Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Science

Revamping The Periodic Table? 472

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the things-i-only-barely-understand-in-the-first-place dept.
vinohradska writes "There is an interesting article on the periodic table over at Slate: 'Oxford ecologist Philip Stewart has designed a new periodic table of the elements, and it's a hit. American schools are placing orders daily for Stewart's table, and the Royal Society of Chemists recently sent a copy to every British secondary school. Stewart's is the only remake to achieve widespread adoption since Dmitri Mendeleev invented the original periodic table in a fit of brilliance in 1869.' "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Revamping The Periodic Table?

Comments Filter:
  • Hmmm, i ordered this "table" for myself, the only thing that's actually printed on it is the element "Deitium". And according to the accompanying fact chart, this "Dmitri Mendeleev" was a violent communist, full of crank. The chart also says it's a work in progress, as the next iterations will include "Divinium", "Judaism" and "Wholesomnium".

    The weirdest thing is though, the table itself has a backdrop of some scene of a dinner party where there's 3 robed figures, 1 fat 2 skinny, 28 figures that bear an un

  • by XorNand (517466) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:26AM (#13113220)

    Since the painfully brief article buries the most relevant piece of this story 5 pages into a linked slideshow: An image [wikimedia.org] of the chart in question.

    ::curmudgeony voice:: Dunno... certainly looks prettier, but at quick glance I can gather a lot more information from an "old school" chart.
    • top right of linked image - there are some elements marked simply with '?' - are these undiscovered/unamed ?
      • That is correct. #113, 115 are undiscovered. #114, 116, 118 are un-named, unless it turns out that the data supporting their discovery was indeed incorrect [lbl.gov], in which case they are also undiscovered.
    • by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:36AM (#13113303)
      I actually much prefer Stewart's reconstruction of the 50's art exhibit which led to his "galaxy of elements" thing:

      http://img.slate.msn.com/media/1/123125/2093564/21 22917/2122918/2122942/Longman.jpg/ [msn.com]

      But above it all I prefer the current table by far.
    • IANAC (I am not a chemist so I'm allowed to be dumb), whats the question marks at the right edge about?

      • In principle, the chart could spiral out forever. In practice, it can't because large nuclei (reflected by large atomic numbers) tear themselves apart with Coulombic (electrical) forces. The question marks are elements that either haven't yet been made (e.g., #113) or haven't yet been named (e.g., #118 -- although there's some controversy about whether it has been made)
      • Those would be where we can predict the existence of an element, but haven't found or synthesized one yet.

        For example, if you have a set elements with nucleuses containing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 protons, you can guess that there should probably be one with 6 in the bunch.

        Electron shells are related to these predictions, too; we know how many electrons can be at particular "distances" from the nucleus, so if we have elements with incomplete shells (== room for more electrons), we can predict th

    • Right after that image in the slideshow, there is another image that uses a similar layout, but uses boxes instead of small circles, and relates elements that are not right together with arrows. It's a bit more clear - less graphical, more chart-like. Still looks a bit hard to use though.
    • It looks like just a spacial remapping (from cartesian to polar) of the standard table rather than a new layout.
    • by tek.net-ium (841449) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:50AM (#13113441)
      Indeed, I can't see any practicing engineer or scientist finding any use for this thing. It's also a bad idea for instruction, because it's a gross oversimplification of the distribution of the elements in the universe. The periodic table is useful, because it's complete and accurate, but this is not. There are already several [periodictable.com] other [earthlink.net] period tables [wikipedia.org] with more instructional or historical value.
      • by GeckoX (259575)
        I totally fail to see where reality backs up your statements.

        I always thought of the (current) periodic table to be a non-obvious hack at organizing this information. Sure, it's logical in a sort of kinda sorta way. I believe we become comfortable with it because it is what we are taught, but I do not see how the current design conveys the benefits you suggest it does.

        Please expand on your 3 points because they really don't make sense to me.

