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The INTERNET Database of Periodic Tables

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

Use the drop menus below to search & select from the more than 1100 Period Tables in the database:

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Periodic Table formulations from the year 1920:

1920   Nodder's Periodic Table
1920   Partington's Periodic Arrangement of the Elements
1920   Schaltenbrand's Helical Periodic Table
1920   Kohlweiler's System
1920   Black & Conant's Periodic Classification Of The Elements
1920   Stewart's Arrangement of The Elements
1920   Pfeiffer's Periodic System of the Elements


1920

Nodder's Periodic Table

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1920

Partington's Periodic Arrangement of the Elements

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review paper.pdf

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1920

Schaltenbrand's Helical Periodic Table

G. Schaltenbrand, Darstellung des periodischen Systems der Elemente durch eine räumliche Spirale, Z. anorg. allgem. Chem., 112, 221-4 (Sept. 1920)

From Quam & Quam's 1934 review:

"The elements are arranged in order of atomic weights on an eccentric spiral. The four sets of curves include positions of similar elements. The first small turn carries H and He; the remainder of the inert elements and the halogens are on successive small turns in analogous positions.

"On the next larger turn are found the alkali, alkaline-earth, and aluminum family elements.

"The long periods require larger turns and the period containing the rare-earth elements requires the longest turn of all. Elements of the same group are found in the same plane passing through the axis of the spiral."



Commissioned in 2019 to match George Schaltenbrand's 1920 design for a helical gathering of the elements – albeit extended to all 118 current elements – and signed by Yuri Oganessian, it is almost certainly the most expensive periodic table in the world."

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1920

Kohlweiler's System

Kohlweiler's system of 1920 (from van Spronsen):

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1920

Black & Conant's Periodic Classification Of The Elements

From N.H. Black NH & J.B. Conant's Practical Chemistry: Fundamental Facts and Applications to Modern Life, MacMillan, New York (1920)

Eric Scerri, who provided this formulation writes (personal communication):

"Notice conspicuous absence of H. And, Conant was the person who gave Kuhn his first start in the history of science at Harvard."

René Vernon tells us that Conant and his coauthor write:

"The position of H in the system has been a matter of some discussion, but it is not of much consequence. It seems to be rather an odd element. Perhaps the best place for it is in group IA as it forms a positive ion." (p. 350)

Thanks to Eric Scerri for the tip! 
See the website EricScerri.com and Eric's Twitter Feed.

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1920

Stewart's Arrangement of The Elements

From A.W. Stewart, Recent Advances in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, 3rd ed., Longmans, Green and Co., London (1920) 

René Vernon writes:

"Stewart discusses the 'forced symmetry' of Mendeleev's table, and the distinction between 'facetious symmetry' (as he calls it) and the actual correlation of facts (as he saw them at that time)."

Extracts:

237. Mendeleev... objected strongly to the employment of graphic methods of expressing the Periodic Law, on the ground that such methods did not indicate the existence of a limited and definite number of elements in each period.

239. The Periodic Table, as laid down by Mendeleeff in his writings, exhibits a symmetry which was one of its greatest assets. For some psychological reason, symmetry has an attraction for the human mind; and we are always apt to prefer a regular arrangement to one in which irregularities pre- dominate. Psychological peculiarities are, however, undesirable guides in the search for truth; and a careful examination of the Table in the light of our present knowledge will suffice to show that it can boast of no such symmetry as we are led to expect from the text-books of our student days.

For example, owing to the omission of some of the rare earth elements and by the insertion of blanks, the Table in its original form attained a very high degree of regularity; but since there are, as we know from the X-ray spectra results, only sixteen elements to fill the eighteen vacant spaces in the Table, it is evident that the symmetry of Mendeleeff s system is purely factitious.

Further, in order to produce the appearance of symmetry, Mendeleeff was forced to place copper, silver, and gold in the first group, although there is no known oxide Au2O and the stable chloride of gold is AuCl3.

These examples are well-known, and are mentioned here only for the purpose of enforcing the statement that the symmetry of Mendeleef's system cannot be sustained at the present day. Fascinating though its cut-and-dried regularity may be, we cannot afford to let symmetry dominate our minds when in actual fact there is no symmetry to be found.

240. The most superficial examination shows that, instead of being a symmetrical whole, the Table is really pieced together from a series of discrete sections.

250. The first attempt to arrange all the elements in a periodic grouping took the form of a three-dimensional model the Telluric Helix of de Chancourtois and it is not surprising that from time to time attempts have been made to utilize the third dimension as an aid to classification. It cannot be said that much light has been thrown on the matter by these essays; but some account of them must be given here for the sake of completeness.

251. The main drawback to the spiral representation appears to be that in it no new facts are brought to light, and there is no fresh collocation of the allied elements which might give it an advantage over the ordinary forms of classification. Also, in most cases it is more difficult to grasp as a whole.

253 ...if we have to choose between factitious symmetry and actual correlation of facts, we must decide in favour of the latter, discomforting though the choice may be.

255. The following new grouping seems worth considering. Although it has many good points, it is not to be regarded as a final solution, but is put forward mainly in the hope that an examination of it may suggest some more perfect system.

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1920

Pfeiffer's Periodic System of the Elements

V. P. Pfeiffer, Naturwiss. 8, 984-991 (1920), Die Befruchtung der Chemie durch die Röntgenstrahlenphysik (The fertilization of chemistry by X-ray physics).

Yoshi Maeno of Kyoto University writes:

"The question who it was who paved the way to the modern representation of the long-period periodic table is a subject of discussion. In my understanding, it was Alfred Werner in 1905. It is a pity that his invention is sometimes over criticised due to some errors in the placements and orders of some elements in his original work.

"It is much less known who first proposed the familiar form of the long-period table with the rare-earth elements as a separate table placed below the main table for convenience. It is most probably Von Paul Pfeiffer in 1920, below. In his paper, he followed Werner's work and extended the table incorporating the knowledge from X-ray physics. Pfeiffer's table preceded Deming's 1923 table and is more similar to today's standard table.

"Pfeiffer was a student and assistant of Werner at Univ Zurich (Wikipedia).

"I acknowledge Y. Hisamatsu who gave me the information of Pfeiffer's original paper."

Thanks to Yoshi Maeno of Kyoto University for the tip!

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What is the Periodic Table Showing? Periodicity

© Mark R. Leach Ph.D. 1999 –


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