Robert Bunsen is the youngest son of Christian Bunsen, a chief librarian and a professor of modern philology at the University of Göttingen. He was born on March 31, 1811 in Göttingen’s, Germany.
He became a lecturer at University of Göttingen and at the same time began his experimental studies. He was an outstanding chemist of his time. He developed Bunsen cell battery in 1841.
In 1860 together with Gustav Kirchhoff, a German physicist, they discovered a chemical element in a mineral water in Dürkheim, Germany which is now known as caesium (Cs). A caesium was derived from a “caesius”, a Latin word which means “sky-blue”. They came up with that name due to its bright lines in its emission spectrum.
A year after, they both discovered another chemical element which is rubidium (Rb). It was derived from “rubidius”, a Latin word which means “dark red”. They discovered it in the mineral lepidolite with the used of a spectroscope. It is found in small quantities of tobacco, tea and coffee.
Robert Bunsen is mostly remembered in his Bunsen burner invention. He invented it in 1855 together with Peter Desaga, his laboratory assistant. It is the most commonly used laboratory equipment for heating by generations of schoolchildren during their science lessons.
And since today marks his 200th birthday, Google celebrates it by featuring an animated Google Doodle logo of a gas burner to represent his invention. Happy 200th birthday Sir Robert Bunsen. :)