Alexander Arrangement of Elements
The Alexander Arrangement of Elements is a 3D periodic table concept based on strict adherence to the Periodic Law, and, like the first representation of elements in periods by de Chancourtois, connects every element data box in unbroken order.
Roy Alexander, a Brooklyn born science museum exhibit and teaching aid designer, has told me in a personal communication: "I came up with the idea (being ignorant of anything but the flat Sargent Welch charts) in 1965. I wasn't able to patent [the downslant in the p-block] until 1971." (U.S.Patent #3,581,409)
At the time Roy had no idea that others had employed a similar technique to build a 3D table – including the very first periodic table developer, de Chancourtois, who is often credited with being the original discoverer of the periodicity of elements and the originator of the three-dimensional method of element arrangement and representation.
These 3D forms attempt to return the Seaborg separated f–block to its proper position in the table rather than remaining exiled. This, and contemporary attitudes about Hydrogen as being in more families than one – is uniquely addressed in Roy's 3D models.
Subsequent study of the Periodic Law and the periodic table's value in education convinced Roy that the basic rationale for developing the Alexander Arrangement of Elements was only one of the many good reasons for producing it for the public to share, so he sought and was granted a U.S. patent on the p-block downslant in order to manufacture and market the AAEs as teaching/learning aids.
Roy Alexander's goal of introducing the AAE into classrooms, laboratories, chemistry textbooks, and reference material remains the same today, but rather than replacing the conventional charts, its niche in education is at the very point that a lesson on arrangement of atoms into a chart begins. Element sequencing (vs. 24 breaks/gaps) credits the chart as well as the Periodic Law, which establishes subsequent confidence in the common flat charts, much as the world globe establishes the reality, and flat printed projections - maps - are vital (and relished) for convenience.
The first commercial production of Alexander Arrangements was in 1995, when Roy pioneered by constructing a website - periodictable.com - for marketing. Three versions were printed: two versions for student entry of element symbols, the larger die-cut for easier assembly.
An even larger model was produced with basic element data printed in the boxes, also die cut. These were printed on white card stock, with black ink.
Another version (below) was produced in conjunction with ATMI's annual report in 2000. This was added to Roy's product offerings, called the DeskTopper, and is still available. They are die cut to form a 7.25" high model with the f-block position attached after La, but can be altered to put La on the f-block. (See AAE Features at the top of this page.)
Besides the hands-on educational application, the DeskTopper can be used as a pen & pencil caddy, and flattened without losing the continuity of the element data. This flattened form has suggested design of a Braille periodic table of the same format, and this is also being pursued.
Marketing the Alexander Arrangements was moved to AllPeriodicTables.com in cooperation with Theodore Gray in 2006, who purchased the PeriodicTable.com domain name and funded the production of Roy's newest model, illustrated with Theo's amazing element photos.
For the first time, the elements beyond those naturally occurring have been omitted from a modern periodic table, simplifying initiation to chemistry. This factor denies the concept of obsolescence, and this version has been called the Forever Periodic Table. Details of this new 3D periodic table model kit have been placed at 3DPeriodicTable.com.
Further AAE information and images may be found at the Alexander Arrangement website.
|Periodic Table, What is it showing?||
© Mark R. Leach 1999-
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