        How is the existing periodic table not a gross oversimplificatio
        • by tek.net-ium (841449) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:01PM (#13114028)
          How is the existing periodic table not a gross oversimplification if this new one is?
          This periodic table doesn't show relationships within the groups of elements cleanly, which is best done in a tabular form, instead of a linear spiral form. It also seems to be conveying the confused idea of chemicals being somehow distributed in a galaxy.
          As far as I can tell, the new one(s) are entirely complete and accurate. Moreso, they actually are organized in a way that can be extended. The existing periodic table is only complete because of the footnotes, extensions and other non-obvious changes required to stuff all of that extra didn't-know-it-existed-at-the-time information into it.
          What footnotes and extensions? Like adding a property stating the exact atomic radius or atomic weight? I have a periodic table that lists 8 properties for every element, but I really only use the periodic table for the atomic weights, since the other information I rarely use can easily look up with a computer.
          The new one isn't only pretty, it's totally logical in an absolutely obvious way.
          It's pretty because they put a galaxy in the backdrop? I guess if that's the case, I could make the old one sexy by putting a picture of a hot girl in the background or angry if a drew a picture of a face with eyebrows pointing towards the nose. It's not logical; chemically there's a huge difference between flourine and sodium, but this new periodic spiral doesn't effectively convey that. Hell, they even lined up hydrogen with carbon.
    • by mblase (200735)
      I believe it was in last month's "Discover" magazine that a different new periodic table [uga.edu] was discussed; this one was designed by an earth scientist and was oriented specifically toward his professional needs. There's no reason that it should replace the "standard" periodic table, but if it's better for his needs, more power to him.

      The periodic table is a kind of model, and like all models, it's just one way of simplifying the real world and diagraming it for easy understanding by humans. There's no reason
    • Poor Theodore Gray (Score:3, Informative)

      by uberdave (526529)
      Now he's going to have to build a new table of elements [theodoregray.com]
    • by dwhitman (105201) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:18PM (#13114876)
      If he were dead, Tufte [edwardtufte.com] would be rolling in his grave. This thing is simultaneously an incredible example of chartjunk and low information density.

      The image of the galaxy is what Tufte calls a "duck" - a decorative style element that dominates a chart without conveying useful information. The color coding is also chartjunk; it conveys nothing that isn't already implicit in an element's location in the chart. Most of the ink in this graphic (galaxy, color fills) conveys zero information.

      It gets worse. To keep from obscuring the cute galaxy picture, the designer shrank the atomic numbers to an illegible point size, and then threw away useful data (like atomic weight, electronic configuration and common oxidation states, all of which fit into a rather smaller chart than this which is hanging on my wall.)

  • by The I Shing (700142) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:26AM (#13113221) Journal
    I trust this won't affect The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer. If you've never heard the song, or haven't listened to it since your high school Chemistry teacher played it for you in class, check out the horribly clever Flash animation of the song [privatehand.com] at privatehand.com.
  • Free poster? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ovapositor (79434)
    Does anyone where we can get a free poster of the Periodic Table or better yet, a chart of the nuclides! It would be great for home schooling :)
    • by d474 (695126)
      Yeah! Try this new Periodic table. [uga.edu] It's real simple to read and understand! Have fun!
  • I don't like it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:32AM (#13113266) Homepage Journal
    The writeup mentioned that the chart had been bought by several schools, but I'm willing to bet that most of them are just putting them on the wall because they're pretty and sort of educational. The tiny dots for each element are going to be a lot harder to read (and stick additional information in) than a regular boxy chart.

    Frankly, I liked the 1950s chart after it better. There was a certain beauty in the layout of that chart. The new chart is pretty much just the elements spiraled across a picture of a galaxy.
    • If you view the slideshow, slide six has a picture of the actual chart that is much easier to follow. It has boxes for elements and arrows connecting like elements. I do agree that the one with circles sucks. It's rather misleading, too. Why don't they just publish a decent picture of it instead of making us guess on what it looks like?
    • Check that. I wonder if the one with the boxes is the inspiration that the new guy had. It said he was inspired by a piece of art in the '50s. If that's the case, the new one really sucks.
    • Re:I don't like it. (Score:4, Informative)

      by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:03AM (#13113553) Homepage
      Frankly, I liked the 1950s chart after it better. There was a certain beauty in the layout of that chart. The new chart is pretty much just the elements spiraled across a picture of a galaxy.

      According to Phillip Stewarts website [chemicalgalaxy.co.uk], this chart isn't meant to replace the current chart.

      From the website [chemicalgalaxy.co.uk] :
      The intention is not to replace the familiar table, but to complement it and at the same time to stimulate the imagination and to evoke wonder at the order underlying the universe.
    • well, I DO like it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by museumpeace (735109) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:27AM (#13113769) Journal
      assuming all the other data a typical periodic table [poster sized or wall chart] crams in to each element's box can be added to this depiction.

