Essay on the History of the Periodic Table of Elements

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[IMAGE] A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERIODIC TABLE

Although Dmitri Mendeleev is often considered the "father" of the periodic table, the work of many scientists contributed to its present form.

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In the Beginning

A necessary prerequisite to the construction of the periodic table was the discovery of the individual elements. Although elements such as gold, silver, tin, copper, lead and mercury have been known since antiquity, the first scientific discovery of an element occurred in 1649 when Hennig Brand discovered phosphorous. During the next 200 years, a vast body of knowledge concerning the properties of elements and their compounds was acquired by chemists
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Unfortunately, research in this area was hampered by the fact that accurate values of were not always available.

First Attempts At Designing a Periodic Table

If a periodic table is regarded as an ordering of the chemical elements demonstrating the periodicity of chemical and physical properties, credit for the first periodic table (published in 1862) probably should be given to a French geologist, A.E.Beguyer de Chancourtois. De Chancourtois transcribed a list of the elements positioned on a cylinder in terms of increasing atomic weight. When the cylinder was constructed so that 16 mass units could be written on the cylinder per turn, closely related elements were lined up vertically. This led de Chancourtois to propose that "the properties of the elements are the properties of numbers." De Chancourtois was first to recognize that elemental properties reoccur every seven elements, and using this chart, he was able to predict the the stoichiometry of several metallic oxides. Unfortunately, his chart included some ions and compounds in addition to elements.

Law of Octaves

John Newlands, an English chemist, wrote a paper in 1863 which classified the 56 established elements into 11 groups based

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