VocExile /Periodic Table

A Circular Periodic Table of the Elements

By Ed Perley

The development of the periodic table of the elements by Mendeleyev was one of the great scientific achievements of the nineteenth century. First, it demonstrated the relationships between the different elements. Secondly, it was also very useful for predicting the chemical and physical properties of elements that had not yet been discovered.

There are two commonly used designs for the periodic table. In both, the elements are laid out in a linear manner, like that of a calendar. It occured to me that they do not clearly demonstrate the electronic orbital structures that in actuality define the physical and chemical properties of the elements. It is sort of like using a calendar to map the relative motions of the Earth and Moon. Fairly accurate, but hard to visualize.

The building of the numerous electronic orbitals that determine the properties of elements is really more of a cyclic, rather than a linear process. Therefore, I suggest the circular design sown below to more clearly show how the electron structure defines an element's properties. Due to space limitations, only the elements with atomic numbers from 1 to 54 are shown.

Periodic Table of the Elements

Periodic Table Display

Like the regular periodic table, this one is divided into eight fundamental divisions. By combining the A and B families, the transition elements also fit into this scheme. The table contains the normal sequence of atomic orbitals, 1s, 2sp, 3spd, 4spdf, etc., except that the s and p orbitals are combined into the same electron shell. Each element is placed in the shell that is primarily responsible for it's properties. As a result, some of the elements are out of sequence when there is a jump to a different shell. For clarity, dotted lines trace these jumps.

Families I and II are set off from the others because they are attributable to the two s electrons in each sp shell. Note that the transition elements start at Family III and end at Family II. I made no attempt to fit the 14 Lanthanide series elements into the 4f shell, since the periodic table does not differentiate them into families. Also, the position of He may not be logically correct. It might more properly be in the II family. I chose to put it with the other inert gasses to stay consistent with the traditional periodic table.

I would appreciate any comments concerning my periodic chart. My Email address is shown below.

If you are interested in learning more about the Periodic table and its creation, there are several books by Eric Scerri that can provide you with a great deal of information. You can view his web site at ericscerri.com.. You can also purchase his books through Amazon.com.

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@Email adddress: exile1004@juno.com
Date: January 2003, updated October 2011