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p. 414. Steps towards the periodic tablelocked

  • Eric R. Scerri


‘Steps towards the periodic table’ outlines the different versions of the periodic table that were devised in the 1860s following the Karlsruhe conference in Germany, which introduced standardized atomic weights. De Chancourtois actually discovered periodicity, but his ideas did not gain traction for many years. Newlands devised the law of octaves, but the musical analogy garnered ridicule from academics. Odling made important discoveries in periodicity, but lacked enthusiasm for the idea. Hinrichs used his wide range of interests to postulate that the ratios of atomic size could explain each element’s unique spectral fingerprint. Meyer made huge strides in discovering periodicity, but, due to a misplaced table, did not get the recognition he deserved.

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