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Klaproth, Martin Heinrich

chemistry analytical elements

[klap roht] (1743–1817) German chemist: a founder of analytical chemistry and discoverer of new elements.

Klaproth came into chemistry from an apprenticeship as an apothecary, as did a number of chemists of his time. By 1810 his fame was such that he had left his pharmacy and was appointed the first professor of chemistry in the new university of Berlin. Before then he had done much to develop analytical chemistry, and the standard methods of gravimetric analysis (eg heating precipitates to constant weight) owe much to him. His analyses led him to deduce that new elements must be present in various minerals; eg uranium in pitchblende (1789; named in honour of the new planet, Uranus) zirconium in zircon (also in 1789), strontium in strontianite (1793) and titanium in rutile (1795). In each case, the free element was later isolated by others. He began the study of the rare earth metals, and he showed that nickel is present in meteorites. He was an early supporter of ideas and did much to ensure that they were taught in Germany.

Klein, Calvin - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact, Chronology: Calvin Klein [next] [back] Kitt, Eartha (1927–)

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