150 years of the periodic table of elements
You will find it on the wall in every school, as well as in every chemistry lab and in every chemistry book. Obviously, it’s about the Periodic Table of Elements. It was developed exactly 150 years ago. On this occasion, the current year was declared the Year of the Periodic Table of Elements by the United Nations. What makes it so special?
The UN, in its justification, states that the arrangement of the table showing the elements is one of the greatest scientific achievements in human history. In March, it will be exactly 150 years since Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleyev arranged the then known elements into a table, whichówhich we still use today.
Most of the ideaóIn a brilliant scientist survived prób b time. Dr. Peter Wothers of Cambridge University is an expert in the field of chemistry and knows almost everything about the periodic table. He argues that if aliens appeared on Earth, they would certainly zwróThey would have paid attention to the Periodic Table.
– I believe that aliens would have their own periodic table. This is something absolutely fundamental. It was not invented by humans. It is a primordial system, for which któThe laws of physics and chemistry are at stake – mówi.
Mendeleev created his table in 1869. He collected the 63 elements known to him at the time and arranged them according to their atomic weight. Although he was not the first który so ranked them, he additionally began to arrange one below the other elements with similar properties. He also left gaps in his table for elements, które were yet to be discovered.
– There was some basis from nature, a natural law, whichóre even forced to shape the periodic table in this way – argues Dr. Wothers. After 150 years we now know much more. – Mendeleev in his time did not know m.in. atomic structures. So it only used atomic masses, which was not a very accurate indicator – mówi Wothers.
After the discovery of the protonóin scientists realized that the atomic number of an element is the same as the number of protonsóin its nucleus. Thus, in the modernóperiodic table, the elements are arranged according to atomic number (which determines how many protonsów is found in the nucleus of a given element), rather than atomic mass.
– Today we already know how it works and why it works. This has to do with the m.in. with quantum mechanics, the number of electronsóin the atom and so on – mósees scientist. Today on the periodic table we can find more than a hundred elementsóIn arranged in order according to increasing atomic number. They repeat certain properties, which gave the name to the „The periodic table”. Elements with similar properties are in the same columns (groups).
– Thus, you can learn about the properties of a certain element just by its position on the periodic table – mówi Wothers. A scientist believes that the Periodic Table, after its addition of four new elements in December 2015, is now very symmetrical. – The system is complete and beautiful. This is its most perfect form – mówi.
But people are working to create a brand new element, whichóry will begin a new, ósmy government on the periodic table. – As soon as it is created we will have to add another row to the array. Then it will lose some of its current beauty – mówi Wothers.