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Periodic Tales

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Yellow Fang, 27 Jun 2013.

  1. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    I have just finished reading Periodic Tales, which is a pop science book about the chemical elements. I say pop science, but it's more about history than anything else. It's not bad. I must have taken a humungous amount of research.
     
  2. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    Good shout, must have a look. ta
     
  3. sidevalve

    sidevalve Well-Known Geek

    AHH ! Such happy [?!!] mempries of studying the huge table on the wall of the lab in my schooldays, [althought the wife will insist there were only copper and iron on it by that time].
     
  4. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    Yes, it was a fascinating chart. It was outlined by a Russian called Mendeleev. It was a good shout by him because quite a lot of the elements had not been discovered then. Strangely, he was a bit upset by the discovery of the noble gases, even though his table implied there were missing elements in those positions.
     
  5. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    What I thought was impressive about Mendeleev's work is that a lot of elements do not seem to fit into groups. The elements of the alkali earths, alkali metals, halogens and noble gases share similar properties. However, the noble gases had not been discovered then, so there was less evidence this was so. Some groups contain wildly differing non-metal, metalloid and metallic elements. For example, the group that contains carbon also contains silicon, germanium, tin and lead. Hydrogen and helium were special cases. Then the transition elements don't seem to fit into the group structure at all, just arriving as a block suddenly. Odd however that copper is in vertical alignment with silver and gold. Then to complicate the structure even more, there are the lanthanides and actinides.
     
  6. sidevalve

    sidevalve Well-Known Geek

    Does that mean this big lump of carbon is useless then ? I found it a while ago and it's all shiney and clear, just like a piece of glass, [which it seems to cut quite easily].
    Ho hum, it is quite pretty though.
     
  7. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    The way someone proved diamonds were carbon was by burning one. It left no residue.
     
  8. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    Well now element 117 has made it onto the table. Just needs naming.
     
  9. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    I think the book said that the odd numbers were more difficult to make than the even numbers. These elements tend to radioactively decay pretty quick so it's difficult to test their properties.