      Don't you see that all the orbital or shells [that make for a confusing notation that chemists painfully memorize and physicists gleefully re-explain with Schroedinger's wave equations that mean nothing to most of us] are made much more intuitive in this representation? This new chart can still give those with no education in atomic physics the intuitive recognition of "what should come next", "what's missing" and "what will weigh more" as the old chart has. Consider that chem teachers are are told to regard as advanced any student who understands this notation[search for "Level 3, the student is able to..." [state.tn.us]. Or considered how labored even a chem101 [frostburg.edu] treatment of this material is.
      One thing I will concede: Pauling's notion of "electronegativity", so useful to chemists, was clearly related to location of an element on the standard periodic table [changing most strongly as you traversed diagonally from lower left to upper right]...its not so clear here.
  • It's good to finish off high school and join a college. As a part of high school chemistry, we were expected to know the periodic table by-heart - all the groups and atomic numbers and stuff like that.
  • by vinohradska (713189) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:33AM (#13113271)
    I forgot to mention that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Galaxy [wikipedia.org] is the wikipedia article.
  • by waynegoode (758645) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:33AM (#13113272) Homepage
    The new table looks interesting and it does give a new perspective, but I don't think it will replace the old periodic table. The main reason is that the "table" is mostly whitespace, or in this case, blackspace. Because of this the symbol for eachelement is written so small that it is hard to read and the other information is relegated to a list on the side. People complain who complain about the inelegance of the current periodic table should complain even louder about this list. It has no structure or elegance; it is just a plian, simple list.

    The current list has its flaws, but the elements are organized and structured and there is room for the properties of each element on the chart, not on the side as an afterthought.

    • And I've got half a chance of reproducing the old chart in a test. I've got bugger all chance of drawing that galaxy thing, and the examiners would have even less chance of reading my labels on it if I tried.
    • by potpie (706881) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:39AM (#13113334) Journal
      Did you see the illustration on page 6? I think it's obvious that the size of the text could be increased and the amount of blackspace decreased. It would not be hard to draw it yourself in a more readable way. It's not as though that galaxy picture is the only possible way to represent this new table.
      • That one was created by Edgar Longman. This Phillip Stewart took the idea, and turned it into the galaxy image.

        Stewart deserves little credit for the idea itself, only for the artistic galaxy adaptation (which is pretty, but not particularily useful).
    • I agree. The new table is a cute exercise in graphic design, but the splayed-out spiral arms make it confusing and difficult to follow if one actually intends to use the table for scientific purposes. Current users of Mendelev's periodic table are also familiar with the patterns it creates, such as the noble gases. Having the rows "end abruptly" as the article claims has a scientific use. The current periodic table makes it easy to pick out certain groups of elements that share vertical similarities, as wel
    • Because of this the symbol for eachelement is written so small that it is hard to read and the other information is relegated to a list on the side.

      Ahh but see there is an alterior motive in all of that! Secondary teachers are not going to have to cover up the table when they give exams :)

      (I have less than fond memories of my 11th grade Chemistry teacher covering the Periodic Table and then giving us tests -- it's probably because I received more hours of detention from him in on year then all combined
  • More Periodic Tables (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lev13than (581686) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:34AM (#13113281) Homepage
    There's a good collection of periodic tables here [chemistrycoach.com]. Also note that the periodic table referred to in the article is similar to one produced by Thoedor Benfey [maricopa.edu].

    Nerd 1: Come on, Mr. Simpson, you'll never pass this course if you don't know the periodic table.
    Homer: Ehh, I'll write it on my hand.
    Nerd 1: Ho! Including all known lanthanides and actinides? Ha, ha! Good luck.
  • I'm not sold on it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by everphilski (877346) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:35AM (#13113287) Journal
    The poster looks cool and all, but from a good look at it I'm not sure it preserves all the relationships you learned back in Chem 101. Remember... things like electronegativity? [on a periodic table, as you go up and right things get more electronegative] There is a general trend across the periodic table as we know it; by looking at the table you can observe that flourine is more electronegative than nitrogen, and so on. And s, p, d, f shells are logically laid out. It doesn't seem like a circular chart would be as intuitive.

