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This website is an interactive, clickable periodic table with a comprehensive database of element properties, which can be searched and grouped in useful ways.

It was designed to be a free resource meant to promote the understanding of chemistry, and be a useful reference tool for students and scientists around the world. We do not charge for anything on this website, but you can support us by putting a link on your website to us. You can copy and paste the code for the link on your website  below:

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A short history of the periodic table.

The rectangular periodic table is familiar to anybody who has ever been in a science lab or classroom. This functional collation of the chemical elements was brought into being by several scientists in the 1860's. In 1863, a French geologist, A. E. Béguyer de Chancourtois created a list of the elements arranged by accruing atomic weight.

In England, a chemist named John A. R. Newlands was also collating the elements, noticing that chemical groups repeated every 8 elements. He named this the octave rule, and likened it to a musical scale. Some skeptics from the English Chemical Society considered this ridiculous, so his work was overlooked for years.

Chemists Dmitrii I. Mendeleev (a Russian) and Lothar Meyer (a German) were working independently in 1868 and 1869 on the arrangement of elements into seven columns, corresponding to various chemical and physical properties. Their tables were similar - they acknowledged each other's work - the differences are slight but critical: Meyer's table was an accurate assessment of the known facts about each element, like melting point and atomic volume. The table showed the existence of periodic chemical families.

the previous year, Mendeleev presented a much more agressive and scientifically useful table. His paper, On the Relation of the Properties to the Atomic Weights of the Elements, was passionately received by the Russian Chemical Society. In it, the periodic relationship between chemical groups is clearly illustrated. In a scientific success, missing areas in the table accurately predicted elements that were yet to be discovered.

Although it is nearly 130 years old, Mendeleev's table does not differ much from the charts on laboratory walls today. The understanding obtained in that singular decade resulted in a tool that furthers understanding and makes chemistry easier in every laboratory in the entire world.

Resources that were referenced for this site:

  • The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 74th edition - CRC Press, Inc.
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Chemistry - D. W. A. Sharp
  • Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry - Bernard Jaffe
  • The Historical Background of Chemistry - Henry Leicester
  • The Norton History of Chemistry - William H. Brock
  • The Atomic Scientists, A Bibliographical History - Boorse, Motz and Weaver
  • The Elements - John Emsley

Disclaimer

The information in this site is taken from public records and is not tested for accuracy. Additional errors may have been introduced in the development of this site. If you are doing calculations for reasons other than recreation, please double check the data against a standard reference. eperiodictable.com is not responsible for the correctness, accuracy or use of the data presented here. There is also some mild humor peppered sporadically throughout the site. It is meant for amusement only and is not to be taken seriously.

The Clickable Periodic Table      2001 - 2008 by ePeriodicTable.com

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