Periodic Table

This is the start of the WebElements periodic table documentation

Mendeleev's periodic table

The Mendeleev Periodic Table

This table shows the form of Mendeleev's Periodic Table of the chemical elements as published in 1872. The heading "Reihen" means "Row" and the heading "Gruppe" means "Group". The symbols R2O and RH4, etc., are written in the style of the time which uses superscripts to denote the number of atoms in molecules rather than the current style which uses subscripts. The gaps marked with hyphens ("-") represent chemical elements deduced by Mendeleev as existing but unknown in 1872. He was able to predict with considerable success the properties of some of the missing chemical elements such as germanium.

Reihen Gruppe I.
Gruppe II.
Gruppe III.
Gruppe IV.
Gruppe V.
Gruppe VI.
Gruppe VII.
Gruppe VIII.
1 H=1
2 Li=7 Be=9,4 B=11 C=12 N=14 O=16 F=19
3 Na=23 Mg=24 Al=27,3 Si=28 P=31 S=32 Cl=35,5
4 K=39 Ca=40 -=44 Ti=48 V=51 Cr=52 Mn=55 Fe=56, Ce=59,
Ni=59, Cu=63.
5 (Cu=63) Zn=65 -=68 -=72 As=75 Se=78 Br=80
6 Rb=85 Sr=87 ?Yt=88 Zr=90 Nb=94 Mo=96 -=100 Ru=104, Rh=104,
Pd=106, Ag=108.
7 (Ag=108) Cd=112 In=113 Sn=118 Sb=122 Te=125 J=127
8 Cs=133 Ba=137 ?Di=138 ?Ce=140 - - - - - - -
9 (-) - - - - - -
10 - - ?Er=178 ?La=180 Ta=182 W=184 - Os=195, Ir=197,
Pt=198, Au=199
11 (Au=199) Hg=200 Tl=204 Pb=207 Bi=208 - -
12 - - - Th=231 - U=240 - - - - -

Spanish Post Office honours Mendeleev

Spanish Post Office honours MendeleevSpanish Post Office honours Mendeleev
This stamp commemorates the death of Mendeleev (February 1907), one of the lead figures responsible for the periodic table. Absolutely excellent choice of colours if I might say so! The stamp was sent to me by Prof Gabriel Pinto (Departamento de Ingeniería Química Industrial, ETSI Industriales, UPM, Madrid, Spain) and I quote from his web page:

"This stamp was launched on february 2, 2007, by Correos (Spanish Post Office). It is devoted to Chemistry with the periodic table of elements of Mendeleyéiev. It refers to the periodic classification of the chemistry elements proposed by Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyéiev in 1869. As he attempted to classify the elements according to their chemical properties, he noticed patterns that led him to postulate his Periodic Table which described elements according to both weight and valence and which, if arranged according to their atomic mass, exhibited an apparent periodicity of properties. Unlike other contributors to the table he predicted the properties of elements yet to be discovered and made an accurate prediction of the qualities of germanium, gallium, and scandium which came to fill in the empty boxes of his table. Mendeleyéiev (1834-1907) made other important contributions to chemistry such as studies on the expansion of liquids with heat, the invention of pyrocollodion, a kind of smokeless powder based on nitrocellulose and made important contributions to the determination of the nature of such indefinite compounds as solutions. He was the author of Principles of Chemistry, a classic on the subject and for a couple of years was responsible for the Department of Weights and Measures of Saint Petersburg."

Ig Nobel 2006 prize for Chemistry announced

The 2006 Ig Noble prize for chemistry has been announced and was awarded to Spanish researchers Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito and José Bon (University of Valencia), and Carmen Rosselló (University of Illes Balears), for their outstanding research: "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature." published in the Journal of Food Science.1

The Ig Noble prizes are administered by the publishers of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine. It's not always clear to me that the Chemistry Ig Noble prizes seem more related to other areas, and some non-chemistry prizes look as though the work was chemical, but never mind. For the record, here are a few of the more recent awards.


Edward Cussler and Brian Gettelfinger (University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin), for their work that finally settled the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water? See "Will Humans Swim Faster or Slower in Syrup?".2


The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert ordinary tap water into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for "precautionary reasons" was withdrawn form the market in the UK (it seems the Dasani contained the carcinogenic bromate - the UK Food Standards Agency advice was that while Dasani contained illegal levels of bromate, it did not present an immediate risk to the public). See various press stories including:

  1. The Telegraph
  2. The Guardian


Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University in Japan, for his chemical investigation of a bronze statue in the city of Kanazawa that fails to attract pigeons.