    -everphilski-
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      My thoughts exactly. Electronegativity, atom size, and orbitals have very definite trends in the usual periodic table. Changing the table without preserving these relationships removes useful information.
    • by BioCS.Nerd (847372) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:50AM (#13113443) Homepage
      Excellent point everphilski. On the topic of intuitiveness, it seems to me that most people think in terms of rows and columns more easily than circular relationships, at least in our culture (e.g. some cultures think of time as cyclical, versus ours which sees time as linear).

      Perhaps someday when we see something like e-paper become more affordable we'll see dynamic tables that change according to the relationship you currently want to view. E.g. the table reorders itself when you want to view elements in terms of melting points, or perhaps by relationship when as super atoms (as described in the article slide show).
    • This was exactly what I was thinking. As a professor who teaches general chemistry, this table is pretty, but as a resource of information about the elements, it really pales in comparison to the more standard table in use today. Learning about trends in reactivity, properties, atomic and ionic radii all seem substantially more difficult to "see" in this chart.

      Also, while chemists seem to argue about how to number the groups in the current table, the group numbers are still quite useful in determining info
  • Wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by belg4mit (152620) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:36AM (#13113294) Homepage
    How the hell does this article qualify as interesting? And what's the big deal? Some
    guy with no clue copies an idea he once saw
    to produce a less usable form of one of the
    most recognizable/universal data structures
    on the planet.
  • by hagrin (896731) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:36AM (#13113296) Homepage Journal
    Stewart created his table in part because he remembered being deeply impressed, at the age of 12, by a similar one he saw at the science pavilion of the 1951 Festival of Britain. An impressionistic swirl in vivid colors created by the artist Edgar Longman, the table stood little hope of being adopted by classrooms, but it spurred Stewart to study science. He recalls being struck by nature's underlying order: "I realized that the atoms that make up a galaxy can be arranged in just the same form as the galaxy itself." There's a few points from page 5 of the slideshow that really hit home. 1) First, he basically ripped this idea off from a previous chart built in 1951, modernized, gave it a better "UI" and is now shipping it out to the masses. Sound familiar?

    2) On a positive note, I believe that the visual upgrades to the chart (although, will color blind people have any issues getting the full content from the chart now?) will definitely help students remember and learn emelents easier. The visual separation should definitely increase the ability for students to remember how many different colors, how many elemnts per color per spiral, etc. 3) What I think is the most interesting point of all of this is the relation of the elements being able to be tied back together and done so in a shape that mirrors the overall shape of the galaxy. It's sort of like the movie "Pi" where we can see trends, shapes, circles and spirals all within our life and this would be just one more example.
    • I think that the incorporation of the f block into a linear atomic weight order is great. However...

      I would suggest that teaching students yet another way to memorize information without learning the how or why is not a good thing.

      Secondly, the periodic table already separates the elements into s, p, d and f blocks according to (most) of their relevant properties, and since this chart is largely just a pretty way of re-drawing the information there is not much to be gained. I have colour-coded periodic
  • Unobtainium (Score:5, Funny)

    by infonography (566403) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:36AM (#13113302) Homepage
    Element: Unobtainium [wikipedia.org] Still trying to obtain the atomic weight of that one.
  • by rubberbando (784342) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:38AM (#13113315)
    I kept getting bombarded by a near lethal dose of popupium....

    I guess I'll need to inoculate myself with a little firefoxium...
  • Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nuggz (69912) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:38AM (#13113320) Homepage
    This is old news.
    The "widespread acceptance" is that it got trendy with some high school teachers.

    I remember when our HS chemistry teacher (years ago) showed us a few alternate tables to remind us that there are relationships, and that the periodic table isn't just the 2d table at the back of the chemistry textbook.
  • Perl6 freaks put out a periodic table [ozonehouse.com] of operators. What's periodic about it ?.. the frequency in which it is NOT updated.

    The current organization of the periodic table is almost burned into my brain. Six years after touching my last chemistry text book, I can still remember that Zinc is too close to the non-metals and that there's a huge fuss about what the names of those artificial elements that they started naming it Unun to avoid controversy.

    My point being that it is a mnemonic chart more than a

  • Is there any scientific relevance to the layout of this chart whatsoever. If there is I could not find it in a brief read of the article. If I remember correctly from HS chemistry then the last chart had a layout that made it very easy for doing all the chemistry stuff that I can't remember the names of anymore.
    • Is there any scientific relevance to the layout of this chart whatsoever.

