Science Notes Posts


Friedrich Sertürner

Today in Science History – February 20 – Sertürner and Morphine

February 20 marks the passing of Friedrich Sertürner. Sertürner was a German pharmacist who was the first to isolate the active ingredient from opium poppies. The small crystals he extracted would be later called morphine after Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep because of the way it caused drowsiness. Sertürner […]


Today in Science History – February 19 – Ferdinand Reich   Recently updated !

February 19 is Ferdinand Reich’s birthday. Reich was a German chemist who co-discovered the element indium with Hieronymus Richter. Reich was searching for thallium in some of the local zinc ores and isolated an unknown substance that appeared to be an element with the same chemical properties of thallium but […]

Ferdinand Reich

Harry Brearley

Today in Science History – February 18 – Stainless Steel

February 18 is Harry Brearley’s birthday. Brearley was an English metallurgist who discovered “rustless steel” or stainless steel. Brearley was searching for a new steel to use to minimize the corrosion of gun barrels but could still resist high temperatures and pressures associated with firing a gun. He discovered that […]


Today in Science History – February 17 – Friedrich Beilstein and the Beilstein Database

February 17 is Friedrich Beilstein’s birthday. Beilstein was the Russian chemist who originally wrote Handbuch der Organischen Chemie or Handbook of Organic Chemistry. This organic chemical reaction handbook was published in 1881 and originally contained information on 1,500 different organic compounds. It would grow larger with each edition even to the […]

Friedrich Konrad Beilstein