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CHEM: Famous Chemists (Chukwu)

What is in this guide?

Portraits of chemists

Use the resources listed in this guide to begin your research on famous chemists. If you are having trouble finding sources for your assignment, ask a librarian for help.

The images used in the banner were found using Wikimedia Commons.

Choose a Chemist / Scientist

The scientist's name is followed by their birth and death dates. Alternate names and spellings are listed.

  • Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856)
  • Georg Brandt (1694-1768)
  • Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014)
  • Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794)
  • Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)
    Also known as: Rutherford of Nelson; Baron Ernest Rutherford
  • Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894)
  • Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848)
  • Robert Bunsen (1811-1899) 
    Also known as: Robert Wilhelm Bunsen
  • Martin Klaproth (1743-1817)
    Also known as: M.H. Klaproth; Martin Heinrich Klaproth
  • Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)
    Also known as: Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev; Dmitrii Ivanovich Medeleev
  • Glenn Seaborg (1912-1999)
    Also known as: Glenn Theodore Seaborg; Glenn T. Seaborg
  • Lloyd Augustus Hall (1894-1971)
    Also known as: Lloyd A. Hall
  • Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
    Also known as: Niels Henrik David Bohr
  • John Dalton (1766-1844)
  • Irene Joliot-Curie  (1897-1956)
    Also known as: Irene Curie
  • Henry Moseley (1887-1915)
    Also known as: Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley
  • J.J. Thomson (1856-1940)
    Also known as: Sir Joseph John Thomson
  • St. Elmo Brady (1884-1966)
    Also known as: Elmo Brady
  • Robert Boyle (1627-1691)
    Also known as: Roger Boyle
  • Democritus (460-370 BC)
    Also known as: Democritus of Abdera
  • Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903)
    Also known as: J. Willard Gibbs
  • Alfred Nobel (1833-1896)
    Also known as:  Alfred Bernhard Nobel
  • Marie Curie (1867-1934)
    Also known as: Marie Sklodowska Curie; Maria Sklodowska-Curie; Madame Curie; Marja Sklodowska; Maria Sklodowska
  • Marie Maynard Daly (1921-2003)
    Also known as: Marie M. Daly; Marie Daly
  • Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
    Also known as: Michael T. Faraday
  • Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
    Also known as: Rosalind Elsie Franklin
  • William Ramsay (1852-1916)
    Also known as: Sir William Ramsay
  • Percy Julian (1899-1975)
    Also known as: Percy L. Julian; Percy Lavon Julian
  • Severo Ochoa (1905-1993) 
    Also known as: Severo Ochoa de Albornoz

Before you search - READ THIS!

The following issues can trip you up when searching for biographical information in library databases or online.

Different Person, Same Name

  • Always check the birth and death dates, middle name, career field, and credentials of the person you are researching. If the person you've found is an artist and has nothing to do with chemistry or science, then you probably have the wrong person.
  • Look for Jr., Sr., or III - Sometimes a person's father or son is also well-known. Again, make sure the article is about the exact person you are researching.

Alternate Names and Spelling

  • J. J. Thomson is also known as Sir Joseph John Thomson.
  • Willard Gibbs is also known as Josiah Willard Gibbs and J. Willard Gibbs (and there is more than one!).
  • Women may be listed under their maiden name as well as their married name.
  • Try searching for all known forms of a person's name.

Extra Things

  • In a search box, leave out things like Mr., Mrs., Miss, Sir, Dr., etc.
  • You do not need to include umlauts (ä, ö, ü). Instead of Jöns, type Jons.


  • If you are not sure you have the right person, ask your instructor or a librarian BEFORE you continue to work on your project.