The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction
Here, Eric Scerri looks at the trends in properties of elements that led to the construction of the periodic table, and how the deeper meaning of its structure gradually became apparent with the development of atomic theory and quantum mechanics, so that, as Scerri puts it, one science, physics, arguably came to colonize another, chemistry, although such a view is resisted by chemists. Scerri shows that quantum mechanics is absolutely central to chemistry, as it underlies the behaviour of all of the elements and their compounds, and therefore underpins the structure of the periodic table. Concluding with an overview of the huge variety of periodic tables that have been proposed in the print media and on the Internet, he explores the debated question of whether there is an optimal periodic table and what form it might take. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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1 The elements
2 A quick overview of the modern periodic table
3 Atomic weight triads and Prout
4 Steps towards the periodic table
5 The Russian genius Mendeleev
6 Physics invades the periodic table
7 Electronic structure
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actinium alpha particles argon atomic number triads atomic weight behave behaviour Bohr Bohr’s bohrium Chancourtois Chapter chemical periodicity chemical properties chemistry chemists chlorine classification combined compound consisted d-block Dalton diatomic molecules discovered discovery dubnium electronic configurations Emilio Segrè energy equivalent weight example explained fact Figure found not found fourth quantum number German germanium groups of elements helium Hinrichs hydrogen iodine isotopes J. J. Thomson later Lavoisier left-step table Lewis Lewis’s lithium Long-form periodic table Lothar Meyer Mendeleev Mendeleev’s predictions modern named nature Newlands non-metals notion nuclear nucleus number of electrons number of protons Odling old quantum theory order of filling oxygen pair reversal periodic law periodic system periodic table periodictable PHILOSOPHY physicist physics Platonic solids potassium produced Prout’s hypothesis published quantization quantum mechanics radioactivity result Röntgen Rutherford rutherfordium seaborgium sequence shell sodium substances superconducting synthesized technetium tellurium tellurium and iodine uranium values waves X-rays