Friday, December 6, 2019

The Periodic Table at 150 Years

The "twin tower" periodic table.
Dmitri Mendeleev (MEN-duh-LAY-ev), a Russian scientist working in St. Petersburg, came up with an early version of the Periodic Table 150 years ago. Now the ‘table’ can take many forms, from block charts to spiral trees.

Elements are the building blocks of all matter. Their atoms knit together to form literally everything — us, the air we breathe, the organisms that share our world and every other molecule of gas or bit of mass found throughout our universe.

The rows and columns on the periodic table map the so-called periodic law. It holds that shared traits among chemical elements repeat in regular patterns as elements get larger. These patterns link elements with similar chemical behaviors and help to tell chemists how atoms react to form molecules. How the rows and columns on this table line up points to shared traits between groups of related elements. Understanding those relationships helps chemists create new compounds. It also helps them understand how life works. It even helps them predict how new materials will behave.

Read it all here.

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