By Eric Scerri

ISBN-10: 0195391314

ISBN-13: 9780195391312

In 1913, English physicist Henry Moseley confirmed a sublime approach for "counting" the weather according to atomic quantity, ranging them from hydrogen (#1) to uranium (#92). It quickly turned transparent, despite the fact that, that seven components have been mysteriously lacking from the lineup--seven parts unknown to technological know-how.

In his good researched and fascinating narrative, Eric Scerri provides the interesting tales of those seven elements--protactinium, hafnium, rhenium, technetium, francium, astatine and promethium. The ebook follows the ancient order of discovery, approximately spanning the 2 global wars, starting with the isolation of protactinium in 1917 and finishing with that of promethium in 1945. for every point, Scerri strains the learn that preceded the invention, the pivotal experiments, the personalities of the chemists concerned, the chemical nature of the hot aspect, and its purposes in technological know-how and know-how. We examine for example that alloys of hafnium--whose identify derives from the Latin identify for Copenhagen (hafnia)--have many of the optimum boiling issues on checklist and are used for the nozzles in rocket thrusters equivalent to the Apollo Lunar Modules. Scerri additionally tells the private stories of researchers overcoming nice hindrances. We see how Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn--the pair who later proposed the speculation of atomic fission--were suffering to isolate aspect ninety one whilst international warfare I intervened, Hahn was once drafted into the German army's poison gasoline unit, and Meitner used to be pressured to press on by myself opposed to daunting odds. The ebook concludes by way of reading how and the place the twenty-five new components have taken their locations within the periodic desk within the final part century.

A story of 7 Elements paints a desirable photo of chemical research--the flawed turns, overlooked possibilities, bitterly disputed claims, serendipitous findings, accusations of dishonesty--all top eventually to the fun of discovery.

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Download e-book for iPad: A Tale of Seven Elements by Eric Scerri

In 1913, English physicist Henry Moseley proven a chic process for "counting" the weather in line with atomic quantity, ranging them from hydrogen (#1) to uranium (#92). It quickly grew to become transparent, even though, that seven parts have been mysteriously lacking from the lineup--seven parts unknown to technological know-how.

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In 1863, when Newlands puts forth his first system, he does so without the benefit of the atomic weight values that had been issued following the Karlsruhe conference of 1860. Instead, he uses the atomic weight values favored by Gerhardt, who had begun to revise atomic weights even before the Karlsruhe conference. Newlands is able to produce a table consisting of eleven groups of elements with analogous properties whose weights differ by a factor of 8 or some multiple of 8. In his 1863 article Newlands describes a relationship among atomic weights of the alkali metals and uses it to predict the existence of a new element of weight 163, as well as a new element that would occur between iridium and rhodium.

It will also be seen that the numbers of analogous elements differ either by 7 or by some multiple of seven; in other words, members of the same group stand to each other in the same relation as the extremities of one or more octaves in music . . The eighth element starting from a given one is a kind of repetition of the first. 9 [Original italics] 10 A TA L E O F S E V E N E L E M E N T S This statement marks a rather important step in the evolution of the periodic system since it represents the first clear announcement of a new law of nature relating to the repetition of the properties of the elements after certain intervals.

R2O7. Group VIII. RO4. … ? La=180 S=32 As=75 Sn=118 F=19 Cr=52 Nb=94 ? … ? … Si=28 Zr=90 ? …… Group III. R2O3. …… Group II. RO. 14 Mendeleev’s periodic table of 1871. D. Mendeleev, Zhurnal Russkoe Fiziko-Khimicheskoe Obshchestvo 3, 25 (1871). 30 A TA L E O F S E V E N E L E M E N T S Mendeleev on the Nature of Elements There is a long-standing puzzle in chemistry. When sodium and chlorine combine, for example, they form a completely new substance, sodium chloride. But the combining elements do not seem to survive in a compound, at least from a visual perspective.

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A Tale of Seven Elements by Eric Scerri

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