The Periodic Table is a thing of beauty, but it can also feel pretty mysterious, especially if the last time you studied it was back in grade school. Now is a great time to get reacquainted.
The International Year of the Periodic Table celebration marks 2019 as the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery of the Periodic System, a way of organizing elements. The United Nations calls it “one of the most significant achievements in science, capturing the essence not only of chemistry, but also of physics and biology.”
A world of hydrogen, fermium and darmstadtium await you online with some interactive, colorful and even poetic versions of the Periodic Table of the Elements.
Element Collection offers up one of the most visually interesting takes on the table with a version that pairs images to each element. You may see a nugget of gold, a puddle of mercury or an image of Albert Einstein to go along with Einsteinium. The photos are striking.
A pictorial Periodic Table from retired software engineer Keith Enevoldsen is geared for younger students, but it’s equally appealing to adults. The table matches up practical uses to the elements, so you can see how chromium is involved in your stainless-steel silverware or how iridium connects with your car’s spark plugs. This will help you connect the elements to the everyday world around you.
There’s also poetic side to the elements. In 2017, Science posted a table linking each element to a haiku. Hydrogen kicks things off with this gem: “Your single proton/fundamental, essential./Water. Life. Star fuel.”
The University of Nottingham in the UK took to YouTube to create a Periodic Table with videos explaining each element. It’s a perfect way to get up close and personal with everything from mercury to europium.
And if you truly want to go old school, stop by the US Library of Congress image archive for a look at an early published version of Mendeleev’s table. Then you can enjoy our colorful modern versions even more.
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