The Periodic Table turns 150 this year!
This year marks the 150th year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (Periodic Table). To build awareness of chemistry and help promote science, 2019 has been declared as the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019)” by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The genius of Dmitri Mendeleev
History of the Periodic Table is rich and can be researched back 200 years, but Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev is most noted for the Periodic Table. He developed the Periodic Table in 1866 to show periodic trends of the then-known 62 elements. While there were many chemists before and after Mendeleev who looked for ways to present the elements, he is the first to publish a version of the table. Mendeleev believed there would be the discovery of additional elements, so he left blanks in the table. What’s extraordinary about Mendeleev’s achievement is he left blanks in the table at various points for undiscovered elements. He was able to predict the properties of five elements and their compounds. Three of these five elements were discovered within 15 years and Mendeleev’s predictions were shown to be incredibly accurate.1 Today, there are 118 elements arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties, showing periodic trends.
The Periodic Table is known for its rich history and modern relevance. It is a vital tool for modern chemists. Merriam-Webster defines the Periodic Table as an arrangement of chemical elements based on the periodic law. In most chemical laboratories and classrooms around the world, the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is a staple that can be seen hanging somewhere in the room. Today, there are 118 elements arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties, showing periodic trends.
Where are the celebrations?
Find out more about celebrations around the world at IYPT2019.
1 The Evolution of the Periodic Table, Accessed January 8, 2019, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-evolution-of-the-periodic-system.