Theodore Gray of Wolfram Research (Champaign, Illinois, USA) for gathering elements of the periodic table and assembling them into a periodic table table.

New Periodic Table book by Eric Scerri

It's great to see a new book about the periodic table and this one is written by Eric Scerri, a world authority on the periodic table! Dr. Eric Scerri is a leading philosopher of science specializing in the history and philosophy of the periodic table. He is also the founder and editor in chief of the international journal Foundations of Chemistry and is a full-time lecturer at UCLA where he regularly teaches classes of 350 chemistry students as well as classes in history and philosophy of science. You can buy this book from our WebElements Amazon Store or our WebElements Amazon UK Store.

The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance

The periodic table is one of the most potent icons in science. It lies at the core of chemistry and embodies the most fundamental principles of the field. The one definitive text on the development of the periodic table by van Spronsen (1969), has been out of print for a considerable time. The present book provides a successor to van Spronsen, but goes further in giving an evaluation of the extent to which modern physics has, or has not, explained the periodic system. The book is written in a lively style to appeal to experts and interested lay-persons alike.

The Periodic Table begins with an overview of the importance of the periodic table and of the elements and it examines the manner in which the term 'element' has been interpreted by chemists and philosophers. The book then turns to a systematic account of the early developments that led to the classification of the elements including the work of Lavoisier, Boyle and Dalton and Cannizzaro. The precursors to the periodic system, like Döbereiner and Gmelin, are discussed. In chapter 3 the discovery of the periodic system by six independent scientists is examined in detail.

Two chapters are devoted to the discoveries of Mendeleev, the leading discoverer, including his predictions of new elements and his accommodation of already existing elements. Chapters 6 and 7 consider the impact of physics including the discoveries of radioactivity and isotopy and successive theories of the electron including Bohr's quantum theoretical approach. Chapter 8 discusses the response to the new physical theories by chemists such as Lewis and Bury who were able to draw on detailed chemical knowledge to correct some of the early electronic configurations published by Bohr and others.

Chapter 9 provides a critical analysis of the extent to which modern quantum mechanics is, or is not, able to explain the periodic system from first principles. Finally, chapter 10 considers the way that the elements evolved following the Big Bang and in the interior of stars. The book closes with an examination of further chemical aspects including lesser known trends within the periodic system such as the knight's move relationship and secondary periodicity, as well at attempts to explain such trends.

Royal Society gives access to 340 years of landmark science

The complete archive of the Royal Society journals, including some of the most significant scientific papers ever published since 1665, is to be made freely available electronically for the first time until 2007.

The archive contains seminal research papers including accounts of Michael Faraday's groundbreaking series of electrical experiments, Isaac Newton's invention of the reflecting telescope, and the first research paper published by Stephen Hawking.

The Society's online collection, which until now only extended back to 1997, contains every paper published in the Royal Society journals from the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions in 1665, to the most recent addition, Interface.

You can register for free. So now, for a time at least, you can read free of charge some extraordinary historical documents. Here are a few examples:

  • On the Constitution of the Atmosphere by John Dalton
  • On the Action of Radium Emanations on Diamond by William Crookes
  • The Separation of the Most Volatile Gases from Air without Liquefaction by James Dewar
  • On the Compressibilities of Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Carbonic Oxide between One Atmosphere and Half an Atmosphere of Pressure, and on the Atomic Weights of the Elements Concerned.--Preliminary Notice by Lord Rayleigh

Note: this facility seems to have been withdrawn?

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

For those of you with access to Channel 4 in the UK, here is information about the RI Christmas Lectures

See here for details.

Broadcast times of Christmas Lectures (Channel 4 in the UK)

Lecture 1 'Blast off' on Sun 28th Dec 2003 at 13:55
Lecture 2 'Live from Mars' on Mon 29th Dec 2003 at 12:05
Lecture 3 'Planet patrol' on Tue 30th Dec 2003 at 12:05
Lecture 4 'Collision course' on Wed 31st Dec 2003 at 12:05
Lecture 5 'Anybody out there?' on Thurs 1st Jan 2004 at 12:05

If you have details of similar lectures elsewhere please add as a comment to this item.

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Copyright 1993-2011 Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield and WebElements Ltd, UK]. All rights reserved.