March 31, 1811 in Göttingen, Germany.
August 16, 1899 in Heidelberg, Germany at age 88.
Claim to Fame
- Discovered the use of iron oxide hydrate as an antidote for arsenic poisoning.
- Created the Bunsen battery by improving the Grove battery, the leading battery technology of the time. This was done by replacing the platinum electrode with a cheaper carbon electrode.
- Experimentally demonstrated how geysers work.
- Synthesized pure samples of aluminum, barium, calcium, chromium, lithium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium through the process of electrolysis.
- Pioneered spectroscopy with Gustav Kirchhoff to identify elements.
- The concept of premixing gas with air before combustion was brought to Peter Desaga who engineered what would become the bunsen burner.
- Identified the elements cesium and rubidium with Kirchhoff using spectroscopy.
- Mentored many famous chemists including Dmitri Mendeleev and three Nobel Prize winners: Adolf von Baeyer (1905), Fritz Haber (1918), and Philipp Lenard (1905 Physics).
- Copley Medal from the Royal Society of London in 1860.
- First Davy Medal with Kirchhoff in 1887.
- Albert Medal in 1898.
Bunsen lost sight in his right eye to a glass sliver from a laboratory accident.