By Eric Scerri
In 1913, English physicist Henry Moseley tested a sublime procedure for "counting" the weather in keeping with atomic quantity, ranging them from hydrogen (#1) to uranium (#92). It quickly grew to become transparent, even if, that seven components have been mysteriously lacking from the lineup--seven parts unknown to technology.
In his good researched and fascinating narrative, Eric Scerri provides the exciting tales of those seven elements--protactinium, hafnium, rhenium, technetium, francium, astatine and promethium. The e-book follows the old 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 examine that preceded the invention, the pivotal experiments, the personalities of the chemists concerned, the chemical nature of the recent point, and its functions in technological know-how and know-how. We study for example that alloys of hafnium--whose identify derives from the Latin identify for Copenhagen (hafnia)--have a number of the optimum boiling issues on list and are used for the nozzles in rocket thrusters similar to the Apollo Lunar Modules. Scerri additionally tells the non-public 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 point ninety one while global battle I intervened, Hahn was once drafted into the German army's poison gasoline unit, and Meitner was once compelled to press on by myself opposed to daunting odds. The ebook concludes by way of interpreting how and the place the twenty-five new components have taken their areas within the periodic desk within the final part century.
A story of 7 Elements paints a desirable photo of chemical research--the fallacious turns, ignored possibilities, bitterly disputed claims, serendipitous findings, accusations of dishonesty--all top ultimately to the fun of discovery.
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Additional resources for A Tale of Seven Elements
Mendeleev also took care to distance himself from the notion of triads of elements. For example, he proposed that the element fluorine should be grouped together with chlorine, bromine, and iodine even though this would imply going beyond a triad to form a group of at least four elements (fig. 14). Whereas Lothar Meyer had concentrated on physical principles and mainly on the physical properties of the elements, Mendeleev concentrated on their chemical properties. But when it came to deciding upon the most important criterion for classifying the elements, Mendeleev insisted that atomic weight ordering would tolerate no exceptions.
He was also to champion the cause of the periodic law to a far greater extent than did Lothar Meyer. But if one asks the question of who arrived at the mature periodic system first, a strong case can be made that in many crucial details, the system of Lothar Meyer was not only first but also more correct. 27 He then edits a version of Cannizzaro’s article that appears in Germany in Ostwald’s series under the title of Klassiker der Wissenschaften. ”28 In 1864, Lothar Meyer publishes the first edition of a chemistry textbook, Die Modernen Theorie der Chemie, which was deeply influenced by the work of Cannizzaro.
Xxxii Introduction protons in the nucleus of the atoms of these elements can achieve greater stability if they occur in pairs in nuclear energy levels that are analogous to electronic energy levels into which electrons enter up to two at a time. A plot of the relative abundance of elements clearly shows a sawlike appearance due to this alternating stable (even Z) and less stable (odd Z) behavior (fig. 3). 32 Questions of Priority A very important aspect of the discovery stories of many elements has been the question of priority, which has frequently been bitterly disputed.