February - 10 years ago; 35 years ago; 75 years ago; 120 years ago; 140 years ago; 215 years ago

10 years ago 

The element ununbium, symbol Uub, was created by a team of German scientists led by Peter Armbruster. Few atoms of element 112 have been made and the atoms have a half life of around only 240 ? s. 

35 years ago 

Swedish chemist Theodor Svedberg died. He won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1926 for his work on colloidal chemistry and for his invention of the ultracentrifuge which he used to investigate the molecular weights of very large molecules. 

75 years ago 

German chemist Otto Wallach died. He received the 1910 Nobel prize for chemistry for his work on alicyclic compounds. He showed that terpenes, important in the medicine and perfume industries and as a source of camphors, were derived from isoprene. 

120 years ago  

The element germanium was discovered in the mineral argyrodite by German chemist Clement Winkler. It was later found to be eka-silicon, predicted 15 years earlier by Mendeleyev. 

140 years ago 

US chemist Moses Gomberg was born in Russia. He prepared the first organic free radical, triphenylmethyl. His discovery led to modern theories of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules and the development of an entire field of research. 

215 years ago 

John Mercer was born. The UK chemist and industrialist invented the mercerisation process for treating cotton, creating stronger, easier to dye and shrink-resistant fabric.