      Yes. The same scientific relevance that the original periodic chart has exists here as well.

      But as for the galaxy graphics, well, he's just trying to make it pretty (read: this is why people are buying it. It's pretty.) And as for the spiral shape, well, all it does is put Ne next to Na, Ar next to K, Kr next to RB, etc. Which does make sense, as they differ by only one electron and one proton. (We'll ignore neutrons for

  • I like it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cagle_.25 (715952) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:40AM (#13113340) Journal
    I teach chemistry, and I like the chart. It conveys a sense of connectedness between both groups and periods. It also conveys the "periodic" nature of the groups much more effectively than the standard chart does, as the elements within a group line up *not* because they've been arbitrarily shoved into place, but because they spiral out to the appropriate location.

    Still and all, I will probably have it only as a demo tool. The standard chart is much easier to read. It also shows electron configurations more clearly than the spiral does.

  • Back in the day (Score:3, Interesting)

    by proverbialcow (177020) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:41AM (#13113356) Journal
    I remember sitting in high school chem in 1994, thinking that the periodic table would be much better represented as a conical helicoid - a spiral wrapped around a cone.

    A few years later I saw a list of known isotopes arranged one element per line and indented based on the weight of the nucleus, with simple hydrogen in the eupper-left corner. The stable isotopes were colored differently, and the color band formed a skewed triangle that would have also wrapped nicely around a cone.
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:43AM (#13113370) Homepage
    The best way to learn the periodic table is to have it printed on the back of a T-shirt that a cute co-ed is wearing. :P

    (You have to see the movie Evolution to understand.)
  • Why is the periodic table superimposed on top of a galaxy? Seems pointless. And why is hydrogen grouped in with Silicon and gallium, rather then the Alkali metals like lithium and sodium?
  • by linuxkrn (635044) <[moc.nigolxunil] [ta] [nostawg]> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:43AM (#13113374)
    Sex Position Periodic Table [moviepostershop.com]

    Enjoy. :)
  • by Saggi (462624) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:44AM (#13113386) Homepage
    I think one of the most importent aspects of the table is to provide an overview of how the atoms align to eachother.

    The table is not a lookup table for atom details of data. There are so many details (protons, weight, melting point, etc...) in regard to each atom, that no table can really display them proberly.

    If you are a chemist you will know most of this by heart, so the table is best for teaching the concepts. To provide an overview.

    In my opinion the new table do solve some of the issues the old table had. Especially now that it is round, that allows the end collums to meet.

    You could almost say; look at the table and tell me how the atom "behvior groups" are like. Now look at the new table, and answer the same question.

    In both cases you still need to learn about the "behvior groups"...
  • by jhw3 (839537) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:45AM (#13113391)
    No chemists really think that the lanthanides and actinides are "footnotes" in the periodic table. In truth both rows should be inserted under Group 3. We just put them under the table because the first option would make the table too wide.

    Hydrogen is difficult to place in a group because it's basically a single proton with a single electron whizzing around it. In fact, in organic chemistry we usually just refer to hydrogen ions as "protons" -- which they are. The element itself has some properties of halogens and some properties of alkali metals, which is why it sometimes gets put in "both" groups.

    Practising chemists usually know where the elements they work with lie in the periodic table. Outside of school use, the main use for periodic tables is to quickly find atomic weights (sometimes also electronic configurations or physical properties). Annotated variants of the "old version" are great for this. If this data can't be found quickly, the periodic table is useless.
  • Those more at home with TV news and what the Ford Taurus has wrought will oooh and aaaah over it until they find that it has less useful information in it than the old block chart, and shows fewer meaningful relationships between the elements as well.

    then people will look at it and say "Gee. It's Pretty, but it's also PRETTY USELESS." and this will go the way of the Edsel and the AMC Matador. (brrrr- I get chills just thinking about that ugly POS)

    RS

  • Here: New Periodic Table [msn.com]

    It's less cluttered and easier to read than the "Galaxy" version.
  • I used to play this educational game for the TRS-80 called "Atom" http://nitros9.stg.net/atom.html [stg.net].

    The screen showed a central nucleus, with spinning electron holes. Your job was to capture free electrons with your little ship and shoot them into the holes. You started with the first shell with 2 holes, one for H and one for He, and then the next shell of 8 appeared for you to fill, etc. etc. Eventually the screen got very cramped, which must be why they stopped at 54.

