Periodic table of elements/Addendum

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This addendum is a continuation of the article Periodic table of elements.

Book excerpts

•Gordin,MD. (2004) A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table. Basic Books: New York. ISBN 046502775X. | Google Books preview.

Of course, the periodic table had to be created somewhere—everything that we know about the world first appeared in a specific place at a specific time. The periodic system actually presents one of the more complicated cases, emerging independently during the 1860s in England, France, the United States, Germany, and Russia.

The most developed form of the periodic system of chemical elements, the one canonized as the standard across the world today, emerged from the last of these places: Russia. In fact, this form of the system, born in the northern Imperial capital of St. Petersburg in the late 1860s, was so suggestive that its formulator—a young chemistry professor at the local university—risked using the blank spaces in its framework to predict three yet undiscovered elements to supplement the sixty-three ones then recognized. In the face of all the competing periodic systems from Western Europe, no one in chemistry had yet hazarded so audacious a prediction. Even more amazing, the 35-year-old Petersburgers predictions were confirmed within fifteen years.

This periodic table (or periodic system) of chemical elements was widely proclaimed as the periodic Law, one of the cornerstones of the modern physical sciences. Shortly after its inception, the polychromatic icon of the periodic system appeared in chemistry classrooms and laboratories across the world, a position it will almost certainly retain far into the future.