In Czarist Russia there was a law that one could not remarry within 7 years of getting a divorce from his first wife. When the great Russian scientist Mendeleev remarried within a month of his divorce, but no one prosecuted him for bigamy, a complaint was made to the Czar ( the Emperor of Russia ) about this double standard. The Czar replied " Mendeleev may have two wives, but I have only one Mendeleev in my Empire ".
Mendeleev is famous for his discovery of the Periodic Table of elements. He incorporated all the then 62 known elements ( today there are 112 ) systematically in rows and columns. He even left empty boxes in his Periodic Table, which predicted new elements which would be discovered in future,
" Look harder " he seemed to taunt the scientists of the world " and you will find them " And indeed they did subsequently, e.g. germanium gallium, and scandium. He even predicted their physical and chemical properties, though he had never seen them. When these elements were discovered later, they fitted perfectly in the empty spaces left for them in the Periodic Table by Mendeleev.
Mendeleev's genius can be realized from the fact that when the French scientist Lecocq de Boisbaudran discovered the element gallium, Mendeleev scanned his data, and said that Boisbaudran must have measured something wrong, because the density and weight of gallium as found by Boisbaudran differed from Mendeleev's predictions.. At this, Boisbaudran re-examined his data, and found that he had indeed made mistakes. He then retracted his data and published results which corroborated Mendeleev's predictions. The scientific world was astounded to note that Mendeleev, the theorist, had seen the properties of a new element without even seeing it, and much more clearly than the scientist who had actually seen and discovered it !
Mendeleev's work, though defective and incomplete in some respects ( e.g regarding.elements called the lanthanides, many of which were later discovered in the Ytterby quarry near Stockholm ), is comparable to that of Darwin in evolution, and Einstein in relativity. No wonder the Czar said he had only one Mendeleev.in his Empire
Apart from being a great scientist, Mendeleev, like Dr. Oppenheimer, who is regarded as the father of the atom bomb, was a great scholar of Sanskrit
By giving Sanskrit names to his "missing" elements, Mendeleev showed his appreciation and debt to the Sanskrit grammarians of ancient India, Panini and Patanjali, who had created sophisticated theories of language based on their discovery of the two-dimensional patterns in basic sounds. Mendeleev was a friend and colleague of the renowned Sanskritist Böhtlingk, who was preparing the second edition of his book on Pāṇini at about this time, and Mendeleev wished to honor Pāṇini with his nomenclature.
Noting that there are striking similarities between the periodic table and the introductory Śiva Sūtras in Pāṇini's grammar, Prof. Kiparsky says:
"The analogies between the two systems are striking. Just as Panini found that the phonological patterning of sounds in the language is a function of their articulatory properties, so Mendeleev found that the chemical properties of elements are a function of their atomic weights. Like Panini, Mendeleev arrived at his discovery through a search for the "grammar" of the elements."