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2019 has been designated the International Year of the Periodic Table as it is the 150th Anniversary of the formulation of Mendeleev's Tabelle I

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There are thousands of periodic tables in web space, but there is only one comprehensive database of periodic tables & periodic system formulations. If you know of an interesting periodic table that is missing, please contact the database curator: Dr Mark R Leach.

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Alexander Arrangement of Elements, 3D Illustrated

The design of the 2012 Alexander Arrangement of Elements (AAE) follows the principles of a three-dimensional model developed by Roy Alexander in 1965: a printed representation of element information based on strict adherence to the Periodic Law, with every element data box physically and visually contiguous and continuous within the sequence of atomic numbers in generally accepted element property related columns - "...the periodic table the way it's supposed to be".

This is made possible by wrapping, folding, and joining the printed material and employing the patented p-block downslant of the element data boxes to allow the end element of a period to be adjacent to the first element of the next period.

Several unique features separate it from the previous four versions of the AAE

  • The visual effect mirrors the look of Theodore Gray's series of posters, books, element cards and periodictable.com website and apps for the Apple iPod and iPad.
  • Each element box is dominated by a Theodore Gray element photograph, with the element name, letter symbol, and atomic number relatively large, often overlapping the photo.
  • The period numbers (below, right) are printed at the interface of the end/beginning of the periods, folded 90 degrees on the model, and the blocks and columns (old & new numbers), are identified below the data boxes - and in the case of the Actinoids, above.

  • The element blocks connect at a central nexus (below, center), with the d- and f-blocks leaving, looping, and returning there, thus allowing the shorter period gaps above to be closed. For best visibility of the element data, these loops pinch together near the intersection. The p-block bends in a half-circle to join the s-block at the corner described above, with a patented 'downslant' where the element boxes gracefully sweep down a full box height (above) within this block to allow elimination of the "carriage return" effect: each period ending on the row above the next.

  • The extended Hydrogen data box, a characteristic of all Alexander Arrangements, is more extended in this model, reaching for the multiple positions of the H box that are still under discussion among experts. The extra-extended Hydrogen box, illustrated by a composite image of a hydrogen cloud in space, (above, right) loops over the s- and p-blocks. Starting up from behind the corner of Helium & Lithium, inside the half-helical tube to loop over Helium, attach above Lithium, Beryllium and then Carbon as the loop descends (joining the ascending portion) over the data boxes of the s- & p-blocks, terminating in contact with Fluorine, Neon, and corner-on to Neon.
  • The model size is the same as the previous Display Version of the AAE, but has fewer element data boxes, due to there being no photos of the lab created elements and for simplification of the educational application - introduction to property periodicity and organization of element data - the elements with atomic numbers over 94 are not included (see addendum).
  • Where the f-block begins and ends, between Barium and Lutetium, the f-block is held perpendicular to the only flat segment of the element display by a pair of triangular braces, which also create the flat area, aligning the s-block with the 'pinch' of the d-block. This is particularly apparent from the bottom, when the model is supported from above. (see below)

Designed by Roy Alexander, a science museum exhibit and teaching aid designer, the Adobe Illustrator art for the model was started by Ann Grafelman, and continued by Roy from mid 2011 through November of 2012.

Photos were provided by Theodore Gray, and Element Collection funded the printing and die cutting performed by Strine Printing in York, Pennsylvania. The model kit was first offered at Theo's PeriodicTable.com, then at Roy's AllPeriodicTables.com and the new 3dPeriodicTable.com, which site is dedicated to the 3D Forever Periodic Table only, with add-ons, application suggestions, and descriptions and commentary of all sorts.

Assembly instructions and step photos, as well as a number or completed model color photographs are included with the kit. These were developed with prototype models, and while functional, have been upgraded and accompanied by an assembly video at AlexanderArrangementOfElements.com/3D


Text relating to the abbreviation of the ever increasing number of elements is explained at two places on the 3D AAE illustrated periodic table model kit. One will remain with the model and one is removed at the time of assembly.

That which remains runs under the Actinoids and the d-block elements, where the lab created elements might ordinarily be expected to be found, says:

The lab created elements ordinarily found in this part of a periodic table are not to be found in nature, there can be no photographs of them, so nothing needs to be added to this element photo periodic table - ever - so it will never be obsolete, a Forever Periodic Table.

That which is removed says:

Naturally-occurring elements have been numbered variously, generally between 80 and 96, all for cogent scientific reasons.

For easier teaching and learning, we have included on this periodic table only the 92 elements actually currently existing on Earth and in the remainder of the Universe, and adding Technetium and Promethium, which, although they may have no stable forms, serve to fill what would otherwise be gaps in the sequence.

Not added for practical and educational reasons are 'elements' consisting only of pages and pages of computer data from smashing atoms in particle accelerators. Another reason is that there can be no photographs of them to show, and as a result, your arrangement is complete and never be obsolete - your Forever Periodic Table.

Included with the art of the periodic table on the die cut substrate that makes up the model is some background information about the the history of three dimensional periodic tables.

The first of these is about the discoverer of the concept of arranging the elements in periods suggested by the properties of the elements, de Chancourtois.

The second 3D periodic table information piece (on the rear of the de Chancourtois removable card) are sketches of a number of the 3D periodic tables found on the Chemogenesis website.

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Periodic Table, What is it showing?
Binary Compounds

© Mark R. Leach 1999-

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