A Conversation for The History of the Periodic Table of the Elements

Poor old Newland!

Post 1


A few years before M. published his table and explanation, an English chemist, John Newland, published a paper that identified several periodic properties of elements. He titled the paper "Newland's Law of Octaves". It noted that when elements were arranged in order of atomic mass, their properties starting repeating after every 8 elements.

Partly because of the unfortunate title (associated with music), and partly because of discrepancies (arising due to then unknown elements), his paper was largely ignored.

Poor old Newland!

Post 2

Dr Hell

Poor old Newland, poor old Lothar Mayer and poor old Liebig. The so called law of octaves was not really a new thing Mendeleev found out. Yet it was confusing and not well formulated. Mendeleev was the scientist who had made the biggest leap and the strictest research on the periodic table and the elements including the higher period elements, therefore his contribution was obviously the most important (nevertheless not taking the credit from Newland and Mayer). It's like with many other scientific breaktrhoughs, there's always earlier work giving hints to the new one, and these scientists often don't get the share of fame they probably deserved.

Thanks for your comment,


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