The discovery of isomerism.

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Table of Contents
definition

In chemical nomenclature, isomers are molecules that share the same molecular formulae but don’t always share the same properties because of the different arrangement of atoms.

DISCOVERY
  • Isomerism was discovered in 1827 when the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler prepared silver cyanate and found out that it had the same formula as silver fulminate; which was prepared a year earlier by the German chemist Justus von Liebig. Here is a photograph of the two chemical compounds.

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  • Silver fulminate is a highly explosive compound whereas silver cyanate is not. Silver fulminate is used in making “bang snap” fireworks which we all must’ve used or seen:

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  • The term“isomer” was introduced by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1830.