    If you fired the electron and miss
  • I rather like this [slate.com] table, rather than the busy one with the galaxy as a background: more information with less cruft.
  • by zx75 (304335) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:59AM (#13113524) Homepage
    Its a nice picture indeed, I like the look of it, although I agree with some previous posters that a resizing is in order so more information can be associated with each element 'bubble'.

    However, I can't remember enough of the properties of individual elements to grasp the underlying structure of this periodic table. I remember my chemistry teacher explaining the elegance of the square periodic table by how the electron orbits are mapped out, the total charge of each element in vertical columns and all the neat stuff like that. What I would like to see before passing judgement on this new one is a mapping of all those cool features of the old table into the new table, so I can figure out how it works and if it truely does lend itself to a better understanding of the elements.

    If all the nice relational properties of the old table are preserved in the new one in some sort of structure, then with some tweaking it might be quite useful. But until someone can point those features out to me, a pretty picture it will remain.
  • Not the first remake (Score:5, Informative)

    by madmancarman (100642) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:00AM (#13113526)
    While some may say it doesn't qualify as a "remake", Henry Moseley [wikipedia.org]'s work resulted in the reorganization of the periodic table by atomic number, as opposed to Mendeleev's table, which went by atomic weight and chemical properties. Unfortunately, Moseley was killed at the age of 27 while fighting in World War I.

    The strange thing is that high school chemistry books that I've taught from treat Mendeleev as a sort of Socrates/demigod figure, yet make no mention of Moseley's contributions, which really advanced chemistry. We wouldn't know anything about the inner workings of the atom if we didn't know and understand atomic numbers.

    As for this new poster... it would be something I'd put up on the wall of my classroom to attract attention and give students a new way of looking at the elements, but for any serious work, we'd still have to use the standard periodic table. There's nothing wrong with looking at the elements in a new way, but that doesn't mean it will be useful beyond generating interest in science.

    • I just saw your sig: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Gandhi

      Which I have seen before, and in the strange coffee deprived state that my mind is in I read: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you eat them. -- Godzilla
  • by richieb (3277) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [beihcir]> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:10AM (#13113598) Homepage Journal
    You know, these scientist can't make up their mind.

    Stick to the biblical periodic table: earth, water, air and fire....

  • by Intron (870560) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:10AM (#13113601)
    Now the periodic table. Is nothing that I learned in school sacred?
  • by alchemist68 (550641) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:11AM (#13113610)
    Much about the chemistry of the elements can be obtained from:

    Essential Trends in Inorganic Chemistry by D.M.P. Mingos, D. M. P. Mingos

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0198 501080/qid=1121871924/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/002-082468 3-5368037?v=glance&s=books [amazon.com]

    and

    Chemistry of the Elements by A. Earnshaw, Norman Greenwood

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0750 633654/qid=1121872078/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0824 683-5368037?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 [amazon.com]
  • There is a lot of whitespace. To be as easy to read as a conventional periodic table, this chart would have to be printed much larger. I'd think that a good graphic designer could take care of much of that problem, however.

    I like the spiral nature, although that's a little hard to read as well.

    As a scientist and educator, I'd say he's done a good job. As a graphic design, the new table leaves a lot to be desired. I wouldn't fault the author for that, the skills necessary for good science or good teaching don't have much in common with the skills for good design.

  • by nasor (690345) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:30AM (#13113785)
    The traditional periodic table is arranged the way it is for a reason. With an ordinary periodic table, simply looking at an element's position on the table will give you information about its

    -electronegativity/electron affinity
    -the radius of its electron cloud
    -ionization energy
    -lattice energy
    -valence electron configuration

    Maybe there's a way to deduce all that from this new "galaxy" aragnement, but the article doesn't mention it and it's not readily apparent to me.
  • They missed the point entirely, and would have been better off making two distinct versions sold as a bundle. They both would resemble the current periodic table, but one would have a naked woman ghosted in the background, the other a naked man.

    Using my new patented (R), (C) and (CC), method, I guarantee that high school age kids would stare at it for hours during class, and the learning would flow from that. It can't be any dumber than the current US educationals standards, and adults can enjoy it too.

    As a side benefit, it may end up in garages and truckstops world-wide. Educate the masses I say!

    -Charlie

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

Working...