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Johann Wolfgang Dbereiner In 1817, Johann Wolfgang Dbereiner began to formulate one of the earliest attempts to classify the elements. He found that some elements formed groups of three with related properties. He termed these groups "triads". Some triads classified by Dbereiner are: 1. chlorine, bromine, and iodine 2. calcium, strontium, and barium 3. sulfur, selenium, and tellurium 4. lithium, sodium, and potassium In all of the triads, the atomic weight of the second element was almost exactly the average of the atomic weights of the first and third element.[4] John Newlands John Newlands was an English chemist who in 1865 classified the 56 elements that had been discovered at the time into eleven groups which were based on similar physical properties.

J. A. R. Newlands' law of octaves Newlands noted that many pairs of similar elements existed which differed by some multiple of eight in atomic weight. However, his law of octaves, likening this periodicity of eights to the musical scale, was ridiculed by his contemporaries. It was not until the following century, with Gilbert N. Lewis'valence bond theory (1916) and Irving Langmuir's octet theory of chemical bonding (1919) that the importance of the periodicity of eight would be accepted.

Dimitri Mendeleev

Mendeleev's 1869 periodic table

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev

Dimitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist, was the first scientist to make a periodic table much like the one we use today. Mendeleev arranged the elements in a table ordered by atomic weight, corresponding to relative molar mass as defined today. It is sometimes said that he played "chemical solitaire" on long train rides using cards with various facts of known elements. On March 6, 1869, a formal presentation was made to the Russian Chemical Society, entitled The Dependence Between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements. His table was published in an obscure Russian journal but quickly republished in a German journal,Zeitschrift fr Chemie (Eng., "Chemistry Magazine"), in 1869. It stated: 1. 2. The elements, if arranged according to their atomic weights, exhibit an apparent Elements which are similar as regards to their chemical properties have atomic

periodicity of properties. weights which are either of nearly the same value (e.g., Pt, Ir, Os) or which increase regularly (e.g., K, Rb, Cs). 3. The arrangement of the elements, or of groups of elements in the order of their atomic weights, corresponds to their so-called valencies, as well as, to some extent, to their distinctive chemical properties; as is apparent among other series in that of Li, Be, Ba, C, N, O, and Sn. 4. 5. The elements which are the most widely diffused have small atomic weights. The magnitude of the atomic weight determines the character of the element, just

as the magnitude of the molecule determines the character of a compound body.


We must expect the discovery of many yet unknown elementsfor example,

elements analogous to aluminium and siliconwhose atomic weight would be between 65 and 75. 7. The atomic weight of an element may sometimes be amended by a knowledge of those of its contiguous elements. Thus the atomic weight of tellurium must lie between 123 and 126, and cannot be 128. (This was based on the position of tellurium between antimonyand iodine whose atomic weight is 127. However Moseley later explained the position of these elements without revising the atomic weight values see below.) 8. Certain characteristic properties of elements can be foretold from their atomic weights.

Scientific benefits of Mendeleev's table

Mendeleev predicted the discovery of other elements and left space for these new elements, namely eka-silicon (germanium), eka-aluminium (gallium), and eka-boron (scandium). Thus, there was no disturbance in the periodic table. He pointed out that some of the then current atomic weights were incorrect. He provided for variance from atomic weight order.

Shortcomings of Mendeleev's table

His table did not include any of the noble gases, which were discovered later. These were added by Sir William Ramsay as Group 0, without any disturbance to the basic concept of the periodic table. There was no place for the isotopes of the various elements, which were discovered later.

Lothar Meyer
Unknown to Mendeleev, Lothar Meyer was also working on a periodic table. Although his work was published in 1864, and was done independently of Mendeleev, few historians regard him as an equal co-creator of the periodic table. For one thing, Meyer's table only included 28 elements. Furthermore, Meyer classified elements not by atomic weight, but by valence alone. Finally, Meyer never came to the idea of predicting new elements and correcting atomic weights. Only a few months after Mendeleev published his periodic table of all known elements (and predicted several new elements to complete the table, plus some corrected atomic weights), Meyer published a virtually identical table. While a few people consider Meyer and Mendeleev the cocreators of the periodic table, most agree that, by itself, Mendeleev's accurate prediction of the qualities of the undiscovered elements lands him the larger share of credit. In any case, at the time Mendeleev's predictions greatly impressed his contemporaries and were eventually found to be correct. An English chemist, William Odling, also drew up a table that is remarkably similar to that of Mendeleev, in 1864. Henry Moseley

In 1914 Henry Moseley found a relationship between an element's X-ray wavelength and its atomic number (Z), and therefore resequenced the table by nuclear charge rather than atomic weight. Before this discovery, atomic numbers were just sequential numbers based on an element's atomic weight. Moseley's discovery showed that atomic numbers had an experimentally measurable basis. Thus Moseley placed argon (Z=18) before potassium (Z=19) based on their X-ray wavelengths, despite the fact that argon has a greater atomic weight (39.9) than potassium (39.1). The new order agrees with the chemical properties of these elements, since argon is a noble gas and potassium an alkali metal. Similarly, Moseley placed cobalt before nickel, and was able to explain that tellurium occurs before iodine without revising the experimental atomic weight of tellurium (127.6) as proposed by Mendeleev. Moseley's research also showed that there were gaps in his table at atomic numbers 43 and 61 which are now known to be Technetium and Promethium, respectively, both radioactive and not naturally occurring. Following in the footsteps of Dmitri Mendeleev, Henry Moseley also predicted new elements.

Main discovery periods The history of the periodic table is also a history of the discovery of the chemical elements. IUPAC suggest five "main discovery periods": Group 1 # Perio d 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 H 3 Li 4 Be 5 B 13 Al 6 C 14 Si 7 N 15 P 8 O 16 S 34 Se 52 Te 84 Po 9 F 17 Cl 35 Br 53 I 85 At 2 He 10 Ne 18 Ar 36 Kr 54 Xe 86 Rn 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

11 12 Na Mg 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn

31 32 33 Ga Ge As 50 Sn 82 Pb 51 Sb 83 Bi

37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In 55 56 Cs Ba 87 88 Fr Ra * ** 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl

104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Uut Uuq Uup Uuh Uus Uuo

* Lanthanoi ds ** Actinoids

57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 La Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 Ac Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf 99 Es

69 70 Tm Yb

71 Lu

100 101 102 103 Fm Md No Lr

Before 1800 (34 elements): discoveries during and before the age of enlightenment. 1800-1849 (24 elements): scientific and industrial revolutions. 1850-1899 (26 elements): the age of classifying elements; application of spectrum analysis techniques: Boisbaudran, Bunsen, Crookes, Kirchhoff, and others "hunting emission line signatures". 1900-1949 (13 elements): development of old quantum theory and quantum mechanics. 1950-1999 (16 elements): "post atomic bomb" era; synthesis of atomic numbers 98 and above (colliders, bombardment techniques). 2000-present (5 elements): recent synthesis.