Scientia: The ever-changing periodic table

Medical Genetics

November 29, 2011     | Author: Freelance Writer Steven A. Edwards, Ph.D.

Because of evolution, we expect biology to be an open-ended subject, but it seems that chemistry should be more constrained.  So how is it that, eleven years into the 21st century, we still don’t have a complete list of the elements?  The most recent formal additions to the Periodic Table of Elements came about in June of this year.  The newest jewels of the realm are unofficially named ununquadium (114) and ununhexium (116).

As everyone learns in Chem 101, the periodic table was first drawn up by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869.  There were, of course, previous attempts to categorize the elements; Lavoisier published a list of 33 as early as 1789, dividing them into gasses, metals, non-metals and earths, distinctions that are still maintained.  Even the periodicity of the elements had been recognized previously; chemist John…

View original post 234 more words

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.