The History Of The Elements And Periodic Table

980 words - 4 pages

Greek thinkers and early people noted around 400BC, that things are different from each other, and can be broken down into smaller groups. They used the words “element” and “atom” to describe different and the smallest parts of matter. For over 2000 years, the four “elements” of Earth, fire, water, and air were used to explain many stories of the world. Something had to of been done to organize our thoughts and observations of our elements. A method was needed by 1860 to organize the sixty elements known by scientists. Many scientists helped contribute to the discoveries made for the Periodic Table, but Dmitri Mendeléev eventually constructed the first table. All of the elements that are a part of the Periodic Table are all based on the properties of matter. We are able to describe, classify, and quickly identify the elements by their properties. The table is also organized by their certain properties that repeat periodically when arranged by their atomic number. The table is arranged into groups and periods to display their common properties.
The modern day Periodic Table was put together with the discoveries of many different scientists. A German Chemist, Johann Döbereiner discovered that Barium, Calcium, and Strontium had very similar properties. He but these elements in a group called a triad and organized them according to their masses. Döbereiner discovered that the atomic weight of the middle element in each triad is about equal to the average of the atomic weights of the first and third elements. Lithium, Sodium, and Potassium followed this rule for example. He saw this pattern in several groups of three as well. This was the beginning of trends in the arrangements of elements. Döbereiner also found that the density of the middle element in most triads is roughly equal to the average of the densities of the other elements. The density of strontium (2.60 g/cm3), for example, is close to the average of the densities of calcium (1.55 g/cm3) and barium (3.51 g/cm3). However, at this that time, these laws were nothing but a curiosity as only a few elements and their masses were actually known.
Almost fifty years after Johann Döbereiner's Law of Triads was developed, an English
chemist, John Newlands found a new method for organizing the elements. Many new elements had been discovered by this time, and could be more precisely measured. Newlands took Döbereiner’s law and expanded on the basic ideas of similar properties. He also organized the elements by mass and property like Döbereiner did. He arranged many known elements in increasing order of their atomic masses. He started with Hydrogen, the element with the lowest mass and ended with the 56th element, Thorium. However, he also related the elements to each other and found a pattern. He discovered that after intervals of eight elements, similar physical and chemical properties reappeared again. He wrote a paper proposing the Law of Octaves....

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