and Structural Diagrams
- Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique,
by Louis Bernard Guyton de Morveau, Antoine Laurent
Lavoisier, Claude Louis Berthollet, and Antoine François de
Fourcroy, is published in Paris. Created from Greek and Latin roots, the
nomenclature system represents what Lavoisier's followers understand about
the composition of hundreds of substances.
- Jöns Jakob Berzelius proposes a system of chemical symbols in
which elements are represented by the first letters of their names. Compounds
are represented by these letters with superscripts indicating combining
weights, which in turn suggest the number of atoms combining.
- The Pharmacopoeia of the United States is published, establishing
standard English and Latin names for drugs.
- In a published outline of a chemistry course, Stanislao Cannizzaro
clarifies the calculation of atomic weights, then a highly contentious
subject, using, in part, the long-neglected hypothesis put forward by Amedeo
Avagadro in 1811.
- Friedrich August Kekule and Archibald Scott Couper recognize that carbon
atoms have the ability to link to one another in chains.
- Archibald Scott Couper uses straight lines to indicate valence bonds
in organic compounds, as is still the practice in most modern structural
- Congress is held at Karlsruhe Technische Hochschule to discuss the
feasibility of establishing a systematic and rational nomenclature for
chemistry. The congress does not reach any conclusive results, but several
key participants return home with Stanislao Cannizzaro's outline (1858),
which ultimately convinces them of the validity of his scheme for calculating
- Friedrich Kekule, as well as others, including Josef Loschmidt, identifies
the ring structure of benzene.
- Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev publishes a periodic table of the elements
organized by atomic weight, similar chemical and physical characteristics,
- Julius Lothar Meyer publishes a periodic table similar to Dmitri Ivanovich
Mendeleev's that he has been developing since 1864.
- Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff and Joseph Achille LeBel's recognition
that there are two ways of arranging four unlike substituents tetrahedrally
around a carbon atom marks the beginning of three-dimensional
structural organic chemistry and the associated problem of representing
these structures graphically and, much later, in a machine-readable code.
- London's Chemical Society publishes Nomenclature and Notation,
guidelines for establishing systematic and uniform practices.
- ACS establishes the Committee on Nomenclature and Notation.
- Geneva conference establishes principles that set the stage for an
evolving chemical nomenclature. These principles are developed more fully
by various forerunners of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
(IUPAC), which was founded in 1919.
- Alfred Werner introduces a systematic nomenclature for coordination
compounds based on the groups surrounding a central metal atom.
- Editor Evan J. Crane publishes first CA decennial index (1907-1916),
which includes a new means of naming and indexing compounds developed by
Austin M. Patterson and Carleton C. Curran.
- IUPAC establishes commissions on chemical nomenclature to formulate
rules for naming chemical compounds systematically.
- Conrad Weygand, a German chemist, proposes a method for classifying
chemical reactions based on the breaking and fomring of bonds during a
- G. Malcolm Dyson presents a paper before London's Royal Institute of
Chemistry on his notation system, which seeks to represent chemical structures
uniquely and unambiguously in a linear sequence of letters and numbers.
IUPAC provisionally recommends the Dyson system.
- Welch Medical Library Indexing Project at Johns Hopkins University
begins. Sponsored by the Army Medical Library (now the National Library
of Medicine), it is one of the first efforts to study medical and chemical
nomenclature and indexing and to apply machine technologies to this information.
- George Willard Wheland, professor at the University of Chicago, develops
basic concept of the connection table to represent chemical structures.
- William J. Wiswesser introduces Wiswesser Line Notation.
- National Research Council issues a call for the comparative study of
the best notation systems for structural formulas.
- Robert Cahn, Christopher Ingold, and Vladimir Prelog present a nomenclature
system for the unambiguous specification of stereoisomers.
- IUPAC approves rules for chemical nomenclature that are subsequently
issued in book form--the famous Red, Blue, and Green Books, dealing with
inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, respectively.
- Beilsteins Handbuch adopts CIP (for Cahn, Ingold, and Prelog).
CIP is now used nearly universally.
- CAS introduces the hetero-atom-in-context system in its chemical formula
- Elias J. Corey and W. Todd Wipke of Harvard University develop the
OCSS-LHASA (Organic Chemical Synthesis Simulation Logic and Heuristics
Applied to Synthetic Analysis) synthesis planning system. Beginning with
a molecular structure input by light pen or mouse,
the system suggests starting materials and reactions to produce the molecule.
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