An exciting time for chemistry
Two new elements, flerovium and livermoreium, also known as
Lv, and formerly known by the much blander names of
ununhexium, have been approved for entry into the Periodic Table of the Elements!
In honor of the event, I assembled a minor gallery of favorite periodic tables.
The children’s Periodic Table on the U.S. EIA site provides the basics. Better yet, it links to the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) Periodic Table, which is just as impressive and complete as I would expect.
While viewing, consider a recent post by senior LANL employee David Hobart, Actinide Analytical Chemistry, History of the periodic table…and my history with it, which was charming, as well as educational.
There is an “evolution of the table” section, facts about the table’s inventor, Dmitri Mendeleev, born 175 years ago, and this:
As the legendary physicist Richard Feynman put it, “If some universal catastrophe was to engulf the world and humankind could retain only one scientific concept to rebuild civilization, what would it be? The chemist’s answer is almost invariably the Periodic Table of the Elements.“
Memorable periodic tables
- The periodic table in 200+ languages, including dead languages
- a spectacular interactive periodic table, in Latin
- Josh Duck’s charming, functional Periodic Table of HTML
- A rare earth element-centric periodic table that I am especially fond of
Chemical Philately: An IYC Stamp Odyssey
In the course of researching this article, I learned that 2011 was designated The International Year of Chemistry. Many countries chose to commemorate IYC 2011 with a memorial postage stamp. The United States did not participate, well, not with a postage stamp issuance, and several European countries focused only on the 100th anniversary of Madame Curie’s award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.
I followed along with IUPAC member Daniel Rabinovich in his own year of discovery, as he documented chemistry-related philatelic activities around the globe. Do read his narrative. View the beautiful stamps! He did an excellent job, conveying the excitement as each new stamp was issued.
Virtue was rewarded. Daniel Rabinovich will be a featured presenter on March 25, 2012, a few days from now, at the 2012 American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego. I wish I could be there too, to listen to his lecture, IYC 2011 Stamp Odyssey, HIST Tutorial and General Papers session.
 IUPAC made the announcement on Dec 1, 2011. The new names are currently nearing the end of a five-month public comment period. After that, the official paperwork will be processed, and they will show up in the table.
 Mendeleev’s Periodic Table was presented in public 142 years (and a few days) ago, on March 18, 1869 to the Russian Chemical Society.
Some may find this online exchange that followed this post from the American Chemical Society: Lifetime Fan (An Undergrad Gets Inked) to be of interest. I refer to the comment section. It eventually led to a response by the CEO of the American Chemical Society, Madeleine Jacobs, which I enjoyed.