Show Summary Details

p. 654. The eightfold path: organizing the elementslocked

  • Philip Ball


‘The eightfold path: organizing the elements’ explains the history and rationale of the Periodic Table. Atomic theory was not fully accepted until Jean Perrin proved the existence of atoms in 1908. Rutherford et al went further, elucidating subatomic particles. This provided new insights into the Periodic Table, created decades earlier by Mendeleyev. Mendeleyev was not the first to attempt to group the elements. However, an improved set of atomic weights published in 1860 caused an upsurge in research. Mendeleyev's Table showed the order underlying the elements, left gaps for new elements, and questioned irreconcilable data. This data was eventually reconciled partly by Rutherford, and partly by Bohr's application of quantum theory.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.