Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov proposed wave theory of light, kinetic theory of gases

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov – Russian polymath

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & contributions

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov was a Russian writer, chemist born on November 19, 1711 – died on April 15, 1765. Lomonosov was the first chemist to record the freezing point of mercury. He had done many important works like proposed wave theory of light, formulated the kinetic theory of gases, explained about origin of coal, petroleum etc. In 1739, in Freiberg, Lomonosov studied firsthand the technologies of mining, metallurgy, and glassmaking.

Kinetic theory of gases

It states that a gas as a large number of small particles all of which are in constant, random motion. According to theory gas consists of very small particles known as molecules with same mass. Rapidly moving particles constantly collide among themselves and with the walls of the container. The study of the molecules of a gas is a good example of a physical situation where statistical methods give precise and dependable results for macroscopic manifestations of microscopic phenomena.

Types of gas laws

  • Boyle's Law
  • Charles' Law
  • Avogadro's Law
  • Graham’s Law

Facts about mercury

The oldest sample of mercury dates to about the fifteenth or sixteen century B.C. Mercury was known to ancient Chinese and Hindus before 2000 BC and was found in tubes in Egyptian tombs dated from 1500 BC. Greeks used mercury in ointments, Romans used it in cosmetics. World production of mercury is around 8 tonnes per year.

Mercury also called quicksilver and it is the only liquid metal. In fact, author Lewis Carroll (1832-98) created a character for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that owes its origins to the symptoms of mercury poisoning/ Extraction of mercury from cinnabar ore. Cinnabar is heated in air. The compound breaks down to give mercury metal. It is then purified by distillation. Mercury that is more than 99 percent pure can be collected by distillation.

Mercury Properties

It can be turned into solid at a temperature of -38.85°C and it can even changed into gas ay 365.6°C. Mercury is also a very good conductor of electricity. Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers and other scientific apparatus, consumer batteries and fluorescent lighting. Mercury, like lead, is a neurotoxin, and elevated blood mercury levels have led to retardation and deformities in children. Famous author Lewis Carroll created a character for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that owes its origins to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Its ease in amalgamating with gold is used in the recovery of gold from its ores.

Seven naturally occurring isotopes of mercury are known. They are

Mercury-196

Mercury-198

Mercury-199

Mercury-200

Mercury-201

Mercury-202

Mercury-204

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