorporated probably the most inventive and proficient chemists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. certainly, this is often attested via the variety of reactions and empirical ideas bearing their names. This quantity is of curiosity for either historians of chemistry and natural chemists wishing to find extra in regards to the old improvement in their self-discipline in Russia. From the founding of the Russian Academy of Sciences by means of Peter the good in 1725 to the early years of the 19th century, Russian natural chemistry used to be mostly within the arms of overseas scientists. even if, the Russification of natural chemistry in Russia had all started ahead of the center of the 19th century, and reached its zenith over the last 1/2 an identical century, through which time bright faculties of chemistry had arisen within the jap urban of Kazan', at Moscow and at St. Petersburg. through the top of the century, the Chairs of natural chemistry at universities in the course of the Russian empire have been occupied by way of Russian chemists, virtually half them informed at Kazan'. This quantity discusses the contributions of those natural chemists which come with: the structural concept of natural chemistry, empirical ideas for addition and removal, reactions related to carbon nucleophiles, reminiscent of the aldol response and alcohol synthesis utilizing organozinc nucleophiles, the invention of sulfoxides and sulfonium salts, and a number of very important redox reactions.

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By David E Lewis

The natural chemists of Russia in the course of the pre-revolutionary interval incorporated probably the most inventive and proficient chemists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. certainly, this is often attested via the variety of reactions and empirical ideas bearing their names. This quantity is of curiosity for either historians of chemistry and natural chemists wishing to find extra in regards to the old improvement in their self-discipline in Russia. From the founding of the Russian Academy of Sciences by means of Peter the good in 1725 to the early years of the 19th century, Russian natural chemistry used to be mostly within the arms of overseas scientists. even if, the Russification of natural chemistry in Russia had all started ahead of the center of the 19th century, and reached its zenith over the last 1/2 an identical century, through which time bright faculties of chemistry had arisen within the jap urban of Kazan', at Moscow and at St. Petersburg. through the top of the century, the Chairs of natural chemistry at universities in the course of the Russian empire have been occupied by way of Russian chemists, virtually half them informed at Kazan'. This quantity discusses the contributions of those natural chemists which come with: the structural concept of natural chemistry, empirical ideas for addition and removal, reactions related to carbon nucleophiles, reminiscent of the aldol response and alcohol synthesis utilizing organozinc nucleophiles, the invention of sulfoxides and sulfonium salts, and a number of very important redox reactions.

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D. in 1804. However, he soon turned his efforts to chemistry. He was one of the first to embrace Dalton’s atomic theory, and spent a considerable part of his early professional life to gaining evidence to support the Law of Definite Proportions; in the course of this work, he developed the first accurate table of atomic weights. He also developed the modern chemist’s short-hand for writing formulas, replacing John Dalton’s pictograms by the modern one- or two-letter symbols for the elements. From his researches with the electricity, he developed the theory that atoms formed certain stable groupings, which he termed, ‘‘radicles,’’ that behaved as a single unit in chemical reactions.

E. 1007/978-3-642-28219-5_3, Ó The Author(s) 2012 37 38 3 The Rise of Organic Chemistry in Russia Fig. 1 Kazan’ city in 1828 from a drawing by K. K. Klaus. 1 Introduction: Kazan’ University There is a level of consensus among historians of Russian organic chemistry that the beginnings of Russian organic chemistry are best traced to Kazan’. The city itself is ancient, having celebrated its millennium in 2005. It is generally believed to have been founded as a military outpost by the Volga Bulgars, but its strategic position for trade made it a major trading center along the Volga River.

Within five years, Zinin had also reported the preparation of azoxybenzene, azobenzene, and benzidine (via hydrazobenzene, an easily oxidized compound that he attempted to purify and stabilize by treating it with sulfuric acid to convert it to the much less easily oxidized hydrogen sulfate salt) [19]. O NO2 NH3;H2S N EtOH N H O N NH3/H2S N N EtOH N NH2 N 1) NH3/H2S N 2) H2SO4/ H2N Zinin’s reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline had a dramatic impact on the development of aromatic chemistry. Zinin made his discovery at the beginning of the intensive investigation of coal tar by Hofmann, who quickly recognized its importance.

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